Board of Directors

Dr. Mary Munsell Abroe holds a PhD in American history from Loyola University Chicago, and she teaches Western Civilization and American history at the College of Lake County in north suburban Chicago, Illinois. A member of SHAF’s board of directors since 2000, she is a past trustee of the American Battlefield Trust and current chair of its Alumni Board as well as a past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago. She also sits on the board of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

John Banks is the author of two books on the Civil War: Connecticut Yankees at Antietam and Hidden History of Connecticut Union Soldiers. His work has been featured in notable publications, such as The New York TimesCivil War TimesCivil War MonitorCivil War NewsAmerica’s Civil War, and Military Images. Banks graduated from West Virginia University with a B.A. in journalism. A longtime journalist with The Dallas Morning News and ESPN, he is secretary-treasurer of The Center for Civil War Photography and a member of the American Battlefield Trust. He writes extensively about Antietam on his blog.

Dr. Tom Clemens is a history professor emeritus at Hagerstown Community College and a longtime NPS volunteer interpreter and living history presenter. He is a founding member of SHAF, has been its President since 1989, and is eternally grateful for the generosity and dedication of our members.  He is the editor of Ezra Carman’s The Maryland Campaign of September, 1862: Volume I, South Mountain, and Vol.II, Antietam.

Dr. Gordon Dammann is a retired dentist in Lena, Illinois. He holds a BS from Loyola University, Chicago and a DDS from Loyola University Dental School. He is founder and chairman of the board of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine located in Frederick, MD. He has authored Vols I,II & III of the Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medical Instruments and Equipment and Images of Civil War Medicine – A Pictorial History. He is now working on a biography of Surgeon Jonathan Letterman, Surgeon for the Soldiers.

Dennis Frye is a co-founder of SHAF and the organization’s first president. He also is a co-founder of today’s American Battlefields Trust (formerly Civil War Trust). Dennis recently retired from a 32-year career with the National Park Service, serving 20 years as Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and receiving the Department of Interior’s Distinguished Service Award, its highest honor. Dennis has authored 10 books and 102 articles, writing for every major Civil War publication. His latest books are Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination and September Suspense: Lincoln’s Union in Peril. Dennis is a native of the Antietam area, where his family has resided for more than 250 years. Dennis and his wife Sylvia have restored and live in General Burnside’s post-Antietam headquarters, where President Lincoln conferenced with Burnside during his post-battle visit to the army.

David Langbart joined the Board in 2009. He is a long-time archivist with the Federal government. He has been visiting the Antietam battlefield since 1966.

Bill Maharay has served as the treasurer of SHAF for most of the organization’s existence; he works for the Federal government in a senior financial management position, and has been actively involved in several historic restoration projects. For the last 28 years, Bill has lived in and restored a 1790s house that was used as a headquarters and hospital after the battle of Antietam.

Kevin Pawlak is Director of Education at the Mosby Heritage Area Association and an Antietam Battlefield Guide. He is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital and a co-author of To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862.

Dr. Paula S. Reed, Architectural/Cultural Historian, holds a Ph.D. from the George Washington University in American Studies and operates Paula S. Reed and Associates, Inc., providing evaluation of historic resources. She served two years as part-time executive director for SHAF beginning in 1996 and thereafter joined the Board as secretary.

John Schildt hardly needs an introduction. Well known for his many books relating the various aspects of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and local history, John is now retired, but still active providing tours and writing. Not only is John a founding member of SHAF, it was his efforts that led to SHAF’s first major project; the purchase of part of the Grove Farm.

Harry Smeltzer joined the Board in 2006, became Vice-President in 2010, and is the editor of the SHAF newsletter. He is a Contributing Writer for America’s Civil War Magazine, a columnist for Civil War Times Magazine, host of the popular website Bull Runnings, and a certified real estate appraiser and educator in Pittsburgh, PA.

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You can always contact the SHAF board by email at board@shaf.org