Lincoln's cabinet comes alive in local student production

February 15, 2012
  • Bradley Loewen portraying Gen. Robert E. Lee preparing dispatches to his officers and being filmed by fellow student Emmanuel Teferi at the Miller House in downtown Hagerstown for their immersion in history project as a part of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground.
Submitted photo

Nine students from E. Russell Hicks Middle School spent early January in the Miller House in downtown Hagerstown by portraying discussions held by President Abraham Lincoln with his cabinet, before and after the Battle of Antietam about the Emancipation Proclamation.

 The script was written by the students as a part of the Student Service Learning Program as part of a national Civil War Sesquicentennial umbrella effort called The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership with public schools, known as “Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student.”

Over several months, E. Russell Hicks Middle School students have worked with National Park Rangers at Antietam National Battlefield, historians, JTHG Partnership educators and researched historical source documents to learn about life on and off the battlefield during the 1860s and during the bloodiest battle in American history.

Another scene showing Gen. Robert E. Lee, preparing communications for dispatch was actually filmed by one of the students, Emmanuel Teferi. 

Other students participating were Alexis Davis, Valerie Simon, Savannah Martinez, Stephanie Mohr, Colton Repp, Jared Stoner, Breanna Myers and Bradley Loewen.

The involvement with the program has proceeded under the guidance of Robin Meyers, director of education for JTHG. 

For the filming, students were supervised by Christy Tew, education specialist for Antietam National Battlefield; Blaine Horton, education manager for JTHG; and Kim Ballenger and Gil Spidle, teachers from E. Russell Hicks Middle School.

The Miller House, built in 1825, stood as witness to the events of the Civil War, including many days of troops, clad both in blue and gray, in the streets of Hagerstown, returning wounded from Antietam, the Battle of Hagerstown and the Ransoming of Hagerstown. 

For additional information on the Miller House and the Washington County Historical Society visit For tours of the museum, call 301-797-8782.

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