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Sotterley Presents: People and Perspectives with Donald Shomette

November 2, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Donald Shomette

Author, Archaeologist, and Award-winning Historian

The Civil War in Southern Maryland: The Forgotten Conflict

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.


Note: This is a HYBRID EVENT! If you are local to Southern Maryland and interested in attending in person, please register on our EventBrite instead! In-Person Space is limited, so register soon. 

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On November 2, noted historian and author Donald Grady Shomette will present a fascinating illustrated lecture on his most recent award winning book Anaconda’s Tail: The Civil War on the Potomac Frontier 1861-1865, the hitherto unwritten and all but forgotten chronicle of that devastating conflict as it was played out in Southern Maryland. It is a hitherto largely ignored account of the guerilla war, spies and smugglers, invasions and naval battles, heroism and chicanery, slavery and emancipation, and the political intrigue that swept across the countryside of Maryland’s five southernmost counties that would influence the course of the war itself. It is a story that will place for the first time Southern Maryland’s critical role in not simply speaking to the well trod accounts of the Lincoln assassination and the escape of John Wilkes Booth or the ill-famed Point Lookout prisoner of war death camp, but in the very context of both the major Northern and Southern war efforts and their consequences. It is a narrative well worth visiting.

Donald Grady Shomette completed his undergraduate work in graphic design and art history at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. In 1997 he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Baltimore for contributions to history, science and the arts. His early career included stints at the Wall Street Journal and Grolier Publishing in New York City, and with the Washington Post in Washington, D.C. For more than two decades he served on the staff of the Library of Congress and simultaneously as director of Nautical Archaeological Associates, a non-profit research organization, which conducted, among others, the first underwater archaeological surveys in the states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Arkansas.

As a historian Shomette has served as a cultural resources management consultant for numerous states, various agencies of the U.S. Government, museums, universities, and non-profit research establishments. As a marine archaeologist he has worked in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe under the sponsorship of such institutions as the National Geographic Society, the National Park Service, the U.S. Navy, and various educational foundations and museums.

Shomette is the author of twenty books, the most recent being Navigational Hazards (2020) and Anaconda’s Tail: Civil War on the Potomac Frontier, 1861-1865 (2019). He is a contributor to three international encyclopedias and five anthologies of history and archaeology. His many scientific and popular articles have appeared in such publications as National Geographic Magazine, History and Technology, Sea History, and the American Neptune. He has appeared in documentaries on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Maryland Public Television, NBC, CBS and the BBC. For more than a decade he served as a lecturer for the Smithsonian Journeys Program in the Great Lakes and along the entirety of the North American Atlantic Seaboard.

Thrice winner of the prestigious John Lyman Book Award for Best American Maritime History, and twice winner of the Marion V. Brewington Award for Best U.S. Naval History, Shomette was also honored with the Calvert Prize, the highest award in Maryland for historic preservation. He is a resident of Calvert County, Maryland.

​​​​​​​This presentation is made possible by the generous support of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

FREE EVENT for the public – Advance registration required.

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November 2, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Historic Sotterley
44300 Sotterley Lane
Hollywood, MD 20636 United States
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Historic Sotterley