“Dan Hartzler Lecture – October 20, 1994”

Carroll County Times Article for 9 October 1994
by Jay A. Graybeal

Very little research has been done on the craftsmen of early Maryland, and because of this, the state has been overlooked to a certain extent by the antiques world. Artisans of great ability and associated mechanical geniuses have flourished and gone, forgotten and overlooked by subsequent generations. Since writing this observation in the introduction to his first book Arms Makers of Maryland (1977), New Windsor author Daniel D. Hartzler has contributed much to our knowledge Maryland history. He has written six books on Maryland and Confederate military history, firearms, and arms makers; each has become the standard text on the subject.

The Historical Society of Carroll County will sponsor a free lecture by Mr. Hartzler on Thursday, October 20th at 7:30 p. m., in the Shriver-Weybright Auditorium, 210 E. Main St., Westminster. The noted author will talk about his lifelong interests and the research which led to his six publications. Refreshments will be served by members of the Society’s Collections Committee which is hosting the event.

Dan Hartzler’s first book Arms Makers of Maryland includes chapters on Maryland longrifles, fowling pieces, pistols, target rifles and shooting matches, swords, artillery, naval shipbuilding, shot towers and accoutrements and uniforms. An extensive section presents biographical information about the hundreds of arms makers who worked in the state and in the District of Columbia. The well-documented entries contain working dates, business addresses, newspaper advertisements, census and tax records, patent records, and biographical sketches of more important craftsmen. The text contains numerous illustrations of arms and makers.

Medical Doctors of Maryland in the C. S. A. (1979) explores the interesting military careers of more than 200 physicians and a handful of dentists who served in the Confederate forces. Included is a biographical sketch of Dr. Richard H. Woodward, a native of Middlesex Co., Va., who practised in Carroll County after graduating from Georgetown University in 1844.

Marylanders in the Confederacy (1986) filled a great void in the published records of Marylanders who served in the Civil War. As early as 1898, researchers had access to a published roster of Maryland men who had served in the Union Army, Navy and Marine Corps, published by the State of Maryland. Marylanders in the Confederacy provides service records for thousandsof men who fought for the South.

Hartzler’s fourth book, Confederate Presentation Swords and Revolvers, examines a select group of personal sidearms carried by Confederates. These weapons typically carry hand engraved presentation inscriptions of the original owner’s name and unit. The presence of an authentic inscription is strong evidence that the weapon was actually carried during the war. The inscription also provides a starting point for researching the owner of each weapon.

In publishing Maryland Longrifles (1991), Hartzler and co-author James B. Whisker fulfilled a wish stated in the preface to Maryland Arms Makers regarding the men who made Maryland longrifles: These men and their work deserve detailed study and it is hoped that in time an entire book can be devoted to the subject. This book presents a detailed, and well-illustrated study of the longrifle commonly known as the Kentucky rifle. Of particular interest to local residents are the chapters on the Taneytown and Double Pipe Creek schools of arms makers.

Mr. Hartzler’s most recent publication A Band of Brothers: Photographic Supplement to Marylanders in the Confederacy (1992) presents photographs of artifacts related to some of the men whose names appear in the 1986 book. There are chapters on photographs of Confederate senior and flag ranked officers, militia, artillery, cavalry, infantry, Navy, Marines, physicians, and clergy. The flags, uniforms, weapons and accoutrements used by these men are also thoroughly covered.

Mr. Hartzler will close his talk with a description of his current publication in progress on Native American tomahawks and frontiersmen’s belt axes.

Photo caption: Author Daniel D. Hartzler of New Windsor will speak at the Historical Society on October 20 about his lifelong interests in Maryland and Confederate military history and his publication of six books on these topics. Photo courtesy of Daniel D. Hartzler.