Acclaimed Filmmaker to Appear at Civil War Encampment

Third Annual Event Set for April 26-27, 2014 at GCC Medina

Batavia, NY- The man behind the movies “Gettysburg,” “Gods and Generals” and “Copperhead” will appear at Genesee Community College’s third annual Civil War Encampment to be held at GCC’s Medina Campus Center April 26-27, 2014. Filmmaker Ron Maxwell, considered to be the leading cinematic interpreter of the Civil War, will speak at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, 2013. He will appear with local writer Bill Kauffman, who penned the screenplay for “Copperhead.” Maxwell is currently promoting the April 15th release of the DVD version of the film, which examines the price of dissent during the war.

The Encampment is part of GCC’s highly successful Civil War Initiative. The College has organized lectures, exhibits, and other events to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which was fought from 1861-1865. In June 2013, it collaborated with Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) to present a screening of Maxwell’s film “Copperhead” in the Stuart Steiner Theatre on the GCC Batavia campus. “We’re so pleased Ron Maxwell will be able to return to the area to speak to visitors at the Encampment,” said Derek Maxfield, Assistant Professor of History at GCC and Encampment Coordinator. “This year’s event is shaping up to be as outstanding as it was last year.”

The Encampment kicks off with Education Day on Friday, April 25, 2014. The event will not be open to the public. Plans are being made to bring students from local school districts to learn about life during the Civil War through a series of stations. “I’m really excited about that because I think the students will enjoy it,” Maxfield said.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014, Encampment organizers will present the first Orleans County Heritage Heroes Awards. These awards will recognize Orleans County residents who are tireless advocates in preserving local history. Nominations are being accepted until January 31, 2014.

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, re-enactors will join others in a parade through downtown Medina which will end at Boxwood Cemetery. There will be a brief memorial ceremony at the Cemetery honoring Medina’s Civil War soldiers.

Re-enactors will engage in mock combat at 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. A Victorian cotillion ball will once again take place Saturday night at 7 p.m. And Confederate chaplain Sava Toufexis will lead a Civil War era religious service Sunday morning. Throughout the event a variety of demonstrations and exhibits are planned and both Union and Confederate camps will be open for touring.

Prior to the Encampment, the Orleans County Campus Centers will host three Civil War Lectures. They include:

•Prof. Derek Maxfield, “Lincoln and the Constitution”
January 28, 2014, 7 p.m., Medina Campus Center
Abraham Lincoln is considered a hero and a statesman, but don’t forget he was a talented politician as well and, as such, could be just as slippery as any of that breed. Prof. Maxfield explores Lincoln’s relationship with the Constitution as both politician and statesman.

•Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian, “The Civil War Tower in Mt. Albion Cemetery: A History”
February 27, 2014, 7 p.m., Albion Campus Center
Made of Medina sandstone, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Mt. Albion Cemetery is a towering monument to the 463 Orleans County men who perished in the Civil War. Learn about the challenges faced by those who built one of the most unique physical commemorations of Civil War valor.

•Adam Tabelski, Former Medina Mayor, senior aide to State Sen. George Maziarz
“Copperheads and the Constitution: Lincoln’s ‘Fire in the Rear’”
April 11, 2014, 10 a.m., Medina Campus Center
Tabelski explores the tumultuous history of so-called “copperheads,” politicians and others whose beliefs ran counter to preserving the Union—and, later, freeing the slaves—at all costs. A jeopardizing “fire in the rear” for President Lincoln, these copperheads sought victories not on the battlefield, but in communities, in the courts and at the ballot box.

All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Associate Professor Derek Maxfield at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6288 or or Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email:

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A photograph of Ron Maxwell is available here: