Chief Guide at Antietam National Battlefield Recipient of the 2022 George and Helen Hartzog Award
We’re pleased to annouce that Chris Vincent, Chief Guide at Antietam National Battlefield, has been named a regional recipient of the 2022 George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service!
These awards “recognize the exemplary contributions National Park Service volunteers make to their park and to their community.”
In addition to his role as Chief Guide, Chris has devoted volunteer hours to Antietam for the past ten years. He has been instrumental in building its Battlefield Ambassador program, which trains volunteers on the interpretive themes and basic knowledge of the battle. These volunteers are stationed at key positions on the battlefield during peak times. They provide visitors with personal interpretive services, orientation information, and serve as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the park.
Chris’s interest in the Civil War began many years ago when he heard the story of a young Union soldier named Henry. In August 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued a call for volunteers, spurring Henry to enlist. Henry marched in the ranks of the 132nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment and fought in some of the most momentous battles of the war, including Antietam—the bloodiest day in American history. In just twelve hours, it resulted in 23,000 casualties. Henry, however, survived.
Henry Vincent was Chris’s great-great-grandfather. Today, through his work at Antietam, Chris strives to convey what men like Henry experienced during that horrendous battle.
“I enjoy training the new volunteers each year,” Chris says, “and working with the veteran Battlefield Ambassadors. When I am out on the field with visitors, I love telling the story of my great-great grandfather and the saga of the 132nd Pennsylvania at Bloody Lane on September 17, 1862.”
Chris served in the Army himself for 24 years as a senior non-commissioned officer and earned a master’s in military history from American Military University.
Eastern National congratulates Chris for the well-deserved honor of winning the Hartzog Award!