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Paul Chiles retires after 25 years

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  • RoteBaron@comcast.net
    Posted by Tom Shay from Antietam Partner News: Antietam Ranger Retires After 25 Years by Park Historian Ted Alexander In June of this year the “Cannonball
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 1, 2006
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      Posted by Tom Shay from Antietam Partner News:

      Antietam Ranger Retires After 25 Years
      by Park Historian Ted Alexander

      In June of this year the �Cannonball Circuit� of the National Park Service is losing a living legend � Paul Vernon Chiles. Well, actually, he is just retiring but will still be around. Indeed, we are losing a great ranger and historian but gaining a researcher and author, as Paul will be working on a number of book and article ideas in his retirement.

      Paul Chiles hails from Omaha, Nebraska. A Vietnam era veteran, he served a tour in the U.S. Army, commanding infantry training. He was discharged with the rank of Captain. He served briefly with the Veterans Administration and then decided to make a move to the National Park Service. After stints of duty at Gettysburg and Badlands National Park he arrived at Antietam in 1981 to fill the position of Interpretive Specialist.

      Paul�s accomplishments during his tenure have been many. One of the big visitor attractions at Antietam Battlefield over the past 25 years has been the summer schedule of cannon and musket demonstrations. Paul developed and oversaw many of these programs. One of the most endearing of his costumed interpretive productions has been the annual torchlight tour featuring a large Union army camp that Paul and former Antietam ranger, Mike Stuckey, implemented in the spring of 1985. In 1987, Paul and several living history volunteers developed the �Aftermath of Battle� torchlight tour that continues today.

      Perhaps Paul�s greatest claim to fame is his vast knowledge of historic weapons. His affection for Civil War artillery, and genius in that field, has earned him the nickname from one Civil War historian of �Cannonball Chiles.� In fact, whenever a visitor has a weapons question, particularly regarding artillery, they are promptly turned over to Paul. His expertise in the field has garnered him roles as a talking head on several film documentaries as well as invitations to speak before historical associations all over the country. He is also the author of a major piece on artillery at Antietam for Blue and Gray Magazine.

      What has been mentioned here are the professional accomplishments of Paul Chiles. However, he has other qualities that far exceed the professional realm. Paul is a true gentleman. Hundreds of people learn this everyday as they gain their first impression of Antietam National Battlefield from the smiling friendly ranger from Nebraska who greets them at the door.

      Let�s wish Paul much success in his retirement and many thanks for a job well done in a distinguished career with the National Park Service.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • richard@rcroker.com
      In fact, whenever a visitor has a weapons question, particularly regarding artillery, they are promptly turned over to Paul. I was one of them. Thank you
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 1, 2006
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        In fact, whenever a visitor has a weapons question, particularly regarding
        artillery, they are promptly turned over to Paul.

        I was one of them. Thank you Paul!!!!

        Richard Croker
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <RoteBaron@...>
        To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 12:48 PM
        Subject: [TalkAntietam] Paul Chiles retires after 25 years


        Posted by Tom Shay from Antietam Partner News:

        Antietam Ranger Retires After 25 Years
        by Park Historian Ted Alexander

        In June of this year the "Cannonball Circuit" of the National Park Service
        is losing a living legend - Paul Vernon Chiles. Well, actually, he is just
        retiring but will still be around. Indeed, we are losing a great ranger and
        historian but gaining a researcher and author, as Paul will be working on a
        number of book and article ideas in his retirement.

        Paul Chiles hails from Omaha, Nebraska. A Vietnam era veteran, he served a
        tour in the U.S. Army, commanding infantry training. He was discharged with
        the rank of Captain. He served briefly with the Veterans Administration and
        then decided to make a move to the National Park Service. After stints of
        duty at Gettysburg and Badlands National Park he arrived at Antietam in 1981
        to fill the position of Interpretive Specialist.

        Paul's accomplishments during his tenure have been many. One of the big
        visitor attractions at Antietam Battlefield over the past 25 years has been
        the summer schedule of cannon and musket demonstrations. Paul developed and
        oversaw many of these programs. One of the most endearing of his costumed
        interpretive productions has been the annual torchlight tour featuring a
        large Union army camp that Paul and former Antietam ranger, Mike Stuckey,
        implemented in the spring of 1985. In 1987, Paul and several living history
        volunteers developed the "Aftermath of Battle" torchlight tour that
        continues today.

        Perhaps Paul's greatest claim to fame is his vast knowledge of historic
        weapons. His affection for Civil War artillery, and genius in that field,
        has earned him the nickname from one Civil War historian of "Cannonball
        Chiles." In fact, whenever a visitor has a weapons question, particularly
        regarding artillery, they are promptly turned over to Paul. His expertise in
        the field has garnered him roles as a talking head on several film
        documentaries as well as invitations to speak before historical associations
        all over the country. He is also the author of a major piece on artillery at
        Antietam for Blue and Gray Magazine.

        What has been mentioned here are the professional accomplishments of Paul
        Chiles. However, he has other qualities that far exceed the professional
        realm. Paul is a true gentleman. Hundreds of people learn this everyday as
        they gain their first impression of Antietam National Battlefield from the
        smiling friendly ranger from Nebraska who greets them at the door.

        Let's wish Paul much success in his retirement and many thanks for a job
        well done in a distinguished career with the National Park Service.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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