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!!!!
----- Original Message -----
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
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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