About the Author
John Hoptak was born on the 116th Anniversary of the Battle of South Mountain, on September 14, 1978, in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. A lifelong student of the American Civil War, Hoptak holds a bachelor's degree in history from Kutztown University and a master's in history from Lehigh University. He currently serves as an Interpretative Park Ranger at Antietam National Battlefield, and as an adjunct instructor at American Military University, where he teaches courses in American history, Civil War history, and Mexican-American War history. In addition to The Battle of South Mountain, Hoptak is the author of several of other books, including First in Defense of the Union: The Civil War History of the First Defenders (2004), Our Boys Did Nobly: Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, Soldiers at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam (2009), and Antietam: September 17, 1862 (2011). He is a long-time member of the Civil War Trust and is dedicated to the preservation of Civil War history. Hoptak led the effort to restore the 48th Pennsylvania Monument at Antietam National Battlefield by conducting a nationwide initiative to restore the missing sword from the statue of Brigadier General James Nagle, an effort successfully completed in 2010.