The really good news is that there is still time to sign up for one of the best but not well-known conferences on the Civil War scheduled for this weekend in Middleburg, Va. The three-day program is unaffected by the shutdown of the national parks. The Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War scheduled for Friday through Sunday, has eight scholars on the lecture part of the program and an all-day bus tour of the route that Gen. Robert E. Lee followed to Gettysburg.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association is a veteran of producing good, solid conferences that pack a lot into three days. “Prelude to Gettysburg—the Armies Move North” is the title of the 16th conference. On Friday, Oct. 4, registration is followed by speakers at 5 and 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, the day begins with a 8:30 a.m. discussion of “The Army is Moving—Lee’s March Toward the Potomac--the Gettysburg Campaign Begins!” and closes with “Flames Beyond Gettysburg: the Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863.” A panel discussion and book signing is followed by a banquet at the Red Fox Inn.

An Association spokeswoman said walk-ins on Friday and Saturday at the conference site, the Middleburg Community Center, are welcome.

Sunday is the bus tour that departs at 8 a.m. and returns to Middleburg at 5 p.m.

The cost of the Friday and Saturday portion of the conference, excluding the banquet, is $200; the bus tour is an additional $225.

Not included in the conference information is that the weather is at its best in October in that part of Virginia ,and Middleburg is one of the area’s oldest (1763) and most charming of towns.