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Civil War Experiences Beyond Your Expectations

 

Meet Our Guides

We consider the guide service to be the most essential part of any tour that they put together. A great deal of research is done to match the guide to the group and to the tour. In some cases a well known historian/guide will suit the group and the tour they request the best.  However in many cases some of the best guide/historians we engage are not well known, yet their knowledge and delivery stands up to the most well known historian. These are the guides/historians who have grown up on a battlefield or have studied a particular battle, area or person from the Civil War to a great extent.

 

Be assured you will never be disappointed with our guides. Let us introduce just a few of them to you. 
 

James McPherson

James McPherson, is a noted American Civil War historian who won the Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.

 

McPherson is the George Henry Davis ’86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. In 2000 he was named the Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities. His other books include The Abolitionist Legacy, From Reconstruction to the NAACP; Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution; and The Struggle for Equality; which received the Anisfield-Wolf Award from the Cleveland Foundation for its contributions to society’s understanding of racism and the appreciation of diversity of cultures. In 2003 he served as president of the American Historical Association.

Battle Cry of Freedom is credited with helping generate a national resurgence of interest in the Civil War, and McPherson believes that some of the issues that caused the war remain timely today, such as regionalism and the proper role of the federal government in people’s lives.

McPherson is known for his work on behalf of the preservation of Civil War battlefields. As president in 1993-1994 of Protect Historic America, he lobbied against the construction of a commercial theme park at the Manassas battlefield. He has also served on the boards of the Civil War Trust and the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, and on the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee.

                            

 

Edwin C. Bearss

Ed Bearss is a consummate tour guide, bringing history alive to visitors of all knowledge levels, revealing encyclopedic stores of memory and enormous personal energy, but always with rich and colorful anecdotes. A Washington Post reporter described his style as "Homeric monologues." The Wall Street Journal wrote that he evokes "almost hallucinatory sensations." Historian Dennis Frye said a "battlefield [tour] with Ed Bearss [is a] transcendental experience." Admirers have suggested that, if the United States ever recognizes Living National Treasures, as Japan and Australia do, Bearss should be an immediate honoree.

Bearss started interpretative touring as part of his official duties in Vicksburg, leading eight one-hour tours a day. Although he was no longer required to do so after 1958, he kept it up as an avocation on weekends. He attracted ROTC classes, active-duty military officers and VIPs, and other historians. Beginning  in 1961, he began annual tours for the prestigious Chicago Civil War Roundtable. One of his greatest challenges was his annual tours  of   Vicksburg for the Louisiana School for the Blind and Deaf. He is a lifetime honorary member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, to which he has spoken many times, beginning in 1962 and as recently as 2004.

Currently, Bearss, in his eighties, continues to lead numerous tours—traveling as many as 200 days per year—around the United States, the Pacific, and Europe. He routinely outpaces his much younger guests in charging over rough terrain, recreating the color of famous infantry and cavalry attacks.

                            

 

Thomas Cartwright

Thomas Cartwright joined the Carter House in 1989 and was Military Curator and Historian until he was promoted to Executive Director. Cartwright, well-known internationally for his knowledge and passion for the Civil War and the Battle of Franklin is considered a Civil War military expert by his peers. Cartwright is a supporter of the Civil War Preservation Trust, and many other local and national organizations. For the last 20 years, he has guided groups throughout most the Western Theater battlefields.

Thomas has appeared as an historian in many programs on the History Channel including: Battle of Franklin, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Chickamauga, Irish to America, Rebel Foot Soldiers, 80 Acres of Hell, Saving Our Battlefields, Civil War Combat Series: Franklin, and Riding the Natchez Trace. He has also appeared on TNN, C-Span & the Travel Channel. He conducts battlefield tours at locations such as: Shiloh, Stones River, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Fort Donelson, Manassas, Gettysburg, and of course Franklin. In addition, he has written several articles and essays published in Tennessee Celebrate South Museum of the Confederacy, A Meteor Shining Brightly Essays on Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne, Black Southerners   in Gray, The Encyclopedia of the Irish in America, Civil War Times and Around the State A Publication of Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association.

He is currently authoring two books: Mascots in the Civil War and Battle of Thompson’s Station. Thomas began visiting battlefields as a young boy, and his interest was encouraged by listening to stories about his great-grandfather, who was in the war, the Civil War Centennial, and many great historians including the late Stanley Horn.

                            

 

Dennis E. Frye

Dennis E. Frye is the former Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and past president of a national battlefield preservation organization that is today's Civil War Preservation Trust. Dennis was raised only a few miles from Harper’s Ferry and Antietam, and he grew up in the shadow of South Mountain.

Dennis has written over 50 articles and four books on the war, his latest entitled "Antietam Revealed." He has served as a battlefield guide for National Geographic, the Smithsonian, major universities, and Civil War Round Tables across the country. He has appeared on the History Channel’s Civil War Journal and Ken Burn’s Civil War series. Dennis also worked as Associate Producer and historical consultant for the movie "Gods and Generals".

                              

 

Rich Kohr

Rich is a native of Lebanon, PA and a graduate of Lebanon Valley College. He has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park since 1995, and is a former President of the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides. Rich has taught continuing education courses at Harrisburg Area Community College and has given lectures at numerous Civil War Round Tables.

 

Rich is a walking encyclopedia of Civil War history!  He’s very enthusiastic and just a wealth of information!  He will take you on a chronological tourof the battlefield, stopping at key points of the various battles that took place overthe course of three days to describe exactly what happened in that particular location. 

Rich has presented a number of programs on the Gettysburg Daily website including a tour of the trolley line that was removed from the Gettysburg battlefield.

                      

 

Scott Walker

Scott Walker is a 41-year resident of the Fredericksburg area.  After a 35-year career in the Stafford County Schools, he retired in 2002 and became a private historical and battlefield guide.  In 2009, he was a founding partner of Heritage Media LLC which produced a locally-focused DVD, “Civil War Fredericksburg:  Then and Now”.  He is now the on-screen host for their local cable television show, “History Scene”.  He has been a regular contributor to local and regional publications including the Free Lance-Star’s “Town & County” section and the “Journal of Fredericksburg History”.

Always involved in area community endeavors, Scott currently serves as President of the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. and a lifetime member of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust.  He also volunteers for the National Park Service at its Chatham Manor site.

He frequently reminds everyone that, in 1863, even the great “Stonewall” Jackson needed a local man to show him through the woods and wilderness of Spotsylvania County.  Scott not only knows his way around but has the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to clearly and fully present local history, particularly of the four major Civil War battles fought in the area during a period of one and a half years in an almost 200-square mile area featuring over 750,000 soldiers and producing 100,000 casualties.  Walker’s stories and the stories of Fredericksburg are not easily forgotten!!

 

                             

 

Marc Ramsey

Marc Ramsey is the author of the 7th South Carolina Cavalry, to the Defense of Richmond, published by Broadfoot Publishing, as well as the co-owner, with his wife Jill, of Owens & Ramsey Historical Booksellers, a shop that specializes in new, used, and very rare books on the American Civil War. These booksellers are also highly mobile, doing appraisals, conferences and Civil War shows from Georgia to Gettysburg. Marc was formerly the Director of Dramatic Interpretation for Valentine Riverside at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond. Since earning his Master of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Marc has devoted himself to the study of Richmond’s rich history, especially the Capital of the Confederacy years.

 

 

A former Clear Channel Radio newscaster, Marc still loves to do historical narration, and you may have heard him on one of the recent pod casts produced by Civil War Traveler, the Rebel Yell Lives CD from the Museum of the Confederacy, or the Lee’s Retreat tour that he narrated for Chris Calkins and the Petersburg National Battlefield Park. He was one of Jackson’s men in the film Gods and Generals, and is a veteran reenactor with the 15th Virginia Volunteer Infantry. If you would like a Civil War tour of Richmond, the Seven Days Campaign, Cold Harbor, Stuart's Ride around McClellan, the 1864 fighting north of the James, or an unforgettable presentation on the Fall of Richmond, Marc is your man. After all, as he says, he likes nothing better than spending time riding around with a bunch of his friends (old or new) and talking Civil War History!!

 

                             


Jonathan A. Noyalas

Jonathan A. Noyalas is a history professor at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, VA where he also serves as the Director of the College's Institute of Culture and History and the Center for Civil War History.  He is the author of Plagued by War: Winchester, Virginia, During the Civil War and "My Will is Absolute Law": A Biography of Union General Robert H. Milroy.  He was the editor and contributing author for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation's "If this Valley is Lost, Virginia is Lost": Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign. 

  

Jonathan has authored numerous reviews, academic papers, essays, and articles which have appeared in publications such as America's Civil War, Civil War Book Review, and Blue & Gray.  A frequent lecturer and guide, he has spoken to groups including historical societies, academic audiences, Civil War roundtables, and the National Security Agency.  Noyalas is currently working on a study of the command relationships and memory of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's 1864 Valley Campaign.  He serves on the board of directors of the Kernstown Battlefield Association and also serves on the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation's interpretation and education committee.

                              

 

Patrick FalciFalci

If you are a fan of the film Gettysburg, get ready for one of the most entertaining tours you can imagine!  This four hour tour of The Making of the Movie - Gettysburg, will take you to the locations where a number of scenes in the movie were filmed, hear the anecdotes associated with various well-known performers during the filming, and walk in the footsteps of the actors in the movie Gettysburg.


Patrick Falci is best known to many for his portrayal of Confederate General A. P. Hill in the film Gettysburg.  During the filming of the movie, Patrick served as director Ron Maxwell's historical advisor. He assisted casting director Joy Todd and the principal actors in preparing for their roles, advised music supervisor David Franco in his selection of period music, and, of course, portrayed Lt. General A.P. Hill.  Patrick assisted producer/actor Tom Berenger with research for the acclaimed 1997 TNT mini-series, Rough Riders and portrayed one of the Rough Riders as well. He can also be seen in the documentary“Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny”.


An actor, reenactor and historian for several years, Patrick has been honored with invitations to the White House and various awards for the work that he has done.

 

                              

 

Steve Meserve

Steve Meserve has been studying the American Civil War longer than he cares to admit (nearly half a century at this point).  He was executive secretary of the North-South Skirmish Association for 10 years, and is a former associate editor of "Civil War" Magazine.  He worked with Bill Miller, Brian Pohanka and Rob Hodge to put together Time-Life's most recent Civil War publication, "The Civil War: Images of an American Tragedy."  He was also a contributing editor on the "Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference" published this past September by Charles Scribner & Sons. 

Steve has contributed several articles to the "Washington Times" Saturday Civil War page, and has been leading tours of Northern Virginia Civil War sites and Loudoun County for many years. Some of his special tours include Mountain Gaps, Loudoun Valley, Quaker Country, and Guilford. 

 

                               

 

Frank A. O’Reilly

My latest book, The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock, received a 2003 nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Letters. It was released by LSU Press in December, 2002, and has won the 2002 Capital District (Albany, NY) Book Award; the 2003 James I. Robertson, Jr. Book Award; the 2004 Daniel Laney Book Award; and the 2004 Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award.

I received both my BA and MA in American History with a concentration on Early American Military History and Civil War Studies. I did my undergrad work at Washington & Lee University before becoming an historian in the Fredericksburg area.

I have written numerous articles on the Civil War and Mexican War for national and international journals; and introductions to quite a few books. I released my first book on the Fredericksburg Campaign titled, Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg, in 1993. I have appeared in quite a few documentaries, and have lectured extensively on military history to audiences around the world, including several conferences in the United Kingdom at Oxford.

I am currently researching a book on the Battle of Malvern Hill and the Seven Days’ Campaign around Richmond.

                              

 

John V. Quarstein

John V. Quarstein is an award winning historian, preservationist, and author. John has served as the director of the Virginia War Museum since 1978. In addition to these duties, he oversees the management of the City of Newport News’ historic properties including Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion, Young’s Mill, and the Newsome House as well as serving as the historical advisor for the Mariners’ Museum’s U.S.S. Monitor Center project. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. Quarstein is the author of seven books including Fort Monroe: The key to the South, C.S.S. Virginia: Mistress of Hampton Roads, Civil War on the Virginia Peninsula, and The Battle of the Ironclads.

 

John V. Quarstein was the recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 1993 President’s Award for Historic Preservation Award, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Gold Medal in 1999. Presently, he serves on the board of several national organizations including Virginia Civil War Trails, John Singleton Mosby Foundation, and Chief Historical Advisor for the U.S.S. Monitor.

An avid duck hunter, John V. Quarstein lives in Hampton, Virginia and on his Eastern Shore farm with his wife Martha and son John Morgan.

                               

 

Ted Alexander

Ted Alexander is one of the finest and sought after guest speakers for Civil War functions. He is an exceptional historian guide who is able to create a picture with his words. He has written extensively on the Gettyburg Campaign. His books include Revenge & Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign.

He has authored several Generals’ Tours for Blue and Gray Magazine. He is an expert on cavalry operations conducted during the Gettysburg campaign. He is the historian at the Antietam National Battlefield. He can conduct many unique tours in the Pennsylvania and Maryland areas such as Lee’s Retreat from Gettysburg.

 

                               

 

Gary Kross

Gary Kross is Associate Editor of the magazine Blue and Gray, who writes articles for each issue and has written at least eight entire issues. As a Licensed Gettysburg guide for 17 years his expertise is from June 30 through July 14, 1863. 

He has appeared as a guest historian on the History Channel, TNT and the Discovery Channel in numerous programs. He has produced a unique learning tool called Virtual Gettysburg, which is a Computer Disc that explains the Gettysburg Battle from three levels. It actually visits 21 locations on the Battlefield where there is a 360-degree view of the area. 

Gary's knowledge of the Battle of Gettysburg has made him one of the most popular speakers for the Civil War Round Tables throughout the United States. He has also spoken at many colleges and for the Smithsonian Institute. 

                             

 

Dave Goetz

Dave Goetz is president of Mosby's Confederacy, Inc., and leads tours of Mosby's Confederacy, including Virginia counties of Fauquier, Loudoun, Warren, Prince William and Fairfax.  He serves on the advisory committee of the John Singleton Mosby Museum Foundation in Warrenton, Virginia, which is restoring Brentmoor:  the Spilman-Mosby House to its 1859 - 1880 appearance.

 

Mr. Goetz has a professional background in public relations, sales and marketing, primarily with non-profit organizations.  In addition to being Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America, he holds a Master of Science degree in Community Development from the University of Louisville and an undergraduate degree in English from Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky.  He is a U.S. Army veteran, and received an Honorable Discharge.