2017 Civil War Conference Speakers & Guides:
Ted Alexander is the co-founder and host of our seminars. He is the author, editor, or contributor to 10 books on the Civil War and other aspects of American history, and more than 200 book reviews and articles for publications such as Civil War Times and The Washington Times. He recently retired as the Chief Historian at Antietam National Battlefield.
Ed Bearss is America’s premier battlefield tour guide. Bearss is a former Marine, serving in the Pacific in WWII, and is the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service. Author of more than 20 books and numerous articles on the Civil War, he has been a featured commentator on Ken Burn’s PBS documentary The Civil War, History Channel, and C-Span. Bearss has been a mainstay of the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours since our founding in 1989.
Dennis Frye is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. He has appeared numerous times as a commentator on PBS, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and A&E. Frye is the author of more than 98 articles and nine books. His latest is September Suspense: Lincoln’s Union in Peril.
Perry Jamieson is a retired historian with the Department of the Defense and the author of numerous books on the Civil War, tactics and other aspects of military history such as Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage, co-authored with Grady McWhitney. His other works include Crossing the Deadly Ground: United States Army Tactics, 1865-1899 and Winfield Scott Hancock: Gettysburg Hero.
Christopher Kolakowski is the Director of the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Va. He has spent his career interpreting/preserving American military history with various institutions including NPS, Civil War Trust, and others. He has published two books on the Civil War including a volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns.
Wayne Motts is the CEO of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg. A licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg National Military Park, he is the former Adams County Historical Society director and is the author of several works including a new study of Pickett’s Charge and a biography of Confederate General Lewis A. Armistead.
Dr. Richard Sommers is the Senior Historian Emeritus at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center and an instructor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. He has been a commentator on C–Span and The History Channel and recently authored the expanded 150th anniversary edition Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg.
Gregory Urwin is a military historian whose work spans the American War of Independence through World War 2. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and has published nine books. He currently serves as the general editor of a new book series, Campaigns and Commanders, which blends traditional operational history and military biography with the “new military history.”
Mitch Yockelson is the recipient of the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award, is an archivist with the National Archives and a professor of military history at Norwich. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has appeared on 60 Minutes, Fox News, PBS, and The History Channel. He is the author of four books, including biographies of Generals MacArthur and Grant.
Tom Parson is a park ranger/historian at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, a unit of Shiloh National Military Park. His research focuses on the military activities in North Mississippi during the Civil War. Parson is the author of Bear Flag and Bay State in the Civil War: The Californians of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed “Work for Giants”: The Campaign and Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg, Mississippi, June – July 1864.
Tim Smith is the leading authority on the Battle of Shiloh. He is the author of the award-winning study Shiloh: Conquer or Perish. Smith is also the author or editor of more than 12 other books on the Civil War including Rethinking Shiloh: Myth and Memory and Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation. He currently teaches at the University of Tennessee, Martin.
Starke Miller is the leading authority on Ole Miss in the Civil War and has a tour company, Miller Civil War Tours. Miller is the historian for the 11th Mississippi Memorial Committee and is working on his first book, University of Ole Miss at Shiloh: Students and Alumni.
Larry Mangus has served as the Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for nine years and is the President of the Friends of the Seige and Battle of Corinth Commission. Mangus is also a volunteer at Shiloh National Military Park and has an extensive Civil War collection on display at the Corinth Interpretive Civil War Center. He has relatives on both sides of the Civil War with one from the Union who fought at Shiloh.
Robert E. L. Krick is one of the leading authorities on the Civil War in and around Richmond. He is an historian at Richmond National Battlefield Park and a 28-year veteran of the NPS serving in places like Little Bighorn Battlefield and Manassas National Battlefield. His latest book is Staff Officers in Gray.
Robert M. Dunkerly is a historian, award-winning author, and speaker who is actively involved in historic preservation and research. He has worked at nine historic sites, written twelve books and over twenty articles. He is a past President of the Richmond Civil War Round Table, and has taught courses at Central Virginia Community College, the University of Richmond, and the Virginia Historical Society. Dunkerly is currently a Park Ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park.
Doug Crenshaw studied history at Randolph-Macon College and the University of Richmond. A volunteer for the Richmond National Battlefield Park, he is a popular speaker, and tour leader. His book, Fort Harrison and The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, was nominated in the nonfiction category for a Library of Virginia Literary award. Doug has also written The Battle of Glendale: Robert E. Lee’s Lost Opportunity, and It Shall not be Given Up!, a survey and tour of the Seven Days campaign.
John J. Fox III is a native of Richmond, Va, and is a seven year veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as a tank commander and aviator. Fox is the author of three books on the Civil War, including the critically acclaimed Stuart’s Finest Hour: The Ride Around McClellan, June 1862.
Mike Gorman is a native of Richmond, Va. and attended the Virginia Military Institute. He has worked for the National Park Service since 1999. He is also recognized as an expert on Civil War photography and currently is working on a book on the wartime photography of Richmond. In 2011, he served as an historical advisor on the set of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and more recently on the film Free State of Jones.
Drew Gruber holds his B.A. from Mary Washington College and his M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the executive director of Civil War Trails, a member of the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and interim director for the Williamsburg Battlefield Association.
Ethan Rafuseis Associate Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is the author of several books, including McClellan’s War.
David Ruth is Superintendent of Richmond National Battlefield Park (NBP). He is a native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Virginia Tec. Ruth has been with the National Park Service for 42 years. Besides Richmond, he has served at parks such as Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park., Manassas National Battlefield Park and Fort Sumter National Monument. He is an active preservationist and has done much to upgrade Richmond NBP.
Ed Sanders has over 20 years of experience at Richmond National Battlefield Park presenting tours and programs. During his time as a front line ranger, he was awarded the Northeast Region’s Excellence in Interpretation award for his work in interpretive programming. In 2010, Ed was made the Supervisory Park Ranger at Richmond NBP.
Past Speakers & Guides
(who we hope to host again soon!):
Steve Bockmiller is a planner for the city of Hagerstown. The author of several books, his latest is Hagerstown in the Civil War. He is a member of the U.S.S. Constellation Museum Advisory Board and is a member of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Advisory Board.
Tom Clemens earned his doctoral degree at George Mason University where he studied under Maryland Campaign historian Dr. Joseph L. Harsh. He has published a wide variety of magazine articles and book reviews, has appeared in several documentary programs, and is a licensed tour guide at Antietam National Battlefield. A retired professor from Hagerstown Community College, he also helped found and is the current president of Save Historic Antietam Foundation, Inc. Clemens is the editor of the two volume Maryland Campaign by Ezra Carman.
Stuart Dempsey is a veteran leader of American Revolution, Civil War and European World War II tours, where one of his areas of specialization is the 20th century history of Berlin. Dempsey has served as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park since 2004. He is the author of many articles for various historical magazines, is completing a book-length manuscript on selected Federal units at Gettysburg, and has taught courses on military history for Harrisburg Area Community College.
John A. Miller currently serves as the Washington Township Historian and Museum Director of the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park. He has written numerous articles on the Civil War, and most recent publication is about Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain during the Civil War.
Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters is a retired U.S. Army officer, author, and media commentator. He has written 30 works of fiction and non-fiction. Among them are the critically acclaimed Civil War novels: Cain at Gettysburg and Hell or Richmond.
Dana Shoaf is the editor of Civil War Times magazine, the largest and oldest popular Civil War magazine. He also serves on the Washington Post’s Civil War sesquicentennial advisory board.
Steve French is an authority on the Civil War in the Lower Shenandoah Valley. He has authored a number of books on the subject, including an award-winning study of General John Imboden’s command in the Gettysburg Campaign.
Jerry W. Holsworth is the assistant archivist for the Handley Regional Library in Winchester. Holsworth often gives Civil War tours and has written several articles for Blue and Gray Magazine as well as the Civil War Times. He is the author of Civil War Winchester and Stonewall Jackson and Winchester.
Scott Patchan is a director on the board of the Kernstown Battlefield Association in Winchester, Virginia and is a member of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation’s Resource Protection Committee. He is the author of many articles and books including The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
John Schildt is a battlefield guide at Antietam National Battlefield. He has been a lecturer and guide for the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, Chicago CWRT, and other groups. He has written many books on Antietam including Frederick in the Civil War and Hills of Glory.
Daniel Carroll Toomey is this country’s major authority on Maryland in the Civil War. He has authored more than ten books on the subject, including The Civil War in Maryland. He is currently the guest curator at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum for their project, The War Came by Train, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Keven Walker is the CEO of Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Walker serves as a member of the NPS national advisory team on cultural resources and historic preservation. He is the author of Antietam: A Guide to the Landscape and Farmsteads, and is a frequent and popular speaker/tour guide for groups such as Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours.
Jeffry Wert is the author of a number of books on the Civil War, including The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac and Gettysburg: Day Three, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Wert is a frequent speaker at our seminars.
Eric Wittenberg is one of this country’s foremost experts on Civil War cavalry. He is the author of more than a dozen books on the subject, including the best-selling Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg. Mr. Wittenberg has also written Little Phil: A Reassessment of the Civil War Leadership of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan.
Gary Ecelbarger is the author of seven books, four contributed works, and more than two dozen magazine articles about the Civil War and its participants. He has written three books specific to the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, including battle histories of Kernstown, Front Royal and Winchester, and within the past five years has published three feature Generals Tours for Blue & Gray Magazine on 1862 operations at Front Royal, Cross Keys and Port Republic. Among the topics for his future book projects is a history of the final two weeks of the campaign. Ecelbarger has lived in Northern Virginia for the past 25 years; he resides in Annandale with his wife and three children.