BGES Zoom Presentations Set Up 2021 Tour Season

If 2020 has injected anything into our discipline, it has been the explosive increase of Zoom presentations and virtual tours from organizations that normally meet in person. BGES will join in the process in less than a week and has developed a schedule through June 14, 2021. We will meet once a week initially, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time, eventually moving to Monday nights and occasionally other days of the week to gratify scheduling conflicts.

Our programs initially will bring you the historians we have scheduled for our 2021 programs together for a monitored Q&A interview moderated by Executive Director Len Riedel, with perhaps 15 minutes devoted to Q&A between viewers and the featured historian. The recorded program will then be cleaned up and linked to our YouTube Channel and the tour program that is online. After the program passes, the interview will migrate to the BGES archives, where members can view at their leisure. The vast majority of all the programs will be Q&A, but some will be lectures, and those are noted on the list.

Each program will be announced the day after the previous interview was conducted and will require registration to receive the sign-in credentials and the instructions. You may submit questions in advance, and the moderator will determine which ones will be asked. I am sure we will open the microphones for the Q&A period, but that will be a progressively acquired management skill for us to ensure we get through the process without anarchy. I am sure within a month we will have enough confidence in the process to manage the event more openly. As this is brand new for us, give us a learning curve, and I promise we will provide you with a rewarding event.

We believe in the long term we will add additional historians from our membership and support group—we will allow new historians to us to strut their stuff and become familiar to our client base. I was always impressed with CSPAN and Brian Lamb’s BookNotes. I am sure we will incorporate new books and authors into our rotation of presentations. If all goes well and we build a reliable audience, I would expect to integrate this into our recurring online educational outreach. Eventually, a purchased ticket will be involved, but not for a while yet. For Active BGES members, this will also become a perk of membership.

Here is our current schedule: 

January 6, 2021: Greg Mertz, Shiloh Interview

January 13, 2021: Tim Smith, Grierson’s Raid Interview

January 20, 2021: Paul Severance, Seven Days Campaign Interview

January 27, 2021: Bob Jenkins, Dalton/Resaca Interview

February 3, 2021: Scott Hartwig, Gettysburg Day 1 Interview

February 10, 2021: Gordon Rhea, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Lecture

February 17, 2021: Gary Ecelbarger, Saratoga Lecture

February 24, 2021: Scott Patchan, Saratoga Interview

March 3, 2021: David Collins, Gettysburg Lecture

March 8, 2021: Dennis Frye, Reflections on John Brown and Stonewall Jackson Interview

March 22, 2021: Brian Steel Wills and Norm Dasinger, Forrest and Streight Interview

March 29, 2021: Darryl Smith, John Hunt Morgan Interview

April 5, 2021: Gary Ecelbarger and Scott Patchan, Phil Sheridan in the Valley Interview

April 12, 2021: Len Riedel, 1775 WAR! Lecture

April 19, 2021: Tim Smith, The Grand Assaults at Vicksburg Interview

April 26, 2021: Len Riedel, The Battles for New Orleans Lecture

May 3, 2021: Paul Severance, Fredericksburg 1862, Lecture

May 12, 2021: John Derden, Sherman’s March to the Sea Interview

May 16, 2021: Wade Sokolosky: Sherman in NC Lecture

May 23, 2021: Bob Jenkins, The Hell Hole and Kennesaw Mountain Interview

June 7, 2021: Gary Ecelbarger, Washington’s Great Gamble: Trenton and Princeton Lecture

June 14, 2021: Scott Patchan, Trenton and Princeton Interview

Registration will open for Greg Mertz’s interview on December 30, 2020—look for a blanket email from me. Acknowledgment and instructions will be sent out on January 5, 2021, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Time.