Trip Report: Shiloh

  by Doug Smock On Wednesday, May 12, I escaped my 15-month pandemic-imposed confinement in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and arrived in Tennessee for an introductory evening talk by Greg Mertz, a recently retired National Park Service historian. He distributed three-ring binders full of battle information, including maps, mostly made by Civil War cartographer Hal Jespersen, who … Read more

Paul Magid’s Fascinating Three-Book Fixation on Gen. George Crook

As any good writer knows, you’re never really sure what you’re getting into when starting a new project … until you’re ready to submit it. Even then, there are always more surprises awaiting you, and the final product often looks different from how you originally envisioned it. Paul Magid learned this lesson first-hand when he … Read more

What are the Insurance Implications if You Get Covid on a BGES Tour?

As we head into spring with the hope that sooner rather than later, we’ll be back in the BGES bus exploring the battlefields, we must consider the legal and insurance guidance that is being applied to Covid. We were curious what our liability would be if we resumed programs using vans or buses or if … Read more

An Insider’s Look at Fort Blakeley, with Mike Bunn

Fort Blakeley, in Spanish Fort, Alabama, may not be as famous as Shiloh or Gettysburg, but it remains one of the Civil War’s best preserved battlefields with important stories to tell. “Rarely do stories of national importance happen entirely ‘somewhere else,’” says Mike Bunn, director of operations of the 2,000-acre site. “By learning the specifics … Read more

10 Minutes with the Executive Director

2020 was a challenging year for everyone across the board, but for an organization like BGES, which relies heavily on in-person tours, the hit was especially hard. Barbara Noe Kennedy of the BGES Blog caught up with BGES Executive Director Len Riedel to discuss what’s in store for the organization after this tough year. Some … Read more

Fort Branch Interpretive Signs are Completed!

Fort Branch is a nearly forgotten Civil War site near Hamilton, North Carolina. Built in 1862 by the Confederate Army, the fort served to protect a nearby railway bridge considered a weak link in the “Lifeline of the Confederacy,” and it also protected the nearby construction site of the ironclad CSS Albemarle. BGES recently completed … Read more

Exciting Fort Branch Update—and an invitation

I am excited to update the membership of the Blue and Gray Education Society about the progress being made on our interpretive project at Fort Branch, North Carolina. As you may recall, BGES partnered with Fort Branch to create and install six large and 12 small signs at the fort to enhance the visitor experience. … Read more

How Confederates Helped Rebuild the Nation After the Civil War

After the Civil War, southerners were faced the challenge of reintegrating back into and moving forward to help rebuild their nation. Award-winning author Stephen M. “Sam” Hood, in his new book Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War, dives into the contributions of more than 300 Confederate soldiers, sailors, … Read more

How to Save A Battlefield, with Art Taylor

A native son of Virginia, born in Richmond “right in the shadow of Jeb Stuart,” Art Taylor was drawn to Confederate lore from an early age. “The Seven Days’ Battle culminated at my ancestor Watt’s house, with third grandmother Sally Watt being carried out as battle began,” he says. A former V-Dot employee, he’s a … Read more