Members Making a Difference: Greg Mertz

Upon completing a phone interview with BGES member Greg Mertz, you are immediately struck by two thoughts. First, despite an illustrious career in the National Parks system, including more than two decades as the Supervisory Historian at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park (FRSP), Mertz might have missed his calling. His rich, distinctive voice and … Read more

Field Report 1: A Historian’s Reflection on the First Day of Gettysburg

The Blue and Gray Education Society sponsored “A Historian’s Reflection on the First Day of Gettysburg” on July 9-11, 2021. What a great experience, especially with all the unexpected problems that occurred. Fortunately, Len Riedel and Scott Hartwig managed to overcome and provided a first-class experience. We had our preparatory lecture on Friday, July 9, … Read more

Tour Talk: “Washington’s Desperate Gambit”

This coming October, longtime friends Gary Ecelbarger and Scott Patchan will team up once again for a BGES tour. But this time around, the duo will turn their attention to the Revolutionary War with “Washington’s Desperate Gambit,” slated for October 13–17, 2021. Ecelbarger sees it as a golden opportunity for BGES members. “I’m certain they … Read more

Book Review: Hope and Glory: Essays on the Legacy of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment

Hope & Glory: Essays on the Legacy of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment Edited by Martin Blatt, Thomas J. Brown, and Donald Yacovone, foreword by Gen. Colin Powell (University of Massachusetts Press, 2001) They were not the first, but they were arguably the most famous black regiment in United States military history. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry … Read more

Trip Report: All’s Fair in War: Streight’s Raid and Forrest’s Bluff

Over the weekend of June 25 to 27, 2021, I had the opportunity to join Dr. Brian Steel Wills and Norman Dasinger, Jr. for Blue & Gray Education Society’s tour of Streight’s Raid, from Eastport, Mississippi to Cedar Bluff, Alabama. It was my first time to join a BGES tour and it was an amazing … Read more

Civil War Sites in Ohio

The Ohio River served as the dividing line between the North and South in middle America, with Ohio offering freedom and opportunity to refugee enslaved individuals. Ohio also served as an important political calculation for President Abraham Lincoln, who understood the importance of Ohio (and neighboring Indiana) as the South closed off economic traffic downriver. … Read more

Tour Talk: Darryl Smith discusses “Civil War on the Ohio”

Darryl Smith may be new to BGES, but he’s a grizzled veteran when it comes to Civil War history in Ohio and Kentucky. The owner of Walking With History, Smith will host his first BGES tour later this summer, focusing on the often-overlooked battles waged along the Ohio River. “Civil War on the Ohio” runs … Read more

BGES Members Making a Difference: Dan Rush

“Oh, the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home.” That enduring lyric holds particular meaning for BGES member Dan Rush. His family roots reach deep into the fertile soil of the Bluegrass State, quite literally. His ancestors settled in Kentucky in the 1700s and farmed the land from the time they arrived. As an … Read more

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

Tour Talk: A Reset of “A Weekend with Historian Dennis Frye, John Brown, and Stonewall Jackson”

In the game of baseball, an error by the first baseman is scored an E-3. In the world of BGES, a tour hosted by Dennis Frye is identified in the opposite way, 3-E, as in educational, entertaining, and energizing. This summer, Frye will be back at it with “A Weekend with Historian Dennis Frye, John … Read more