As True as Steel: The Story of Elusive George Thomas

Historians might describe Gen. George Thomas as something of a cipher. He is the man in the plain blue uniform who comes to a party and yet no one remembers his arrival or departure. Thomas was in the thick of numerous battles: Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga and Atlanta, Stones River and Mill Springs, Peachtree … Read more

Historian Talk: Scott Hartwig and the Allure of Gettysburg

Scott Hartwig is a popular historian for BGES, and while he has spent his career at Gettysburg working for the National Park Service, his interest and scholarship is at Antietam. He has been working on the definitive campaign study in two volumes for the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Volume One was published by Johns Hopkins Press … Read more

Shattering the Revisionist Myths of Shiloh, with Hank Koopman

Hank Koopman wants to correct decades of inaccuracies and revisionism in the various accounts of the two-day battle at Shiloh in April 1862. He has spent 20 years pursuing in-depth research, and he doesn’t mince words. Perhaps his great-great-grandfather’s suffering as a prisoner—he was captured with General Prentiss in the Hornets’ Nest at Shiloh—explains his … Read more

A Forgotten Sketchbook Rediscovered

The art of bringing news of the battle, words and pictures intertwined, began with the very first war correspondents and special artists during the mid-19th century. Acclaimed war illustrators such as Alfred Waud and painter Winslow Homer captured the public’s ravenous attention for news of the war, as did the early photojournalists Timothy O’Sullivan and Andrew … 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

Tour Talk: Paul Severance Discusses Fredericksburg

The BGES Blog never misses an opportunity to talk with Paul Severance. An Army veteran, he is an acknowledged expert on Gettysburg and a living history enthusiast. Severance has hosted several BGES tours, and was originally scheduled to lead another, “A Walking Tour of the Battle of Fredericksburg,” in December—thanks to Covid-19 it’s been rescheduled … Read more

BGES Members Making a Difference: Vice Admiral James Sagerholm

Perhaps the most difficult race in track & field is the 400-meter, or quarter-mile. It requires a combination of speed and endurance that pushes the human body to its physical limitations. There also is a psychological component. Competitors do not ease into the 400-meter. They achieve full speed as quickly as possible and then push … Read more

A Cannon for Fort Clinch

Sometimes it takes a village. That was the case seven years ago when Fort Clinch, located on a peninsula near the northernmost point of Amelia Island in Florida, got a full-scale operating 10-pounder Parrott Rifle artillery piece. Built in 1847, the fort was part of the “Third System Fortifications” that gained prominence after the War … Read more

Tour Talk: Tim Smith Discusses “Grant Moves South”

U. S. Grant

As we’ve all come to realize, because of the worldwide pandemic, the summer of 2020 will be remembered for the events and activities that didn’t happen. Included on this list is the BGES tour, “Grant Moves South, A Star Ascends in the West,” which has been rescheduled for July 2022. It was to be Tim … Read more

The Art of Sign Making

Unless you traffic in oxymorons, concise and historian are two words that aren’t often seen in the same sentence, much less paired together. That’s what makes BGES member Michael Beard such a rare breed. In a career that has spanned more than 40 years, he has served as a teacher, researcher, site interpreter, preservationist, and … Read more