BGES Updated Mission Statement

Sheridan and his generals.
The BGES Board of Directors recently undertook the process of evaluating our corporate documents as part of the process of updating our Strategic Plan and the operational parameters of the organization. The mission statement was approved by video conference in late July and is shared here for your consideration. Words mean things, and you can and should read between the lines as this provides the range and limitations of what the BGES will do in its operational mission. Maj. Gen. Bill Terpeluk, US Army Retired, is the head of the BGES Strategic Planning group.

The Blue and Gray Education Society is dedicated to the preservation of the legacy of the American Civil War and related events by the objective study and understanding of its battlefields and other historic sites. It provides engaging platforms through the conduct of field study tours and seminars, collaborative evaluation and publication of scholarly research and writings, sponsorship of interpretative projects, and open discussion of issues relating to the case for preserving its sites and artifacts. Its members and larger community actively promote the value and significance of the role of the American Civil War in the greater perspective of U.S. and world history.

Take another look at our website and see if you can figure out what we are doing and have done. I believe you will find us a very focused and mission-oriented organization, and that is what you are supporting. If you are not a member, you can join at
—Len Riedel
Executive Director

Stepping Up Our Game with Medford

For more than 20 years, the BGES and the Medford Historical Society (MHS) have collaborated to digitize the priceless Gen. Samuel Crocker Lawrence Photographic Collection owned by MHS. Recently the digitization was completed, and now one of the nation’s premiere 19th-century photographic collections is available to review 24/7 from the privacy of your own home. While … Read more

Book Review: The Last Siege: The Mobile Campaign, Alabama 1865

The Last Siege, The Mobile Campaign, Alabama 1865 by Paul Brueske (Casemate Press 2018), $32.95 Twenty-three years ago, BGES obtained a ABPP Grant to conduct a Preservation Conference for the Mobile Campaign. Having spent some time to organize, conduct, and write a report, I was fairly familiar with the key sites related to the campaign … 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

BGES Members Making a Difference: Tim Talbott

Like many Civil War enthusiasts, BGES member Tim Talbott’s interest in America’s most transformative event is a family affair. Indeed, his love of history was driven by his parents and grandparents. Today, it plays out in his role as Director of Education, Interpretation, Visitor Services & Collections at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum … Read more

Tour Talk: Dennis Frye and Harpers Ferry

If you’re not a believer in fate, then Dennis Frye’s amazing life journey may be somewhat lost on you. For the rest of us—including Frye himself—his story is a case study in the compelling power of destiny. “I agree one thousand percent,” he says. Frye, a longtime supporter and faculty member for BGES, was slated … Read more

Book Review: The British Are Coming

      The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775–1777 (the Revolution Trilogy) by Rick Atkinson (Henry Holt Press, 2019) $40. I love a single malt scotch and my favorite is GlenFarclas 105. It is hard to come by and I savor every single drink—I could drink it every day, … Read more

BGES Members Making a Difference: Scott Williams

Since the day he was born, Scott Williams has known no other home than Virginia—specifically Chesterfield County in the Richmond area. But Williams, a BGES member for nearly a decade, admits that familiarity didn’t necessarily breed appreciation. In fact, in 1996, when he began working for the county as a mapping technician, he came to … Read more