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

BGES Members Making a Difference: Mike Sheriff

Few things give Mike Sheriff as much joy as pulling on one of his authentic hand-sewn period military uniforms. The beauty of the carefully stitched details. The feel of the heavy woven fabric draped over his shoulders. The shine of leather straps, and the distinguished look of his hat. “Any day you wear wool is … Read more

Tour Talk: Sheridan Recovers the Valley, with Gary Ecelbarger and Scott Patchana

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Perhaps Ulysses S. Grant had this thought in mind in the summer of 1864. That’s when the Army’s Commanding General appointed the diminutive—and, as of yet, unproven—Philip Sheridan to lead the Union’s forces in the Shenandoah … Read more

BGES Members Making a Difference: Bill McKinnon

Simone de Beauvoir, the noted French philosopher and activist, once said, “History is a great cemetery.” But you could just as easily argue the opposite, that a cemetery is great history. BGES member and retired surgeon Bill McKinnon certainly sees it that way. For more than two decades, he has made it his mission to … Read more

Tour Talk: On Sacred Grounds, with Neil Mangum

If timing is everything in life, then perhaps it’s no surprise that the Indian Wars are so often overlooked in the annals of U.S. history. Wedged between the close of the Civil War and Custer’s last stand at Little Bighorn, this fascinating 10-year period saw awful bloodshed throughout the Northwest as white settlers tested the … 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

The Overland Campaign Part 1, with Gordon Rhea

In the annals of classic military confrontations, the Overland Campaign stands out as a clash of the titans. And it was for sure, as Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee matched wits for the first time in a grueling six-week battle for precious Virginia territory. But as BGES member and noted historian Gordon Rhea … Read more