A Peek into BGES’ Novice Tours, with Len Riedel

BGES Blog: In 2020 you are offering two novice tours, Civil War 101: The Gettysburg Campaign; and Revolutionary War 101: Boston/Lexington/Concord. Normally your tours take deep dives into little known aspects of history. What is the thinking behind these novice offerings? LR: Well, hi Barbara, you sure cut right to the point, don’t you? The … Read more

An Interview With Sam Hood

As an award-winning author and the collateral descendant of a much-maligned Civil War figure, Sam Hood knows that retelling our nation’s history accurately often requires digging a little deeper. In fact, part of his impetus for writing John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General was to set the record straight … Read more

Life of a Civil War Reenactor

BGES Treasurer Laurence Schiller retired in 2016 from his “real-life” profession at Northwestern University as history professor and the second winningest fencing coach in NCAA history. Interestingly, those jobs fit nicely into the broader scope of what Laurie loves to do—and continues to do: Reenact. He’s been a full-blown Civil War reenactor since 1994, typically … Read more

Five Questions: The Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, with Norm Dasinger, Jr.

In the midst of Civil War, both armies sought to control Chattanooga, the gateway to the Confederacy, and so they came to clash in the summer of 1863 at a nearby creek called Chickamauga. The Confederates won, and so they met again, this time at Chattanooga. The Confederates nearly dominated again … and then entered … Read more

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates: An Interview with Winston Groom

American originals come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Some are flesh and blood, and walk among us. Others are the product of a vivid and boundless imagination. Bestselling author and BGES member Winston Groom is undoubtedly one of the former. His most famous character, Forrest Gump, is one of the latter. Fortunately for … Read more

BGES Members Making a Difference: Bryan Hagan

The Civil War era—and all of American history, for that matter—has had its fair share of colorful characters. For BGES member Bryan Hagen, this undeniable fact is one of the things that makes the study of our nation’s past so fascinating. And it’s even more fun for him when he gets to be “in character.” … Read more

Five Questions: The Virginia Campaign of 1781, with Richard Britton

The Revolutionary War wrapped up in Virginia, with the French assisting the Colonists in defeating the British at Yorktown. The final steps leading up to this final American/French victory—including why British Gen. Charles, Lord Cornwallis was there in the first place—are explored on an upcoming BGES tour, The Virginia Campaign of 1781, slated for November … Read more

BGES Members Making a Difference: Parker Hills

Perhaps no one has done more to interpret and preserve Mississippi’s complicated Civil War past than Magnolia State native Parker Hills. A military veteran, Hills served for more than three decades in active and reserve roles, retiring as a brigadier general, Mississippi Army National Guard. Fittingly, it was during a military staff ride more than thirty … Read more

BGES Members Making a Difference: Kimble Johnson

  The Battle of Shiloh raged on April 6 and 7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. It remains the seventh bloodiest battle of the Civil War, and the nineteenth bloodiest battle in all of American history. Monuments to the battle began being erected in 1902, with fifteen total soon honoring the service and sacrifice of different … Read more