My first tour with Len Riedel (Forlorn Outposts: War in the Southeast, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) was awesome! A unique perspective, following in the footsteps of the USCT soldiers that fought in the under-explored campaign in the southeast. Stephen Wise is a walking Civil War encyclopedia and both he and Len made the trip unbelievable with outstanding narration and visits to places I’ve only read about. Can’t wait for the next tour.
Frank DuFour, South Carolina
Great tour this past weekend, Len. No other tour group goes where you go or does it as well as you do. And believe me, it comes hard giving praise to a VMI guy. But again, well done, as usual.
Kim Johnson, Mississippi
This tour was something quite different – it had an extra dimension through the extraordinary level of expertise of the guide, Neil Mangum. The whole thing came alive through Neil’s in-depth knowledge and his ability to share it in a totally enthralling way. In addition to this, … Len & Karl Riedel were exceptional.
Mike Blake, England
What is special about BGES Tours? The prescience of outstanding historians or seeing sites not normally available to the public are wonderful. But my answer would be the special moments that make up the trip. The company of a knowledgeable and affable historian. Your fellow travelers bring knowledge and friendship. Len Riedel and his cohorts lead with flexibility without missing the salient sites. I can sum up by saying it’s a community and atmosphere you want to belong to.
Stanley Spector, New York
Two things. First, I did a monograph on the evolution of Federal cavalry tactics for BGES in 2001. It was a great opportunity, and I thank BGES and Len Riedel for the willingness to publish works on topics that are new and unexplored. It is an important way that BGES adds to the collective knowledge of the American Civil War and has been a material benefit to its members. Second, Why have I been a long-term sponsor of BGES? I have been a monthly donor to BGES for over 20 years because it is possibly unique amongst Civil War groups in that it interprets the Civil War through tours and signage. The ACW is a seminal event in the history of the United States and critical to an understanding of how this country has developed since that conflict. As an historian, I feel that it is incumbent upon me to help support the on-going education of the American public about an event that is still relevant to current American society. BGES picks up where the National Park Service leaves off in the historical interpretation of the ACW period.
Laurence Dana Schiller, Evanston, Illinois
We have enjoyed every BGES tour we’ve ever been on, particularly Charleston and Vicksburg. Maybe it’s the depth of historical facts that are presented or getting to visit many of the out-of-the-way places that are so important to the interpretation of the story. Thank you for the Mosby tour. We hope you offer a Franklin tour again soon.
Carl and Jeanette Christman, Wichita, Kansas
BGES has filled a unique role in the pursuit of Civil War history education by devoting tens of thousands of dollars to interpreting battlefields, many of which enjoyed little if any interpretation. Under the dedicated leadership of Len Riedel and the boards of directors that have served with him, BGES has helped the public appreciate land that others have preserved. Acquiring land is only a means to the true end of battlefield preservation. Making that preserved land accessible and meaningful is the true objective of preservation. BGES for 25 years has done a superb job in this regard and I congratulate Len and his team on a quarter century of accomplishment.
A. Wilson Greene
To sum it all up: When other tour groups go astray/Put your money on Blue and Gray.
Carl Gaffin, always a fan!
Thank you very much for your very informative newsletter and the report on the progress of the BGES. It is remarkable to see how much you accomplish on a shoestring. You ought to be commended, except that I am now 90 years old and don’t do much commending or anything else these days. I am enclosing a check which I will do for the foreseeable future as a gesture of support for your fine work. Once again congratulations on your accomplishments.”
Very Truly yours; Jerry Spier
Congratulations for producing another fine tour! I thought it was EXCELLENT & I know everyone else did also. I also really enjoyed our group discussion that one evening in our hotel’s lounge when you discussed with us Confederate overall strategy, including details involving Gen. Magruder. I did not know a lot of that which you told us of & found it highly interesting. Doug Waters