Scottsdale, Arizona

Program Schedule and Speakers

September 18th
Dr. Lesley Gordon - General George Pickett and Wife
Lesley J. Gordon, received her B.A. from the College of William and Mary, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. She is presently associate professor of history at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, and resides in Economy, Pennsylvania. Dr. Gordon is author of General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend (Chapel Hill, 1998), and co-editor of Intimate Strategies of the Civil War: Military Commanders and Their Wives (New York, 2003). Dr. Gordon is also series editor of Civil War in the North at Kent State University Press, and is currently completing a study of the 16th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

Lesley J. Gordon

Lesley J. Gordon (University of Akron)

George E. & LaSalle (Corbell) Pickett

October 16th
Colonel Keith E. Gibson - Throwing Away the Scabbard: The Virginia Military Institute in the Civil War
Colonel Gibson is Executive Director of Museum Programs and Architectural Historian for the Virginia Military Institute. As Director of Museum Programs, Colonel Gibson is responsible for the operation and development of the VMI Museum in Lexington, Virginia, and the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park in New Market, Virginia. Growing up near Richmond, Virginia, on land hotly contested during the Civil War kindled Keith Gibson’s interest in history at an early age. Colonel Gibson received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from VMI in 1977. After a brief tour of duty as a Naval Officer, Colonel Gibson returned to VMI as Curator of Exhibits for the VMI Museum. He prepared for a museum career with graduate work in Early American History at James Madison University and in Museum Studies with George Washington University, and by serving an internship at the Museum at Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1983. He was the founding director of the McBride Museum at the New Mexico Military Institute in 1984. Colonel Gibson has worked as a consultant on several historical documentary films, made-for-television films, and feature films, including Man, Moment, Machine (2006); Gods and Generals (2001-02), History’s Lost and Found (2000), Field of Lost Shoes (2000-01—winner of two PBS Emmys), Wicked Spring (2000), Civil War Journal (starting in 1993), The Johnson Whittaker Story (1993), Sommersby (1992), Gettysburg (1992), The Smithsonian’s Civil War (starting in 1990), and Dress Gray (1985). He appears frequently as a spokesperson for historic preservation on radio and Public Broadcasting television programs. In addition, he has written numerous book reviews and articles on the Civil War era and VMI. Colonel Gibson is author of The VMI Spirit: A Portrait of VMI, and is a contributing author of Crowd of Honorable Youths (1989), Forces of the British Empire (1992), and The Virginia Biography of History (1991). He wrote a new introduction and biographical sketch for the reprinting of Frances Smith’s History of Virginia Military Institute (1989) and The Corps Forward. His latest book, Moses Ezekiel: Civil War Soldier, Renowned Sculptor, was released in June 2007. Colonel Gibson is active in several professional organizations including the American Association of Museums and the Virginia Association of Museums. Colonel Gibson is a member of the board of The Historic Lexington Foundation and The Center for the Study of the Civil War. He has served as vice president of the Rockbridge Civil War Round Table, as a member of the board of the Virginia Association of Museums and of The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA/RAM), and two terms as president of the Rockbridge Historical Society.

Keith E. Gibson

VMI Museum
New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

VMI before the war (c. 1857) and after its destruction in June 1864 by Union Gen. David Hunter

November 20th
Dale Phillips - The Red River Campaign of 1864
A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, and holding a B.A. degree in American History from York College of Pennsylvania, Dale Phillips has worked for the National Park Service for 28 years. Assignments have included serving as an interpreter at Gettysburg and Fort Sumter, and as supervisory park ranger at Chickamauga/Chattanooga. Other duties have included being the unit manager of both the Chalmette Unit (Battle of New Orleans site) and the Acadian Unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, in Lafayette and Chalmette, Louisiana. For the last four years, Mr. Phillips has been superintendent of the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, Indiana.

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

January 15th
Ed Bearss - Booth’s Escape
One of the country’s foremost Civil War Historians, and described as a “walking encyclopedia of the Civil War,” Ed Bearss was with the U.S. National Park Service for 40 years. He is a celebrated tour guide, lecturer, and authority on all aspects of our Civil War. U.S. Park Historian Emeritus, he is the author of 15 books about the Civil War and the American West, and was a featured historian in the documentary The Civil War by filmmaker Ken Burns.

Edwin C. Bearss

Ed Bearss (Wikipedia)
The Remarkable Edwin C. Bearss (Civil War Studies)
John Wilkes Booth Escape Route (with Ed Bearss) (Civil War Studies)
Civil War Tours

February 19th
Howard Strouse - The Trent Affair: Lincoln Dodged a Bullet
Howard Strouse has been interested in history from boyhood. Throughout his travels in 22 countries and 48 states, he has always been interested in how things evolved and how our country grew and protected itself. A native of Ohio, he completed his undergraduate work at Columbia College and the University of Missouri, Kansas City, majoring in Criminal Justice, with a minor in history. His first Master’s Degree was in Criminal Justice and Law, the second in History and Government, both conferred with honors. Following tours in the Far East and Germany for the United States Army Intelligence Center, he resigned from the military to begin a career as a federal Special Agent with the Department of Defense. His final assignment, in a career that spanned 35 years, was as Chief of Industrial Personnel Security for all contractors doing business with the Department of Defense. He retired in 1999. Mr. Strouse has given presentations at universities, civil war round tables, libraries, social and fraternal organizations, and history seminars and events. He is a Civil War reenactor, portraying General Alpheus Williams (and sometimes, when his weight is trimmed, General George Meade). He is a member of the General Staff of the Blue and the Gray, an organization of individuals who portray various Civil War generals. He is a member and past General-in-Chief of the Columbus, Ohio, Civil War Round Table, and a member of two others. He is also an active member of the Lincoln Forum and the Civil War Education Association.

Howard Strouse

March 18th
Jack Thomson - Photographs of Charleston, South Carolina, During the Civil War
Author of Charleston At War, Jack Thomson is a local historical consultant whose expertise has benefited many restoration projects, and is an authority on the subject of the Civil War. A Civil War re-enactor since the 1960s, Jack’s ability to live in the past has rewarded him with several movie roles. Re-enacting has given him the capability of vividly narrating in the first person, so that you actually feel as if you have stepped back in time to experience Charleston, South Carolina, during the Civil War.

Jack Thomson

Civil War Walking Tour of Charleston

April 15th
Michael Kauffman - The American Brutus
Political historian Michael W. Kauffman is a well-known figure among Lincoln assassinations researchers. He has written numerous articles on the subject and has been a guide for the John Wilkes Booth Escape Route tours for more than 20 years. His writings have been published in Civil War Times, the Washington Post, American Heritage, Blue and Gray, and the Lincoln Herald. He has appeared on A&E, C-Span, The Learning Channel, the History Channel, and the Discovery Channel. In 1995 he testified as an expert witness before the Baltimore Circuit Court in the Booth exhumation hearings. He is the editor of Samuel B. Arnold’s Memoirs of a Lincoln Conspirator and more recently wrote American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies, winner of the Walt Whitman Award for the best Civil War related book of the year.

Michael W. Kauffman

American Brutus by Michael Kauffman (Surratt House Museum)
American Brutus (mp3 download) (Talking History)

May 20th
Frank O’Reilly - Lee: Marching Out of Step - From Lexington to Greatness
Graduating in 1987 with a B.A. in American History from Washington & Lee University, Frank O’Reilly worked for the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Virgina, and even guest lectured at Washington & Lee on Civil War topics while still an undergraduate. Joining the National Park Service in 1987 as a temporary historian at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, he later took a fulltime position at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Returning to Fredericksburg in 1990, Mr. O’Reilly filled the permanent historian’s position at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine, also serving as an historical consultant for the City of Fredericksburg and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Planning Commission. Having written numerous articles on the war in Virginia, and introductions to several books, including Phil Sheridan’s memoirs, the History Of The 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, and the 155th Pennsylvania’s Under the Maltese Cross, he has also released a book on the Fredericksburg Campaign titled Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg, in 1993. The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War On The Rappahannock was released by LSU Press in the fall of 2002. O’Reilly has also appeared in several video documentaries, including Civil War Journal.

Frank A. O’Reilly

Stonewall Jackson Shrine (Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania NMP)
Civil War Tours