Published on November 4, 2017

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Ted Alexander Ted Alexander retired from the National Park Service in 2016 after a career of over 30 years with the park service, including serving as chief historian at the Antietam National Battlefield. He is the author, editor or contributor to ten books on the Civil War and other aspects of American history. Ted is also the author of the book The Battle of Antietam: The Bloodiest Day and more than two hundred articles and book reviews for publications such as the Civil War Times, Blue and Gray, North and South and the Washington Times.

Edwin C. Bearss left the Army’s historical office in 1955 to become a historian at Vicksburg National Military Park. From 1958 to 1966 he remained at Vicksburg but reported to the Philadelphia regional office as regional research historian. He came to Washington as a research historian in 1966 and remained duty-stationed there after being reassigned to the Eastern Service Center in 1970 and the Denver Service Center in 1972. He served as chief historian from 1981 to 1994 and as special assistant to the director for military sites for an additional year. Upon his retirement in 1995 he was given the unique title of National Park Service Historian Emeritus. A renowned authority on the Civil War, he has devoted much of his attention to battlefield preservation and interpretation. As chief historian he played a key role in launching major battlefield preservation initiatives, and he remains a nationally prominent battlefield tour leader. He was also the first-ever recipient of the SVBF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was renamed in his honor.

Gary Ecelbarger is the author/co-author of 10 books with half of them dedicated to the Shenandoah Valley Campaign as well as over a dozen magazine articles and essays focused upon the the same theater. His book-length treatments of the battles of Kernstown, Front Royal and Winchester as well as his Blue & Gray Magazine General’s Tours of Cross Keys and Port Republic have all been widely acclaimed for thorough research and thought-provoking discoveries. A twenty-year veteran of Shenandoah Valley tours, Ecelbarger is also a charter and former board member of the Kernstown Battlefield Association and has aided in the historical interpretations of several regions of the Valley.

Dennis E. Frye is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.  Writer, lecturer, guide, and preservationist, Dennis is a prominent Civil War historian. Dennis has numerous appearances on PBS, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, C-SPAN, Fox News, A&E, and Voice of America as a guest historian. He helped produce Emmy award-winning television features on the Battle of Antietam, abolitionist John Brown, and Maryland during the Civil War. Dennis is one of the nation’s leading Civil War battlefield preservationists.  He is co-founder and first president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, and he is co-founder and a former president of today’s Civil War Trust, from whom he received the Trust’s highest honor – the Shelby Foote Award.  Dennis also earned the prestigious Nevins-Freeman Award for his lifetime achievements in the Civil War community. Dennis is a tour guide in demand, leading tours for organizations such as the Smithsonian, National Geographic, numerous colleges and universities, and Civil War Round Tables.  Dennis also is a well-known author, with 98 articles and nine books.   Harpers Ferry Under Fire received the national book of the year award from the Association of Partners for Public Lands; and September Suspense:  Lincoln’s Union in Peril, was awarded the 2012 Laney Book Prize for distinguished scholarship and writing on the military and political history of the war.  Dennis has written for prestigious Civil War magazines such as Civil War Times Illustrated, America’s Civil War, Blue & Gray Magazine, North and South Magazine, and Hallowed Ground, and as a guest contributor to the Washington Post.  Dennis resides near the Antietam Battlefield in Maryland, and he and his wife Sylvia have restored the home that was used by General Burnside as his post-Antietam headquarters.

Marc Leepson is a journalist, historian and the author of nine books, including Desperate Engagement, the story of the Civil War Battle of Monocacy and the Confederate attack on Washington, D.C (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2007).  His most recent book is Ballad of the Green Beret, a biography of Army Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler (Stackpole Books, 2017). His previous books include What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2014), Lafayette: Idealist General (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011), Flag: An American Biography (Thomas Dunne, 2005), the history of the Stars and Stripes from the beginnings to the 21st century (Thomas Dunne, 2005); and Saving Monticello (Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 2001; University of Virginia Press, paper, 2003). He edited The Webster’s New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War (Macmillan, 1998), and wrote two books on health topics in the 1980s.

Scott Mingus is a scientist and consultant in the paper industry, and holds patents in self-adhesive postage stamps and bar code labels. The Ohio native graduated from the paper science and engineering program at Miami University. He was part of the research team that developed the first commercially successful self-adhesive U.S. postage stamps. He has written nineteen Civil War and Underground Railroad books. His biography of Confederate General William “Extra Billy” Smith won multiple awards, including the Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize for Confederate History. He has also written several articles for Gettysburg Magazine, as well as for various historical journals.  Scott and his wife Debi live in York, Pa., and he maintains a blog on the Civil War history of York County ( He received the 2013 Heritage Profile Award from the York County Heritage Trust for his contributions to local Civil War history. He also has written six scenario books for Civil War miniature wargaming. His great-great-grandfather was a 15-year-old drummer boy in the 51st Ohio Infantry under General Sherman, and other family members fought at Antietam and Gettysburg.

Cdr. Craig Morin is s a retired Naval Officer and environmental consultant who lives in Houston, Texas. During his Navy career he served on active duty as well as in an active reserve capacity on both ashore and afloat commands for over 26 years before retiring as a Commander, Medical Service Corps, in 1992. As a consultant to the energy, chemical, shipbuilding, and heavy manufacturing industries, he has managed projects and assignments in West Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Scandinavia, North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  A student of the Civil War since early childhood, Craig was introduced to the war by his great grandmother over 66 years ago. He has identified nine direct ancestors that served in the Confederate army. Three of his Alabama ancestors served with Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corp, serving in campaigns in the Valley in 1863 and 1864. He is currently writing a book about his Alabama ancestors’ war-time experiences, an is the author of More Than a Name on a Wall, a book about a fellow Navy Corpsman who was killed in Viet Nam.

Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas is director of the McCormick Civil War Institute at Shenandoah University where he also teaches a variety of courses in Civil War era history. He is the author or editor of eleven books and has authored more than 100 articles, reviews, chapters, and essays for a variety of publications including Civil War History, Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, Blue & Gray, Hallowed Ground, and Civil War News.  He has also worked on a variety of public history projects with the National Park Service, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Civil War Trust, and served as a consultant for National Geographic’s documentary series “Civil Warriors.”  Additionally, he has appeared on NPR’s “With Good Reason” and C-SPAN’s American History TV. Prof. Noyalas is the recipient of numerous awards for his scholarship, teaching, and service including the highest honor that can ever be bestowed upon a professor at a public or private college or university in the Old Dominion–the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award.

Scott C. Patchan is a graduate of James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley. He is the author of many articles and books, including The Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont (1996), Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign (2007), Second Manassas: Longstreet’s Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge (2011), The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter’s Raid on Staunton (2011), and The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early and the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign (2013). He has also written feature essays for Blue and Gray Magazine on Cool Spring, Rutherford’s Farm and Second Kernstown; Third Battle of Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek and two volumes on Second Bull Run. He has also written extensively for Civil War Magazine, North South, America’s Civil War and other historical publications. Scott has twice served as President of Bull Run Civil War Round Table, a member of the Kernstown Battlefield Association’s board of directors from 2000-2014, and worked extensively on the interpretation of the Third Winchester battlefield for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation. He is currently editing the journal of Colonel Joseph Thoburn and continuing his work on the Valley Campaigns. He is also a much sought tour guide at both Civil War and Revolutionary War era sites from New York to Georgia.

Stephen Recker is a collector of rare Antietam photographs and relics. Items from his collection can be seen on battlefield waysides and in the newly renovated museum at Antietam National Battlefield, as well as in his book, Rare Images of Antietam, and the Photographers Who Took Them. Recker is a member of Antietam Battlefield Guides, a service he founded in partnership with WMIA, the non-profit at Antietam National Battlefield. He produced Virtual Gettysburg, a critically acclaimed interactive Civil War battlefield tour; Antietam Artifacts, a CD-ROM with images of rare postcards from the Maryland Campaign of 1862; and He began his professional career as a lead guitarist, recording and touring with Al Stewart, the Spencer Davis Group, Mary Wells, and Tommy Chong, and as technician for Ringo Starr, Kiss, Diana Ross, and Madonna. In multimedia, he produced for Apple Computer, Adobe, and the Smithsonian, and was named a “Top 100 Producer” by AV Multimedia Producer Magazine. He is currently a Senior Associate – Drupal Developer at ICF International in Fairfax, Virginia where is Lead Deeveloper on a  web site for the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Recker is a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

Jeffry D. Wert is the author of nine books on Civil War topics, including A Brotherhood of Valor: The Common Soldiers of the Stonewall Brigade, C. S. A. and the Iron Brigade, U. S. A., General James Longstreet: The Confederacy’s Most Controversial Soldier, Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer, Gettysburg – Day Three, The Sword of Lincoln, Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J.E.B. Stuart, A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee’s Triumph, 1862-1863, Mosby’s Rangers, and his pioneering study, From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864.  His articles and essays on the Civil War have appeared in many publications, including Civil War Times Illustrated, American History Illustrated, and Blue and Gray. A former history teacher at Penns Valley High School, he lives in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, slightly more than one hour from the battlefield at Gettysburg.