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Historian Bios

Annual Conference

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

A group of elite historians will be joining us at the Annual Conference, leading Tours and History Tallks. You will also have the chance to meet and speak with many of these historians and authors.

« Annual Conference Main | Tour Descriptions | History Talks

 Garry E. Adelman

A graduate of Michigan State University and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Garry Adelman is the award-winning author, co-author or editor of 20 books and 30 articles on the Civil War. He is the vice president of the Center for Civil War Photography and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg for 20 years. He has appeared on numerous productions shown on the BBC, C-Span, Pennsylvania Cable Network and on HISTORY, where, most recently, he was the chief consultant for “Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color.” Since 2010, he has been the director of history and education at the Civil War Trust, leading efforts to provide high quality educational materials for classroom use and develop groundbreaking techniques for on-site and digital battlefield interpretation.

Kent Masterson Brown

Kent Masterson Brown is an attorney based in Lexington, Ky. He is the author of many acclaimed books including: The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State and Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign. His 1993 book, Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander was used as the basis for the posthumous award of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing by President Obama. As President and Content Developer for Witnessing History, LLC, Brown has written, hosted and produced a number of DVD documentaries, including Unsung Hero: The Horse in the Civil War, which won a Telly award and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He was the first chairman of both the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission, appointed by President George Herbert Walker Bush, and the Perryville Battlefield Commission. He served on the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Board of Directors of the Gettysburg Foundation, and is currently the President of the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable.

Doug Douds

Doug Douds is a Marine Colonel, a professor at the U.S. Army War College, and a Licensed Battlefield Guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park. He holds history and political science degrees from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in strategic studies. A fighter/attack pilot by trade and a graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun), he also has served as a strategist and senior speech writer for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He is particularly interested in immersive historic leadership education, and he regularly leads corporate executives, think tanks, military units, universities, athletic teams, federal government entities, and embassy staffs on leadership excursions through Gettysburg, Antietam, Vicksburg, Normandy, Sicily, and Pearl Harbor. Presently, he is completing his doctorate in military history focusing on the commanding generals’ staffs and principal advisors during the Gettysburg Campaign. He lives in Gettysburg with his wife and sons.

Charlie Fennell

Charlie Fennell, a native of western Pennsylvania, became interested in the Civil War at a very early age and leveraged his love of the American history into undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees from Frostburg State College, Clarion State College and West Virginia University, respectively. Fennell is a frequent lecturer at various Civil War Round Tables, participates in National Park seminars events for Friends of the Foundation at Gettysburg National Military Park. He is the author of numerous journal articles and a chapter a collegiate-level military textbook. Fennell has been an adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College Gettysburg Campus since 1990 and a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg for the 27 years. He and his wife of 32 years, Joleen, have three grown children and live in Hanover. Pa.

Jared Frederick

Jared Frederick is an instructor of history at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona. For five years, he served as a seasonal park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park, among other duties with the National Park Service. The author of several books and articles, his newest work, Images of Modern America: Gettysburg National Military Park, will be released in June 2016. A proponent of public history, he is involved in many historical organizations and has been a member of the Civil War Trust since age 12. Learn more on his website and blog at

Troy Harman

Troy Harman has worked as a National Park Service ranger since 1984, including assignments at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, Independence National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Military Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site, and Gettysburg National Military Park. He also teaches in the history department at Penn State University, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in history at Lehigh University. He has published numerous articles and essays, appeared in televised videos and presented his book, Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg, in 20 states.

Scott Hartwig

Scott Hartwig retired from the National Park Service in 2014, after a 34-year career, including two decades as Gettysburg’s supervisory historian. He won the NPS regional Freeman Tilden Award for Excellence in Interpretation in 1993, and was fundamental in the growth of many Gettysburg programs, ranging from on-site interpretation and living history programming, to distance and satellite education, to design of the new Gettysburg museum/visitor center. Hartwig has authored numerous articles, essays and books on Civil War subjects, and has appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and Pennsylvania Cable Network. He is currently working on a book covering the Battle of Antietam and its aftermath, a sequel to 2012’s To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign from September 3 to September 1.

James Hessler

James Hessler is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park. His 2009 book, Sickles at Gettysburg, was awarded the R.E. Lee Civil War Round Table’s Bachelder Coddington Award and the Gettysburg Civil War Round Table's Distinguished Book Award as the most outstanding work on the Gettysburg Campaign. His most recent book, Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, was co-authored with Wayne Motts and released in 2015. Jim has been a guest on NPR, Travel Channel, PCN-TV, Breitbart News, and Civil War Radio. He is a popular author and speaker at civil war round tables who has taught courses for the Gettysburg Foundation and Harrisburg (PA) Area Community College. He lives in Gettysburg with his wife and children.

John D. Hoptak

A native of Schuylkill County, Pa., John D. Hoptak is a currently employed as an interpretive ranger at the Gettysburg National Military Park, having previously spent eight seasons at the Antietam National Battlefield. He holds a master's degree in history from Lehigh University and is the author of several books, including The Battle of South Mountain, Confrontation at Gettysburg, Antietam: September 17, 1862, and First in Defense of the Union. His articles have appeared in such publications as Civil War Times, America's Civil War, and Pennsylvania Heritage. A frequent lecturer at Roundtables, Historical Societies, and other venues, Hoptak has also appeared on various television documentaries, including on an upcoming American Heroes Channel series.

Lawrence Keener-Farley

Lawrence Keener-Farley is a graduate of York College, Shippensburg University, Temple University and Widener University. During his career, Dr. Keener-Farley worked for Harrisburg Area Community College, Alice Lloyd College, York College, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Civil War Museum. Now retired, he is a volunteer historian at the Gettysburg National Military Park museum. He also serves on the boards of directors of the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, the Cumberland County Historical Society and the Camp Curtin Historical Society. He is the dance master of the Civil War Dance Foundation, the Civil War Trust’s 2011 Reenactment Unit of the Year.

Wayne E. Motts

Wayne E. Motts has been the CEO of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pa., since 2012. He has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg for 28 years, and spent eight years as the executive director of the Adams County Historical Society. A frequent lecture and presenter, Motts is the author of the only published biography of Confederate General Lewis A. Armistead and the co-author (with James Hessler) of the only published tour guide of Pickett’s Charge titled Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg: A Guide to the Most Famous Attack in American History.

Dr. Carol Reardon

Dr. Carol Reardon is the George Winfree Professor of American History at Pennsylvania State University, where she specializes in military history with an emphasis on its political and social contexts. For the 2015–2016 academic year, she serves as the University Laureate, an honorary position for a faculty member in the humanities or arts who will represent Penn State and community events to bring an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences. She is the author of the award-winning Pickett's Charge in History and Memory (1997) and co-author of A Field Guide to Gettysburg (2013). Dr. Reardon was the first woman to win election to the presidency of the Society for Military History.

David L. Richards

David L. Richards was born and reared in the shadow of the Alleghany Mountains of North-Central Pennsylvania. Twenty-one years after a life-changing visit to Gettysburg at age seven, he placed fourth out of more than 100 applicants on the rigorous examination to qualify as a Licensed Battlefield Guide. During his career, Richards has given tours for, or been a guest lecturer at, numerous high profile organizations and introduced tens of thousands of students to the story of the American Civil War. After decades of research, Richards is considered an authority on Pennsylvania Civil War units and soldiers that served from the Lycoming County vicinity and he contributes essays and book reviews to Blue & Gray Magazine. He is currently researching, for publication, a history of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

Timothy H. Smith

Timothy H. Smith is a native of Baltimore and a lifelong student of the American Civil War. He is employed as a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park and a research historian at the Adams County Historical Society in Gettysburg. He is a frequent lecturer at seminars and Civil War Round Tables and is the author of numerous articles and ten books on Gettysburg related topics.

Richard J. Sommers

Richard J. Sommers served for more than 43 years at the U.S. Army Military History Institute/U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. Even after nominally “retiring” as the Senior Historian of the Center in January of 2014, he continues teaching in the U.S. Army War College, writing about the Civil War, and speaking to Civil War groups across the nation. He has published over 100 books, articles, chapters, entries, and reviews on the Civil War. His most recent book – the expanded, revised, 150th Anniversary edition of Richmond Redeemed: the Siege at Petersburg – was honored by the Army Historical Foundation with a Distinguished Writing Award as the best expanded reprint book of 2014. In May, 2015, he was designated a Distinguished Fellow of the U.S. Army War College, an honor accorded to only 1 percent of the approximately 3,400 faculty who have taught at that institution since 1950. A graduate of Carleton College with a doctorate from Rice University, he was born and raised in suburban Chicagoland. He and his wife, Tracy, reside in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Chuck Teague

Dr. Charles Teague is now in his 14th season as an NPS Ranger at Gettysburg, following several retirements (he was an attorney, lieutenant colonel, and senior pastor before entering his current role in public history). He has been president of the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable and Historic Gettysburg Adams County, as well as secretary and historian for the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania. His publications include Gettysburg By the Numbers and Masters of the Field at Gettysburg. You may contact him at

Daniel Carroll Toomey

Daniel Carroll Toomey is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the author of ten books including The Civil War in Maryland, Marylanders at Gettysburg and The Maryland Line Confederate Soldiers Home, as well as the co-author of Baltimore During the Civil War and Marylanders in Blue. He has lectured for a number of historical organizations, the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution. He serves on the Maryland Military Monuments Commission and was project historian for the Maryland Memorial erected at Gettysburg in 1994. Mr. Toomey has won numerous awards for his historical research and exhibits and is currently guest curator at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum for its five-year project, “The War Came by Train,” commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Eric J. Wittenberg

Eric J. Wittenberg, a native of southeastern Pennsylvania, was educated at Dickinson College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He manages the litigation practice at Cook, Sladoje & Wittenberg Co., L.P.A. Wittenberg is the author of 18 published books on the Civil War, and has won several awards for his work. His specialty is cavalry operations, with a particular emphasis on mounted operations in the Gettysburg Campaign. He frequently works with the Civil War Trust on various preservation projects, was a member of the Governor of Ohio’s Advisory Commission on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and is a past president of the Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable. He, his wife Susan, and their three golden retrievers live in Columbus, Ohio.

Rev. Mr. George Wunderlich

George Wunderlich is currently the Assistant Director for Human Formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg Maryland. Formerly he held the position the Executive Director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine where he had held the position of Director of Education. George came to Museum in 2000 after moving from Missouri where he was Founder and Director of the Historical Education Center of St. Louis. In 1995 Mr. Wunderlich was awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution National Medal of Honor for his work in public history. Since then he has developed historically-based medical leadership training programs for the Joint Medical Executive Skills Institute, The United State Army Medical Department (AMEDD) the Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and various other civilian and governmental organizations. In 2011 he was awarded the Order of Military Medical Merit by Army Surgeon General Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker for his support of military medicine. He is a nationally known speaker on various Civil War topics and can be regularly seen on the History Channel, PBS, National Geographic and the British Broadcasting Corporation. He is currently working on the new PBS series Mercy Street as technical and on-set historical advisor.

  • Conference Events: Guest Speaker at Thursday night's reception and dinner

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