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Historian Bios

Annual Conference

Chattanooga, Tennessee

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

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.


Keith Bohannon

As a professor of history at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga., Keith Bohannon frequently teaches classes related to the Civil War and Reconstruction, and U.S. Southern History. In addition to penning numerous essays in scholarly and popular publications, he is the co-author of two books: Campaigning with Old Stonewall in Virginia: The Letters of Ujanirtus Allen, Company F, 21st Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry and Hallowed Banners: Historic Flags in the Georgia Capitol Collection. Bohannon has extensive experience leading tours of Civil War battlefields, including Chickamauga. He is a National Park Service veteran, having served as historian at Chickamauga and Chattanooga NHP, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, as well as a one-time preservation planner for the American Battlefield Protection Program.


Michael R. Bradley

A native of the Fayetteville, Tenn.-area, Michael R. Bradley attended Samford University for his bachelor’s degree, before pursuing a Masters of Divinity at New Orleans Seminary, and a master’s degree and doctorate from Vanderbilt University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the Civil War period, particularly the Tullahoma Campaign and wartime life in the Middle Tennessee region. For the 36 years before his 2006 retirement, Dr. Bradley taught United States History at Motlow College, a Tennessee Board of Regents junior college near Tullahoma, receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and National Sciences Foundation, as well as a fellowship from Johns Hopkins University, during his tenure. He has also served as pastor or interim pastor of four Presbyterian churches in Middle Tennessee.


Mark Brainard

A child of the Civil War centennial–era, Mark Brainard became hooked on period railroad history when the already train-obsessed five-year-old first saw and rode behind the locomotive "General," in 1962. Despite holding a degree in business, his passion continued as he travelled the South’s antebellum rail lines, working on steam locomotive restorations and operations. Gradually, his focus tightened on the study of Chattanooga’s railroad history, particularly during the Civil War, a topic about which he has been interviewed on C-Span and lectured at numerous round tables, museums and historical societies.


Peter Cozzens

All 17 of the critically acclaimed books on the American Civil War and American West by retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer Peter Cozzens have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, History Book Club, and/or the Military Book Club. Two titles, This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga and The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga, were chosen by Civil War Magazine as two of the 100 greatest works ever written on the conflict. His latest book, The Earth is Weeping: The Indian Wars for the American West was named one of the Best Books 2016 by and the American Library Association; it has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Research for a biography of Chief Tecumseh to be published by Knopf is currently underway.


A. Wilson Greene

Recently retired as executive director of Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier following a 17-year tenure, Will Greene is also the former president and CEO of one of the Trust’s predecessor organizations, the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites.  He served sixteen years with the National Park Service at a variety of historic sites and holds degrees in history from Florida State University and Louisiana State University. Greene is a frequent lecturer and study leader for the Smithsonian Institution, the Blue and Gray Education Society and he has spoken to more than 100 Civil War Round Tables and provided more than 50 tours to special interest history groups. He has completed more than 30 Civil War and Southern history publications, and is currently under contract with the University of North Carolina Press, to write a three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign with an expected publication date of 2018–22.


Parker Hills

After serving almost 32 years in active and reserve components, Parker Hills retired as a brigadier general from the Mississippi Army National Guard in 2001. He owns Battle Focus, a leadership training company, and trains soldiers, Marines, airmen, tourists, and corporate leaders. He has served as president of Friends of the Vicksburg Campaign and Historic Trail and the Friends of Raymond, as well as chair of the Mississippi Civil War Battlefield Commission and the Mississippi Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.  He is the author of numerous volumes, including: A Study in Warfighting: Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads; and Vicksburg: Art of Commemoration


James Ogden

Throughout his 34-year NPS career — almost three decades of which has been spent as chief historian at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park — James Ogden has led hundreds of public battlefield tours and lectured widely as one of the leading experts on the Civil War and the Western Theater. He has also served as a Staff Ride instructor for more than 400 groups of U.S. Army officers at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Battlefields, and has taught several relevant courses for the Continuing Education Department of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  He has coordinated on numerous television programs and received prominent awards for his contributions to Civil War history and preservation


David A. Powell

A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (1983) with a BA in history, David A. Powell has published numerous articles and battle simulations in various magazines. For the past decade, David's focus has been the epic battle of Chickamauga, and he is nationally recognized for his tours of that important battlefield and his books on the subject: The Maps of Chickamauga (2009,) Failure in the Saddle (2010,) and Chickamauga trilogy published between 2014–2016. David and his wife Anne live and work in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Ill., where he is vice president of Airsped, Inc., a specialized delivery firm.


William Glenn Robertson

Suffolk, Va.-native William Glenn Robertson was educated at the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia before embarking on a 10-year teaching career at Hampton Institute, Hampden-Sydney College, the University of New Mexico, and Fort Lewis College. He joined the US Army’s Combat Studies Institute as researcher/teacher in 1981 and spent 30 years in variety of leadership positions, ultimately retiring as director in August 2011. Robertson is the author of two major Civil War works: Back Door to Richmond: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign, April-June 1864, and The First Battle for Petersburg: The Attack and Defense of the Cockade City, June 9, 1864, as well as the US Army’s doctrinal publication The Staff Ride. He is completing a definitive study of the Campaign of Chickamauga for the University of North Carolina Press.


Gregory Wade

Franklin resident Gregory Wade has been so active in work to reclaim that once-lost battlefield — including his work to found the Franklin Civil War Round Table in 2008 — that he was named Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association preservationist of the year in 2015. A staff writer for Civil War News, he has also been written for a variety of historical publications, including Sea Classics and North and South, plus a monthly column on the Civil War for the Franklin Home Page. He 2014 historical novel Broken Valley, was inspired by the research for his popular “Divided Allegiances” presentation, delving into how residents of East Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau faced difficulties and wanton crime throughout the war.


Brian Steel Wills

As the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., Brian Steel Wills is responsible for leading tours, offering lectures, and conducting programs. He is also the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War, including biographies of Confederate generals Nathan Bedford Forrest and William Dorsey Pender, and an award-winning study of Union general George Henry Thomas.  He has also written about the Civil War in Virginia and in the movies. When he isn’t teaching and working in Kennesaw, the University of Richmond and University of Georgia alumnus spends time on his Virginia farm Virginia.

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