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The Grand Review is by invitation only, open to all Brigade, Division, Corps and National Color Bearers, as well as Founding Color Bearers.

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Historian Bios

Grand Review

Atlanta, Georgia

A group of elite historians will be joining us at the Grand Review, leading our tours.

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 Charlie Crawford

Charlie Crawford is president of Georgia Battlefields Association, a non-profit battlefield preservation group, and editor of the Georgia Battlefields monthly newsletter.  He has made over 100 presentations and led over 50 tours relating to the Civil War in Georgia.

Charlie grew up near Philadelphia and has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Tech.  He spent 24 years in the Air Force, including service in Vietnam, before retiring as a colonel.  He moved to Atlanta in 1996 and is currently office manager for an information technology consulting company.

Charlie also has an M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.  He is a member of the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta, a Civil War Trust color bearer, and a life member of the Military Officers Association of America.

 Brian S. Wills, Ph.D.

Brian Steel Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, after a long tenure at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War, including a new volume — The River Was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow. His other titles include: A Battle From the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest, reprinted as: The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest. This work was chosen as both a History Book Club selection and a Book of the Month Club selection. He also authored, The War in Southeastern Virginia, released in October, 2001, and No Ordinary College: A History of The University of Virginia's College at Wise, (2004), both by the University Press of Virginia. Gone with the Glory: The Civil War in Cinema appeared in 2006. An updated edition of the James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., Civil War Sites in Virginia (Virginia, 2011) arrived just in time for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, and in 2012 and 2013, Brian authored George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel and Confederate General William Dorsey Pender: The Hope of Glory.

In 2000, Dr. Wills received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the state of Virginia, one of eleven recipients from all faculty members at public and private institutions across the state. He was named Kenneth Asbury Professor of History and won both the Teaching award and the Research and Publication award from UVA-Wise. 

 Stephen Davis

Steve Davis of Atlanta has been a Civil War buff since the 4th grade. He attended Emory University, and studied under the renowned Civil War historian Bell Wiley. After a Master’s degree in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he taught high school for a few years, he then earned his Ph.D. at Emory, where he concentrated on the theme of the Civil War in Southern literature. He presently serves as Medical Relations Director for MAG Mutual Insurance Company in Atlanta, the professional liability insurer for Georgia physicians.

Steve is the author of a book on the Atlanta Campaign, Atlanta Will Fall: Sherman, Joe Johnston and the Heavy Yankee Battalions (2001). He served as Book Review Editor for Blue and Gray Magazine from 1994 to 2005, and is the author of more than a hundred articles in such scholarly and popular publications as Civil War Times Illustrated and the Georgia Historical Quarterly. His recent book, What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta, has been published by Mercer University Press. In a review published in Civil War News, Ted Savas calls Steve’s book “by far the most well-researched, thorough, and detailed account ever written about the ‘wrecking’ of Atlanta.” Last year the Georgia Writers’ Association recognized Dr. Davis with its Georgia Author of the Year Award in the category of History.

Steve is also a popular speaker to Civil War Round Tables and historical societies. He has spoken on “What the Yankees Did to Us” last fall to the Civil War Round Tables of Buffalo, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island (and got away with it!). This past April he gave talks at the annual meeting of the American Civil War Round Table (UK) in London, and in July spoke at Gettysburg during the commemorative weekend. His favorite event was last year when he addressed President and Mrs. Carter and family on the role of Copenhill (the Carter Center site) in the battle of Atlanta.

 Michael K. Shaffer

As a Civil War historian, newspaper columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other newspapers, and author of Washington County, Virginia in the Civil War, Shaffer remains a member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, and Georgia Association of Historians. He serves as president of the Civil War Round Table of Cobb County, as a board member the River Line Historic Area, and as a Civil War consultant for the Friends of Camp McDonald. Shaffer belongs to the Atlanta Civil War Round Table, and holds BA and MA degrees, with honor, in Military History – Civil War Studies. Shaffer also writes a monthly bog, and Twitter messages for the Georgia Economic Development Council, and frequently lectures to various groups. He previously served as the Assistant Director of Kennesaw State University’s Civil War Center in Kennesaw, Georgia, before retiring to pursue research, writing, and lecturing in July 2014.

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