Historians

Dennis Frye, Historian Harper's Ferry

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, and A&E as a guest historian, and he helped produce television features on the Battle of Antietam and abolitionist John Brown. Dennis served as an Associate Producer for the Civil War movie Gods and Generals, during which he recruited and coordinated nearly 3,000 reenactors for the film. Dennis also 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 Preservation Trust, where he helped save battlefields in twelve states. 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 60 articles and five books. His latest book is entitled Antietam Revealed. 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.

Upcoming Tours
Join Dennis Frye April 29 – May 3, 2010 on "The Coming Storm" on the Delta Queen Also "Two Soldiers and the Gathering Storm" June 18-24,2010

Dennis Frye, Historian Harper’s Ferry
 
James Getty (Abraham Lincoln)
One of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania’s "most recognized" residents is nationally-renowned Lincoln actor and Lincoln historian, James A. Getty. Whether taking the stage in Gettysburg, or in cities and towns across the nation, Getty captivates audiences of all ages with his award-winning interpretation of our country’s 16th President.

When Jim Getty takes the stage in "A Visit With Mr. Lincoln", he is Abraham Lincoln. Getty brings Lincoln to life:  audiences see and hear the President recount his homespun stories of youth, his recollections of his personal and political life, and his special anguish for Gettysburg.

For years, Getty has enlightened and entertained audiences across the country.  And, as a noted Lincoln historian, he specializes in uniquely tailoring his programs. Audiences aboard the steamboat Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen, at the National Theater in Washington, and at the Reagan Presidential Library have delighted in Jim Getty’s unique, heart-warming interpretation of America’s 16th President.

At the Library of Congress, the Indianapolis Rotary Club, and Cornell University, "theatergoers" have laughed along at the President’s special brand of humor.  And, they have felt the Commander-in-Chief’s own personal torment over the difficult decisions he faced in preserving the Union.

Upcoming Tours
We are pleased to have President Lincoln with us on two of our Civil War Sesquicentennial journeys in 2010. Join James Getty on the Delta Queen April 29 – May 3, 2010 for "The Coming Storm" and in Washington, DC on "Two Soldiers and the Gathering Storm" June 18 – 24, 2010

 
James (Jim) Ogden, III
is a native of St. Mary's County, Maryland. Interested in the Civil War since childhood, he obtained a degree in American History through the Civil War period and American Military History from Frostburg State College. During college, he worked summers for the Maryland Park Service at Point Lookout State Park, Maryland, site of the largest Civil War prison, where historical interpretation and research were among the many position he held. As part of a college internship, he worked for four months at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia, doing research and writing on an aspect of that site's Civil War history that had not previously been addressed. Beginning work with the National Park Service in 1982, he has been stationed at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia and Tennessee, Russell Cave National Monument, Alabama, and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Virginia. In November, 1988, he returned to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park as the Historian, the position he presently holds.

He speaks regularly on aspects of the Civil War to historical organization across the eastern half of the U. S. including Civil War Round Tables in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans, and Austin. In addition to doing tours of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga battlefields, he periodically takes groups to Stones River, Nashville, Franklin, and some of the Atlanta Campaign sites.

He has taught a number of Civil War history courses for the Continuing Education Department of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has published a number of short articles in several local publications. He has appeared in Greystone Communications/Arts and Entertainment Network's "Civil War Journal" episode on the Battles for Chattanooga and in the History Channel’s "Civil War Combat" program on Chickamauga as well as several other educational and public television programs.

Since 1986, he has been an instructor for over four hundred groups of officers of the U. S. Army conducting Staff Rides (an in-depth analysis of a historical military event) at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. For a decade, his Staff Ride clients even included two to six hundred officers annually from the British Army’s Joint Services Command and Staff College. Jim, his wife Lora, and their son Jamie (born on the133rd anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg) live in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

Upcoming Tours
Join Jim Ogden April 29 – May 3, 2010 "The Coming Storm" a Civil War sesquicentennial symposium on the Delta Queen.

 
Robert Hicks
I was born and raised in South Florida. My parents filled our home with books. When I was sick and stayed home from school, my dad would give me volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica or Bartlett's Familiar Quotations to cuddle up in bed with, instead of a diet of TV. Books were held to be sacred and precious. Christmases and birthdays were always times of book-giving and book-receiving. One of the first books to have a lasting impact on me (beyond the Bible, which seems to have anchored every Southern home of my generation) was Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels. I still attribute my passion for travel and adventure to the nights I fell asleep reading of Halliburton's world-wide adventures.

Many of my lifelong favorites can be found on any seventh or eighth grade reading list of my time: C. S. Lewis' SPACE TRILOGY, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and ALL THE KING'S MEN taught me about the value of goodness and truth. MOBY DICK and LORD OF THE FLIES, taught me to read. Ayn Rand's ANTHEM made me think about what it meant to be an individual. All these were to impact my life forever.

In high school I discovered biography, reading books about Robert E. Lee, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDER and the CONFESSIONS by St. Augustine to name a few. This passion for biography has continued through the years with books like Peter Guralnick's two-volume biography of Elvis; to a recent read, SURVIVING THE CONFEDERACY, about Roger and Sarah Pryor. James Webb's FIELDS OF FIRE had a profound impact on me, since it brought me closer to the idea that I might be a writer someday myself. His most recent book, BORN FIGHTING, has taught me a bit more about myself through my culture heritage. I struggled through William Faulkner's THE SOUND AND THE FURY in college, but once I was done, I was hooked on Faulkner forever.

While my taste ranges from Smith's VITRUVIUS ON ARCHITECTURE to John Ruskin's THE STONES OF VENICE, I can get hooked on poplar culture like anyone else and was absorbed enough after reading John Berendt's MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL to make the mandatory pilgrimage to Savannah.

Point is, my reading interests remain as encyclopedic as the books my dad left on bedside table so many years ago. In 1974 I moved to Williamson County, Tennessee. Then in 1979 I moved to 'Labor in Vain,' a late-eighteenth-century log cabin on the edge of the woods, in a hollow near Leiper's Fork, Tennessee.

Working as a music publisher and in artist management in both country and rock music, my interests remain broad and varied. A partner in the B. B. King's Blues Clubs in Nashville, Memphis and Los Angeles, I serve as 'Curator of Vibe' of the corporation.

Born out of my passion for this life – throughout all the ages, I'm a collector, by nature. I've collected since I was a kid. It began with fossilized shells from our driveway to rocks and leaves and baseball cards to books, 18th century maps of Tennessee, Tennesseana in general, Southern decorative arts and material culture, to Outsider Art. I am surrounded by collections. A friend says the next thing I bring home must come with a crow bar to get it into my cabin. My older brother once said that I'd "inherited more of the 'hunter-gatherer' genes than most other kids."

I served as co-curator (with Ben Caldwell and Mark Scala) on the exhibition, Art of Tennessee, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. The exhibition was a seven-year endeavor from conception at my kitchen table to its opening in September 2003. I was co-editor of the exhibition’s award-winning catalog, Art of Tennessee (UT Press, September 2003). In the field of historic preservation, I have served on the Boards of Historic Carnton Plantation, the Tennessee State Museum, The Williamson County Historical Society, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

In December 1997, after a third term as President of the Carnton board, and in light of my work at Carnton, I was honored by my fellow-board members with a resolution calling me "the driving force in the restoration and preservation of Historic Carnton Plantation."

For the past two years, I've headed up Franklin's Charge: A Vision and Campaign for the Preservation of Historic Open Space in the fight to secure and preserve both battlefield and other historic open space in Williamson County. Franklin's Charge has taken on the massive mission of saving what remains of the eastern flank of the battlefield at Franklin – the largest remaining undeveloped fragment of the battlefield – and turning it into public battlefield park which will, in my dreams, eventually run from the Lotz and Carter Houses on Columbia Avenue to Ft. Granger and Carnton Plantation, with significant holdings around Breezy and Winstead Hills.

Robert Hicks is the NY Times best-selling author of The Widow of the South and newly released A Separate Country www.robert-hicks.com

Upcoming Tours
March 18-22, 2010 Join Robert Hicks in New Orleans on his tour "A Separate Country"

 
John C. Waugh


I'm a journalist turned historical reporter:
  • 1956–1973, staff correspondent and bureau chief on The Christian Science Monitor. Honors included the American Bar Association’s 1972 Silver Gavel Award for the best national reporting, for a series on American prisons.
  • 1973–1976, media specialist on the staff of Republican Vice President Nelson Rockefeller of New York.
  • 1983–1988, press secretary to Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.
  • Since 1989, writing about history full-time — books on the Civil War era.


Covering the past is not unlike covering the present, except all my sources are dead (I prefer it that way). It also means I can return to my favorite century, the 19th, on a daily basis.

Between stints in the newspaper and political worlds, and since, I've contributed to periodicals, including Civil War History, American Heritage, Civil War Times Illustrated, Columbiad, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times, The New Republic, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald American, and Country Magazine.

Over the years I've also been a consultant to various organizations — National Archives and Records Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Atlantic Richfield Company, President’s Council on Environmental Quality, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and West Virginia Public Radio.

My first book, The Class of 1846, published in 1994, won the New York Civil War Round Table’s Fletcher Pratt Literary Award for the best non-fiction book of that year.

My three latest works are set for release in late 2007 or early 2008. I also have one in final edits, one underway, and two more outlined and ready to start.

I was born in California, reared in Arizona, and now live in North Texas. I'm a product of the Tucson public schools and the University of Arizona (1951, journalism major, history minor) plus graduate work in history and political science at UCLA and St. Johns College. I'm married to Kathleen Dianne Lively, a social work administrator and a Texan. We have two grown children, Daniel, a lawyer in Providence, Rhode Island, and Eliza, a writer in Austin, Texas, and four grandchildren. John Waugh is the contributing historian for all 2010 Civil War Sesquicentennial journeys. He will be our lecturer, tour leader, and tour guide on all three trips.

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