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A “National Treasure” To Speak At The
Brunswick Civil War Round Table

A “National Treasure” is how Round Table director and senior advisor Tom O’Donnell and many noted historians describe this exceptional guest speaker, Ed Bearss. He will speak on Wednesday evening, January 12th. His topic will be “The Vicksburg Campaign.” This special meeting replaces the regularly scheduled Tuesday, January 4th meeting featuring guest speaker Don Johnson which has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 5.

Few historians have captured the drama, excitement and tragedy of the War Between the States quite like Ed Bearss. As Wally Rueckel, Round Table president recalls, “When you walk a battlefield with Ed, with his photographic memory of details of regimental units, the officers involved, and his knowledge of battlefield tactics employed on both sides, you actually feel you are back in time and in the midst of the battle.” Currently in his eighties, and as sharp as ever, he continues to lead numerous Civil War site tours and presentations, traveling as many as 200 days per year throughout the United States, Europe and the Pacific.

His career with the National Park Service began in 1954, and he has been recognized by them as “more knowledgeable on battlefields than virtually any other historian.” After his retirement in 1995, he received the title Chief Historian Emeritus. O’Donnell recalls a conversation with Ed when a Congresswoman during a Congressional Committee asked if his extensive knowledge of history could be confirmed at the National Archives, Ed’s reply was, “Madam, I am the National Archives!”

Ed is the recipient of numerous awards and honors in the field of history and preservation, including the Harry S. Truman Award for Meritorious Service in the field of Civil War History; “Man of the Year” at Vicksburg in 1963; a commendation from the Secretary of the Army in 1985; the Civil War Preservation Trust who created the “Ed Bearss Award” for achievements in historic preservation, and made him the first recipient in 2001; and, a portrait bust of Ed was unveiled near the USS Cairo in the Vicksburg National Military Park on October 3, 2009.

He is a prolific writer, editor and author of numerous history and Civil War-related books and articles. He has provided television commentary for the “Civil War Journal” on the A&E Network, “Civil War Combat” on the History Channel, “Smithsonian’s Great Battles of the Civil War” on the TLC Channel, and the Ken Burns PBS series on “The Civil War.”

This special meeting presentation is open to the public. The admission fee for guests is $10. However, if an individual or family wishes to become a member of the Brunswick Civil War Round Table that evening, the $10 fee will be applied toward the $25 annual membership fee. Visiting students will automatically become Round Table members with their $10 admission fee.

The meeting will be held at the new St. James Community Center, Rt. #211 in Southport, across from the St. James main entrance. Registration begins at 6:30. Anyone interested in the Civil War is encouraged to attend, whether you are a Civil War buff or simply interested in knowing more about this important period in our country’s history. The Round Table directors and officers are certain Ed’s presentation will be a most informative, entertaining and memorable one.

For additional information, please contact Wally Rueckel, Brunswick Civil War Round Table president at (910) 253-7382, or wrueckel@questor.com

To learn more about this renowned historian, simply go to any search engine and enter “Ed Bearss” to access a number of web sites about him, or go to www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Bearss.

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