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2006 Presenters and Guides

The 2006 Institute presenters and guides are outstanding experts in their fields of study. They include:

Jeffry D. Wert
...is a nationally recognized Civil War historian. He taught history at Penns Valley Area High School, Spring Mills, Pennsylvania, for thirty three years, retiring in June 2001. He is the author of six books on the Civil War including Gettysburg Day Three, a widely acclaimed contribution to the scholarship of that battle. Other works include A Brotherhood of Valor, the Iron Brigade, and From Winchester to Cedar Creek. His articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Civil War Times Illustrated, American History Illustrated, and Blue and Gray. His most recent book , The Sword of Lincoln, is a history of the Army of the Potomac.

John L. Heatwole
...is a widely recognized authority on the Civil War. He is the host of the Civil War On the Air radio program in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the author of The Burning: Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, Shenandoah Voices, and Chrisman’s Boy Company. He lectures frequently on the history and culture of the Shenandoah Valley and served on the Shenandoah Valley National Historic District Commission. He was a member and historian of the Board of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. He was the historical consultant for public television’s EMMY winning Field of Lost Shoes and is a consultant for several museums with Civil War components in their exhibits.

Hunter Lesser
... has a twenty-year career as an archaeologist and historical interpreter. His writings on America’s past span topics from ancient Native American sites to Kentucky moonshine stills. A lifelong student of the Civil War, he was a technical advisor for the Conservation Fund’s The Civil War Battlefield Guide and is the author of Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan on the Front Line of a Nation Divided (2004). He often lectures and leads tours of 1861 “Western Virginia” -the first campaign of the Civil War.

Richard A. Wolfe
... is the President of the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation. He is a retired Marine Officer. He is a volunteer on the Civil War Task Force for West Virginia’s Division of Tourism. The Task Force just completed putting interpretive signs at the First Campaign sites. He is Program Manager for Lockheed Martin in the information field.

Joe Whitehorne
... is a retired United States Army officer who served as a staff historian in the United States and Europe. Since retiring, he has been a professor of history at Lord Fairfax Community College and serves as a historical consultant at James Madison University. He has written the history portions of six major reports on military sites in the Shenandoah Valley and he is the author or co-author of numerous military history articles and sixteen books. He is president of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation

Ben F. Fordney
... is the Director of the Institute. He has taught American, western, and world history at James Madison University, Bridgewater College, and the Blue Ridge Community College. He is the author of Stoneman at Chancellorsville. The Coming of Age of Union Cavalry and articles about Union General George Stoneman in America’s Civil War, Military History, and Civil War magazines. He has completed a biography of Stoneman.

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