Military historian Ed Bearss is often referred to as a living national treasure. Anyone who has followed him across a battlefield—and thousands have—would agree. With his encyclopedic knowledge, commanding narratives, and trademark silver-tipped swagger stick, he brings the triumphs and defeats of legendary generals and ordinary soldiers to vivid life.
Bearss, chief historian emeritus of the National Park Service, turned 90 this year, and that milestone provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate his achievements as a longtime tour leader for The Smithsonian Associates.
Smithsonian magazine noted that “In Civil War circles, Bearss is nothing short of a rock star.” Spend an evening with him and interviewer James M. McPherson and explore how he achieved that status, as well as how his passion for sharing America’s history has inspired and informed that passion in countless others.
Cake and a champagne toast follow the program
McPherson is an author whose book Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Read a Smithsonian magazine profile of Ed Bearss.