Meet our speakers for Gazette665’s American Civil War History Conference – 1862: Searching For Victory. We are excited and honored to introduce these outstanding presenters of American History and hope you will join us for our event on June 3, 2017.
David T. Dixon earned his M.A. in history from the University of Massachusetts in 2003. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and magazines. Most of his writing focuses on black history and on Union sympathizers in the Civil War South. His short biography of U.S. and Confederate congressman Augustus R. Wright appeared in The Georgia Historical Quarterly in 2010. He remains intrigued by the problem of defining “loyalty” in the context of civil war.
David’s first non-fiction history book is titled: The Lost Gettysburg Address: The Civil War Odyssey of Charles Anderson. He has also published two articles in Georgia Backroads magazine, telling the stories of Black History in Civil War Georgia; his research on this topic will be featured in his conference presentation.
David Dixon hosts “B-List History,” a website celebrating lesser-known historical characters and their amazing stories. www.davidtdixon.com.
Meg Groeling is currently in her last year of teaching math at Brownell Middle School and has also taught at other public schools in California and Maryland. She contributes to World At War and Strategy and Tactics, history and war-gaming magazines. Her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in American History was from California State University, Long Beach, and she received her Masters degree in History, with a Civil War emphasis, in January 2016.
Savas Beatie Press published her first book, The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead, in the fall of 2015. Meg has also written First Fallen: the Life and Times of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the only biography written about Ellsworth since 1960. In it, she challenges some of the assumptions made about Ellsworth and uses his life as a lens through which to view the attitudes and events of the urban North prior to the Civil War. Southern Illinois Press has picked it for publication sometime within the next couple years.
Meg’s first book is part of the Emerging Civil War Series, although it differs from it’s companion volumes by exploring a much broader range of subjects. She is a regular contributor to the blog Emerging Civil War, exploring subjects beyond the battlefield such as personalities, politics, and practices that affected the men who did the fighting.
Edward Headington is a California native who grew up in America’s suburb, the San Fernando Valley. He graduated from University of Southern California and received his Master’s degree from George Washington University. Edward runs a government relations and public affairs firm which he founded in Los Angeles.
As a living historian, he has portrayed General Grant at Civil War re-enactments, history days, presidential programs, parades, private and corporate events, school talks and Civil War roundtables. Edward has also appeared at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library & Learning Center and is a lifetime member of the Ulysses S. Grant Association.
When asked about Grant’s role in American history, Edward explained, “General Grant’s enduring legacy of perseverance and overcoming adversity – both on and off the battlefield – is an inspiration for all generations.” Visit his website: http://meetgrant.com/index.html
Michael L. Oddenino grew up in Virginia, surrounded by Revolutionary War and Civil War history. After majoring in history at Virginia Tech – where he studied Civil War history under Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. – Michael continued his studies and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is a practicing litigation attorney in Los Angeles and maintains his affection for history.
His interest in oratory led him to develop an interpretation of Patrick Henry’s famous “Liberty or Death” speech which he has performed in numerous venues and a large convention audience.
Michael has made numerous historical presentations on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the Battle of Ball’s Bluff to many local Civil War Round Table groups and other Southern California clubs. He has also spoken at several West Coast Civil War Round Table Conferences.
Mark Schoenberger’s interest in the American Civil War has grown and flourished ever since he visited Gettysburg National Military Park with his family in 1961. Though currently working as a high-rise building engineer in downtown Los Angeles, Mark is involved in many historical adventures and enjoys researching a variety of topics related to American History and the Civil War.
Mark began his serious hobby of Civil War re-enacting in 1993 and has participated in many local and several large-scale events, including 135th Gettysburg Battle Re-enactment (1998), Wilson’s Creek Battle Re-enactment (2000), and Perryville Battle Re-enactment (2002). In his well-researched role as a military chaplain, he is often found going through the encampments or preaching at Sunday camp meeting.
Through the years, Mark wrote a hands-on history curriculum and taught U.S. History for elementary and high-school students at Keystone Academy in Norwalk, California. He has volunteered as a docent, guided school tours, and given presentations at various historical sites. More recently, his research on California’s role during the American Civil War has led to the living history impersonation of California Governor John G. Downey at Dominguez Adobe and Drum Barracks Museum – historic sites not far from his hometown of Whittier, California.
Joining us from Georgia, Michael K. Shaffer is a Civil War historian, author, newspaper columnist, instructor, and battlefield guide. He is 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 River Line Historic Area, and as a Civil War consultant for the Friends of Camp McDonald.
Shaffer holds BA and MA degrees, with honors, in Military History – Civil War Studies. He frequently lectures to various groups, and currently teaches Civil War courses at Kennesaw State University’s College of Continuing and Professional Education.
Shaffer has a new book coming out in 2017 from the University of Tennessee Press, a journal from a member of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, which he has transcribed, edited, and annotated. In addition, he writes a monthly column, “The Source” for Civil War News. The column educates readers on the various primary sources available, how to use them, and where to access the material. Visit Michael’s website: www.civilwarhistorian.net
Sarah Kay Bierle (conference coordinator) graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a BA in History and has spent the last few years exploring ways to share quality historical research in way that will inform and inspire modern audiences.
Sarah’s interest in history began at a young age, and, through the years, she has helped to prepare teaching activities and planning historical events for private school students. She serves as Assistant Blog Editor for Emerging Civil War, writing frequently for their website and coordinating the blog’s content. Sarah has been involved in Civil War re-enacting for five years, and enjoys giving historical presentations for history groups and roundtables. She has published two well-researched historical fiction books.
Currently, Sarah is working on several Civil War research projects involving civilians and the campaigns in the Virginian Shenandoah Valley. She maintains her own history blog and website at www.Gazette665.com