Meet our speakers for Gazette665’s American Civil War History Conference – 1864: Fighting To Survive. We are excited and honored to introduce these outstanding presenters of American History and hope you will join us for our event on June 1, 2019.

David T. DixonDavid T. Dixon

David Dixon earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California and his M.A. in history from the University of Massachusetts. His published articles may be downloaded free on his website “B-List History” at www.davidtdixon.com. Most focus on black history and on Union sympathizers in the Civil War South.

David spoke at the 2016 Sacred Trust Talks in Gettysburg. He has spoken to nearly 50 different Civil War Roundtable audiences and has appeared on Civil War Talk Radio and other podcasts.

In his first book, The Lost Gettysburg Address, David chronicled the life of Charles Anderson, a slaveholder who sacrificed nearly everything to help Lincoln save the Union. He is working on his second book, a biography of Union General August Willich to reclaim this leader from the dustbin of forgotten historical figures and generate interest appreciation for the contributions of German immigrants to the Union war effort.

Rex Kern

Director of Miramar National Cemetery, Rex Kerns is well-versed in the history and development of the final resting places for American Civil War soldiers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst University and an associate degree in Culinary Arts. After five years in the U.S. Navy and years as an international civilian chef, Rex joined the National Cemetery Administration in 2006.

He has represented Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery and served as the Director at Port Hudson National Cemetery, also overseeing Baton Rouge, Alexandria, and Louisiana National Cemeteries, and Natchez National Cemetery. Moving to the West Coast in 2014, Rex directed Los Angeles National Cemetery before transferring to serve at Miramar National Cemetery and oversee Rosecrans National Cemetery in 2016. He oversees the preservation and development of the “final resting places” for American veterans, continuing a tradition of honor which dates back the Civil War era.

Chris Mackowski

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emerging Civil War. He is the series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, published by Savas Beatie, and the “Engaging the Civil War” Series, published in partnership with Southern Illinois University Press.

Chris is a writing professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, where he also serves as associate dean for undergraduate programs. He serves as historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died.

Chris has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in all the major Civil War magazines. He serves on the board of directors for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust and the national advisory board for the Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Michael K. Shaffer

Civil War historian, author, newspaper columnist, instructor, and battlefield guide, Michael K. Shaffer shares his research and enthusiasm for the past with audiences across the country. He holds BA and MA degrees, with honors, in Military History – Civil War Studies.

A member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, Georgia Association of Historians, and Georgia Writers Association, Michael is a popular speaker and is often presenting to various groups. He also teaches Civil War courses at Kennesaw State University’s College of Continuing and Professional Education, helping students of all ages gain a better understanding of the 1860’s conflict.

Michael authored Washington County, Virginia, in the Civil War (2012) and his newest book was published and released by the University of Tennessee Press in 2018. Titled In Memory of Self and Comrades this edited memoir by Thomas Wallace Colley details Civil War experiences with the 1st Virginia Cavalry and has been the result of years of primary source editing and research.

Heather St. Clair

Interested in history for as long as she can remember, Heather St. Clair was inspired to research and teach by one of her high school teachers. She earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies Elementary Education with an emphasis on Sociology/Anthropology and taught elementary school grades for three years.

Since 2009, Heather has been a founding member of Academy of Living History Performing Arts, participating in living history events, developing historical programs for public and private schools, and supporting the educational mission of the Armory Band. Heather has traveled to Civil War sites across the country, including Gettysburg and Fort Point (San Francisco, CA) and plans to make more research trips in the future.

Heather has been studying the life of Mary Ann Bickerdyke, Civil War medicine, and the U.S. Sanitary Commission for almost a decade. She brings well-researched details and fresh interpretation to this area of women’s studies. When asked about her unfailing interest in the history of the 1860’s, she said, “The more I study and learn about the American Civil War, the more I realize that there is to learn about this time and the incredible accomplishments made during this time.”

Sarah Kay Bierle

Sarah Kay Bierle (conference coordinator) graduated from Thomas Edison State University 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, including school presentations, writing, and speaking engagements.

Sarah works as managing editor at the Emerging Civil War. She is also the conference coordinator and owner of Gazette665, a company which hosts an annual Civil War History in Southern California, drawing speakers from across the country. Sarah is active in local historical groups and serves on the board of Temecula Historical Society.

She has written several historical novels and her first nonfiction history book – a study on the Battle of New Market for the Emerging Civil War Series will release in Spring 2019. Her current research projects focus on the lives of Civil War officers, artillery, and interactions between civilians and the military.  She maintains her own history blog and website at www.Gazette665.com