Historical Presentations

sarahThis is a listing of Sarah Kay Bierle’s historical presentations. We’ve listed the available presentations for 2017 and plan to add several more in 2018.

Sarah is a popular speaker at Civil War Round Tables and historical groups. Please contact her for additional details, references, and scheduling.

Pasadena CWRT, Costa Mesa CWRT, Inland Empire CWRT, Sons of Union Veterans, Sons of Confederate Veterans, American Civil War Conference – 1861: Marching To War

Awakened Hearts: The Power & Patriotism of Civilians

In 1861, America was going to war. Citizen armies were formed, and a frenzy of patriotism influenced both the civilian men going to war and those left at home. Following the history of the 1st Minnesota Regiment and the 2nd Virginia Regiment, this presentation explores multiple aspects of the civilian response at the beginning of the war and how they dealt with the realities of war. (45-50 min. Powerpoint images available)

Blockade Runners & Dark Shores

How much do you really know about Blockade Runners and the Southern coastline during the American Civil War? Explore uniqueness of blockade runners – their role, new maritime technology, captains and crew, and challenging diplomacy. Learn about the dark Southern shores; why were the lighthouses extinguished or destroyed? Maritime traffic along the Southern seaboard and Gulf Coast is a compelling historical account. (45-50 minutes. Powerpoint images available.)

Gettysburg Civilians: A New Perspective on One of the Civil War’s Most Famous Battles

Many people know about the military conflicts, tactics, and strategies at Gettysburg, but it’s important to remember that Gettysburg was a town and farming community long before the armies arrived. This presentation explores that town, its citizens, and the civilian experience before, during, and after the bloody battle days. (45-50 min. Powerpoint images available)

Miss McGuire Remembers General Jackson

Though General “Stonewall” Jackson gained national fame as a hero of the Confederacy, the civilians of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia regarded him with special pride. Jackson was the commander of their soldier boys, the conquering defender of their homeland, and their friend. Miss Margaretta McGuire’s brothers served with General Jackson, and the famous officer visited the family home on several occasions. In postwar remembrances, Miss McGuire compares the battlefield legends with the quiet gentleman she met and reflects on the general’s legacy. The presentation was based on extensive research about the McGuire Family and General Jackson. (It is performed in first-person living history character, complete with 19th Century period-correct clothing and some small props. 45-50 minutes. No Powerpoint images.)

Searching For The McGuires

Developed for a genealogy society, this presentation reveals the Civil War story of the McGuires of Winchester, Virginia. They were an “ordinary” family with extraordinary impact. Additionally, the presentation shares tips practical tips for researching family history and understanding historical figures in the context of their era and geographical location. (45-50 minutes. Powerpoint images available.)

Then Christmas Came: The Justification & Condemnation of War in 1862 

In 1862, devastating battles shocked Americans. The end of the war wasn’t in sight. The Battle of Fredericksburg was the capstone for fighting in the east; it ended days before Christmas, leaving soldiers and civilians stunned by the casualties. With the “season of peace and good cheer” upon them, Americans tried to reconcile their war and beliefs. Ultimately, they found ways to justify or condemn the strife, setting the stage for more conflict in coming years. (45-50 minutes. Powerpoint images available.)

To Save Lives: Civil War Medicine

Going beyond “saw-bones” storytelling, this presentation busts myths, explores the development of the medical field, details experiences by dedicated surgeons and nurses, and challenges the audience to re-evaluate their ideas regarding Civil War medicine. (45-50 min. Powerpoint images available)