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About the Shenandoah Civil War Associates

2021 Presenters and Guides

Charles Knight

Charlie Knight is Curator of Military History at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. He has 20 years of experience in the museum field, having previously worked as a Historical Interpreter at New Market Battlefield Park in New Market, VA; Curator of the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA; and Director of the Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix, AZ. He joined the NC Museum of History staff in 2017.

Knight is originally from Richmond, VA, and is a graduate of Bridgewater College and American Military University, with degrees in U.S. History and Military History. He has written numerous articles and book reviews for a variety of magazines, including "Blue & Gray, Classic Trains, Hallowed Ground, and Shenandoah at War" among others. His first book, "Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market", was published in 2010, and his second book, "Arlington to Appomattox: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War, Day by Day", will be published in 2020; he is also working on a biography of Confederate General and railroad magnate William Mahone. Knight has spoken to various historical organizations and at conferences around the country and was an advisor to the 2014 film Field of Lost Shoes, about the Battle of New Market.

Knight lives in Holly Springs, NC, with his wife and two children.

Jerry Desmond

Jerry Desmond (Dez) is the Executive Director of Pamplin Historical Park & the Museum of the Civil War Soldier. A native of the State of Maine, Dez holds a Master’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Maine in addition to Certificates of Advanced Study from Northeastern University and Amherst College.

After a 15 year career teaching history in rural Maine high schools, Dez moved south in 1991. He served as curator and director of the Chattanooga History Museum before becoming a Senior Associate in the museum consulting firm of LaPaglia and Associates in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In this capacity he consulted for museums across the country including the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Louisville Slugger Museum. Many of these projects focused on the Civil War era including the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Crossroads Museum in Corinth, Mississippi and the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna, Tennessee. He comes to Pamplin Park from Birmingham, Alabama where he served as the Executive Director of the Birmingham History Center for eight years. He has published three books, the latest – "Turning the Tide at Gettysburg" was released in 2014, and many scholarly articles for national publications.

Scott Patchan

Scott C. Patchan is a graduate of James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley. He is the author of many articles and books, including "The Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont" (1996), "Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign" (2007), "Second Manassas: Longstreet’s Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge" (2011), "The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter’s Raid on Staunton" (2011), and "The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early and the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign" (2013). He has also written feature essays for "Blue and Gray" Magazine on Cool Spring, Rutherford’s Farm and Second Kernstown; Third Battle of Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek and two volumes on Second Bull Run. He has also written extensively for Civil War Magazine, North South, America’s Civil War and other historical publications. Scott has twice served as President of Bull Run Civil War Round Table, a member of the Kernstown Battlefield Association’s board of directors from 2000-2014, and worked extensively on the interpretation of the Third Winchester battlefield for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation. He is currently editing the journal of Colonel Joseph Thoburn and continuing his work on the Valley Campaigns. He is also a much sought tour guide at both Civil War and Revolutionary War era sites from New York to Georgia.

Edward Alexander

Edward Alexander has been a contributing member of Emerging Civil War since 2013. He currently works at a civil engineering firm in Richmond, Virginia, and freelances as the owner and cartographer of Make Me a Map, LLC. He has written one book for the "Emerging Civil War Series - Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg". Edward previously worked at Richmond National Battlefield Park and Pamplin Historical Park and received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Illinois in 2009.