Wayne Hsieh

Speaker & Historian Biographies

Donor Thank You Weekend: February 8-10, 2019

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Learn about the history of New Orleans, Louisiana from some of the nation’s elite historians

Speakers & Historians


Mark Bielski

Mark Bielski is an historian, author, and the Director at Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours. As the host of the History with Mark Bielski Podcast, he discusses history from ancient to modern times with experts in their field, with special attention to the Civil War and WWII. He leaves the textbooks behind and delves into the characters, backstories and often the intrigues that drove events throughout history.

Mark’s career has involved academics, history and literature, journalism and publication writing as well as corporate management. As the director at Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, he is involved in business and educational development, historical guiding, lecturing and itinerary design for tours that primarily involve World War II in Europe and the American Civil War. The privileges and pleasures of Mark’s work are having the opportunity to interview and travel with numerous veterans and their families from WWII, Viet Nam and other conflicts.

He received his Ph.D. in History at the University of Birmingham, England as well as an M.A. and B.A. in English from Georgetown University and Tulane University respectively.

Mark lives in New Orleans, where he enjoys the city’s culinary, cultural and musical riches on a daily basis.


Nic Clark 

Nic Clark, is a life-long student of the American Civil War. From the first time that he visited a Civil War battlefield at the age of five, he has never stopped studying the Civil War. Nic is a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana with a degree in History, he has been a Civil War living historian for over twenty years, and has been featured in many documentaries, movies, and television programs on the Civil War, both in front of the camera, and behind it. Previously, Nic has worked as an Interpretive Park Ranger at Pea Ridge National Military Park, site of the largest Civil War battle to take place west of the Mississippi River, as well as for the State of Louisiana at the Mansfield State Historic Site, site of the last major Confederate victory during the Civil War. Nic has over a decade of experience as a tour guide for corporations, state, and federal governments, as well as Assistant Director experience for two historical museums. Nic’s passion for Civil War history is always described as “infectious”, and he has the ability to make history come alive.

Nic is the owner/operator of Civil War Tours of New Orleans, which is the only tour company in all of Louisiana offering guided, exclusive tours, that focus on the history of the American Civil War and its impact on not only the city of New Orleans, but upon the southeast Louisiana region. 


Sean Michael Chick 

Sean Michael Chick graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Communications and from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Master of Arts in History. He served as a teaching assistant in the history department at the University of Kentucky and currently works in New Orleans, leading historic tours of his hometown and helping residents and visitors appreciate the city’s past. Chick has also been involved in historic board game development and design for many years.

He has written articles for nationally recognized history magazines and is currently working on books for the Emerging Civil War Series.

Chick’s research interests include Beauregard, New Orleans during the Civil War, the Army of Tennessee, and Civil War tactics in relation to linear tactics from 1685-1866. His studies in historic tactics and generalship emphasizes new perspectives to Civil War studies. He is always looking for new topics of study in untapped resources and avenues of inquiry into the past.


Dan Davis

Dan Davis is a native of Fredericksburg, VA where his love for the Civil War began on childhood trips to local battlefields. He is a graduate of Longwood University with a bachelor’s degree in Public History. Dan has worked as a Ranger/Historian at Appomattox Court House National Historical Site and the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on the Civil War and is a regular contributor to Emerging Civil War. He currently resides in Fredericksburg.


William C. "Jack" Davis 

William C. “Jack” DAVIS, formerly Director of Virginia Tech's Center for Civil War Studies, spent 31 years in editorial management in the publishing industry, consulted for numerous film and television productions, and was senior advisor for the A&E and History Channel series “Civil War Journal.”  Davis is the author of more than 50 books, most recently Crucible of Command and Inventing Loreta Velasquez.  He is the only four-time winner of the Jefferson Davis Award of the Museum of the Confederacy for works on the Civil War and Confederacy.


Parker Hills

Parker Hills served almost 32 years in the U.S. Army uniform in active and reserve components and retired as a brigadier general, Mississippi Army National Guard in 2001.  He owns Battle Focus, a leadership training company, and trains soldiers, Marines, airmen, tourists, and corporate leaders.  He holds an undergraduate degree in commercial art from the University of Southern Mississippi; a Master’s degree in educational psychology from Sul Ross State University; and is a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Army War College.  He has served as president of Friends of the Vicksburg Campaign and Historic Trail, president of Friends of Raymond, chair of the Mississippi Civil War Battlefield Commission, and chair of the Mississippi Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.  He is the author of A Study in Warfighting: Nathan Bedford Forrest and The Battle of Brice’s Crossroads; co-author of The Vicksburg Campaign Driving Tour Guide; co-author with Edwin C. Bearss of Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg; a contributor to Vicksburg: Mississippi Blitzkrieg; and author of Vicksburg: Art of Commemoration.  This last work discusses the symbolism behind the art and architecture of the monuments and memorials in Vicksburg National Military Park.  General Hills has been married to his wife Carol, a native of Hattiesburg, for 49 years.  The Hills reside in Clinton, Mississippi.


Kristopher D. White 

Kris is the Education Manager at the American Battlefield Trust. White is a graduate of Norwich University with an M.A. in Military History, as well as a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in History. For nearly five years he served as a staff military historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. White is the co-founder of Emerging Civil War and is also the co-creator of the Engaging the Civil War Series, which is a partnership between Southern Illinois University Press and Emerging Civil War. An award-winning speaker and editor, White has authored, co-authored, or edited nearly two-dozen books; and is the author and co-author of numerous history-related articles.