Mobile Bay Battlefield

Speakers & Historians Biographies

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Schedule and speaker lineup is subject to change

More Bios and Speakers to Come!


Keynote Speaker:

Our 2020 keynote speaker will be announced soon!


Presenters & Historians:

Garry Adelman

A graduate of Michigan State University and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Garry Adelman is the award-winning author, co-author or editor of 20 books and 50 Civil War articles. He is the vice president of the Center for Civil War Photography and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg for 25 years. He has conceived and drafted the text for wayside exhibits at ten battlefields, has given thousands of battlefield tours at more than 60 sites and has lectured at hundreds of locations across the country including the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. He has appeared as a speaker on the BBC, C-Span, Pennsylvania Cable Network, American Heroes Channel, and on HISTORY where he was a chief consultant and talking head on the Emmy Award-winning show Gettysburg (2011) and Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color (2015).  He works full time as Chief Historian at the American Battlefield Trust.


Mark Bielski, Ph.D.

Mark Bielski, Ph.D. is th director of Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours. Mark brings a wealth of professional experience in academics, journalism and executive management to Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, where he is involved in business development, guiding, lecturing and tour itinerary design. His ability to relate history in an engaging way coupled with his warmth and sense of humor, make him a favorite among the guests who have traveled with him. Mark has personally designed the WWII: Poland and Germany, D-Day to Berlin and The Civil War Eastern Theatre tours. 

He also hosts the History with Mark Bielski Podcast, where he and his guests, experts in their field, delve into the characters, backstories, and intrigues that drove events throughout history. His first book, Sons of the White Eagle in the American Civil War: Divided Poles in a Divided Nation, describes the fascinating story of nine transplanted Poles who participated in the American Civil War. Mark’s second book, which covers the Civil War in Louisiana, a subject that has not garnered the attention it deserves.

The privileges and pleasures of Mark’s work are having the opportunity to interview and travel with numerous veterans and their families from WWII, the Korean conflict and Viet Nam. He received his Ph.D. in war studies at the University of Birmingham, England.


Phil Caskey  

A Martinsburg, W.Va., native and a 24-year Morgantown, W.Va., resident, Phil Caskey is in his seventh year as a social studies educator (six as a high school teacher) and just completed his first-year as an 8th grade West Virginia Studies educator at Westwood Middle School. 

He is the 2016 American Battlefield Trust National Teacher of the Year, the 2019 West Virginia American Legion Educator of the Year and the 2017 West Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Teacher of American History. Caskey earned his master’s in secondary education, with an emphasis in the social studies, from West Virginia University (WVU) in December 2012. Before returning to school to further his education and change careers, Caskey worked in the WVU athletic department for 11 years as a sports information director, where he was an award-winning public relations/sports journalist and published author. He earned his first masters in Sports Management in 2001, and his bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Public Relations in 1999, both also from WVU. 

He has also been a visiting instructor in WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sports Science Graduate Sports Management program since 2007. He has also presented on his Civil War teachings to multiple Civil War roundtable groups and 4H camps as well as presented on West Virginia in the American Civil War to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa.


Dr. Edelia Carthan

Biography coming soon. 


Dr. Sophia Marshall Chapman 

Dr. Sophia Marshall Chapman is currently a Teacher Academy coach. She has a PhD in education administration, a Master's degree in curriculum and instruction emphasizing multicultural education. Formerly, she served as an associate professor at Alcorn State University and is an adjunct professor for Jackson State University teaching social institution courses.


Dr. Qianna Cutts

Biography coming soon.


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.


Dr. Brian Matthew Jordan 

Dr. Brian Matthew Jordan is assistant professor of history at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Dr. Jordan earned the M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in History at Yale University, where his dissertation, supervised by David W. Blight, earned the 2014 George Washington Egleston Prize (for Best U.S. History Dissertation) and the 2014 John Addison Porter Prize, a university-wide award. His more than fifty reviews, articles, and scholarly essays have appeared in Civil War History, The Journal of the Civil War Era, The Journal of Military History, Civil War News, and The Civil War Monitor.

Most recently, he is the author of Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2015), which scored reviews in the pages of the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and the Wall Street Journal. A narrative history of the men who won the war but couldn’t bear the peace, Marching Home received the 2016 Governor John Andrew Award of the Union Club of Boston. At present, Jordan is editing a volume of essays about the lives of Civil War veterans and writing a life of Benjamin Butler. A native of northeastern Ohio but now a proud Texan, he serves as the book review editor for The Civil War Monitor.


Dr. 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 professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, and 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. Chris serves on the national advisory board for the Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia.


Jim McMillen

Jim McMillen was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and moved to Houston, Texas at the age of six.  He is a naval veteran that served as an Air Traffic Controller for six years before entering the corporate retail field.  In 2008, Jim joined the ranks of the University of West Florida as a Museum Educator for the university’s Historic Trust. Among his duties, Jim serves as the Educational Liaison between the Trust and the Escambia County School District, and other regional school districts, to coordinate visits and events for over 14,000 children annually.  Jim is the head educator for the Pensacola Children’s Museum and recently secured a $50,000.00 grant for a new exhibit on the museum’s second floor.  Jim also serves as Vice President for the University of West Florida Staff Senate, coordinates the university’s United Way Annual Campaign, is a certified interpretive guide for the National Association for Interpretation, and a member of the Florida Association of Museums, and the Florida Council for the Social Studies.    


Mia Nagawiecki

Mia Nagawiecki is Vice President for Education at the New-York Historical Society. She oversees all education initiatives at the museum, which serve over 200,000 students and teachers annually through inquiry-driven programs that enliven the teaching and learning of history. She has worked on the development of all N-YHS curriculum guides since 2009, and conceived of and is directing the Women & the American Story project, the first-ever comprehensive U.S. women’s history curriculum website ( Nagawiecki has designed and led hundreds of workshops, institutes, and credit-bearing courses for K-12 educators in New York and across the nation. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the City University of New York’s MA in Museum Studies program. Nagawiecki holds a BA in history from Barnard College and a Master’s in American studies from Columbia University.


Connor Townsend 

Connor Townsend is the Associate of Audience Development at the American Battlefield Trust. Her work includes the creation of the Trust’s social media content, managing the Trust’s Youth Leadership Team, and organization of the Trust’s annual day of volunteering, Park Day. Townsend is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Community and Public Health. In her previous employment, she was the coordinator of a nationwide peer to peer education intuitive that at its peak was active on 75 college campuses and enrolled 700+ student peer educators.


Douglas Ullman, Jr.

Doug was the Digital Content Producer for the American Battlefield Trust, playing a key role in the creation of history content on the website, including the Civil War In4 and War Department video series, battle apps guides, and history articles.  Apart from his work at the Trust, Doug is an independent historian focusing on the Twelfth/Twentieth Army corps as well as a part-time music teacher in Arlington, Virginia.  He is a graduate of New York University's Steinhardt School of Education and Culture.


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.


Adam E. Zielinski

Is a writer and historian from New Jersey. A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, he has been published with the Journal of the American Revolution and several other historically-based outlets. He spent four years as a special education instructor and helped develop Social Studies content with his district. He has since moved to curriculum and test development and has served as a researcher and writer on various projects with the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and the American Battlefield Trust. An accomplished musician and a hobbyist cartographer, he spends his free time on Long Beach Island surfing. His first book, a biography on British mapmaker John Hills, is currently finding a publisher.