An Ed Bearss’ Original, The James Taylor Sketchbook


Monday, May 10th, 2004

5 PM-6 PM Register at Hotel Strasburg. 6 PM: Dinner; 7 PM Opening Remarks & lecture by Dana MacBean on Who was this guy James Taylor?


     Tuesday, May 11th, 2004

8:00 AM:  We will leave on our bus with Ed in the lead en route to Harper’s Ferry and a discussion of John Brown.  As Taylor was en route to his assignment he made copious notes and drawings of sites that he had an interest in--Brown’s raid was one of them  We will take you into Charles Town where he was tried and hanged in an event Ed considers the most significant guarantor of the war that came.  After lunch we will follow Sheridan from Charles Town to his command and the battles of 3rd Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Tom’s Brook.  We will return to the hotel by 6 PM in time for dinner on your own.


Wednesday, May 12th, 2004

Another early start with visits to the Woodstock Races and up the valley to examine Sheridan’s infamous “Burning.”  John Heatwole will join Ed in the commentary--as before we will take you to the spots of Taylor’s observation and will help you consider his sketches.  We will then spend the afternoon where his greatest works appear--in and around the Cedar Creek battlefield, Middletown, Newtown and Kernstown.  We will return for our banquet dinner--plans are to go to the historic Wayside Inn.  Tonight will end by 9 PM.


Thursday, May 13th, 2004

Another 8 AM departure will take us to Mosby Country.  We will start en route to Front Royal, Guard Hill and the Vineyard fight.  We will then follow a circuitous route east towards Paris, Virginia and then up to Berryville and into Western Virginia to the Greenback Raid, Kabletown, Myers Ford, Millwood, Morgan’s Farm, Gold’s Farm, the site of Alfred Duffie’s capture and Newtown.  The program will end upon our 5 PM return to Strasburg.


The Faculty

Ed Bearss is a retired Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service.  Perhaps the most famous tour leader in the country, Bearss serves on the National Advisory Board of the BGES.

Dana MacBean is a cartographer from Charleston who has studied James Taylor sites for years.

John Heatwole is a Shenandoah Valley historian and is the author of The Burning


Meeting Site and Hotel

There are three choices for lodging.  The BGES has rented the entire 29 room Hotel Strasburg, 213 South Holliday Street, Strasburg, Virginia 22657 for its headquarters.  Our rooming options are attached.  You must make hotel reservations directly with Len at 1-888-741-2437.  He will confirm your room assignment and price.  You cannot make reservations directly with the hotel.  You may also consider the Wayside Inn (877-869-1797) a wonderful, quaint colonial-era hotel in Middletown or the Super 8 at 2120 Reliance Road, Middletown, VA, 22645 (540-868-1800).  Contact them directly for your reservations both are within easy commuting distance from Strasburg.

Airport and Transportation Arrangements

The servicing airport is Washington Dulles (IAD) about an hour away.  You would need a rental car.  Hagerstown and Charlottesville are expensive alternatives.


Recommended Reading (all prices include shipping)

_____ James Taylor, The James Taylor Sketchbook  $95* ($60) Morningside Books 

_____ Jeffry Wert, Mosby’s Rangers $ 18     _____ John Heatwole, The Burning $30

_____ Jeffry Wert, From Winchester to Cedar Creek,  $ 25

*We will attempt to arrange for a bulk buy of the sketchbook and will sell them at cost ($60).  The key is the binding process at Morningside Books.  They have just reprinted and do not expect the books to be available until June.  We have asked them to try and expedite the process.  We will keep you advised.


Registration Form for An Ed Bearss Original Program, The James Taylor Sketchbook  May 10-13, 2004


Name (s): _________________________________  ____________________________


Address: ______________________________________________________________


Phone: ______________________________  Email: ___________________________


_____  Registration  $595    _____  BGES Member $550


_____   Deposit only—per person  $100  Net Due on or before May 10th, 2004


_____  I’d like the optional lodging package at the Hotel Strasburg.  I spoke to Len and have agreed on the following package:


            Bldg: _________  Room Number: ______  Room Type:  _________________


            Bath Type: _________  Number of Nights: _____  Amount: $ ___________


_____  BGES 2004 Bearss Season Ticket holder:

            Nonmembers: $500  BGES Members: $475


_____  I’ve enclosed $_______ for my books as checked above.


Total Enclosed:  $ _____________    Make checks payable to BGES and mail to

                      416 Beck Street, Norfolk, VA 23503           


Charge my Mastercard   VISA   American Express  $ _________


            # _________________________________________             Exp: ___________




BGES Housing Options for James Taylor Sketch Book May 10-14, 2004


In anticipation of a higher than normal demand for this premier program from the legendary Ed Bearss, we have reserved the entire Hotel Strasburg and its 29 rooms for our program.  The hotel is a real treat with antiques and generous sized bedrooms and suites.  BGES will handle all the bookings on case by case basis.  To help you decide what you may need the following room information and categories with our prices are presented:  You may visit their website at think you will be impressed.  This hotel has it all and is VERY NICE--you may even order massage therapy from 15 to 60 minutes


                                                MAIN HOTEL (NS= Non smoking room)

Room #            Bed Size           Bathroom Type                        BGES Rates

                                                                               Total for 3 nights*   Total for 4 nights*

201 NS            Double             Shower                        $ 279                           $372

202 NS            King                 Shower                        $ 375                           $500

203 NS            Double             Shower                        $ 279                           $372   

204                  Double & Single Tub& Shower            $ 279/$339                  $372/$452

205 NS            Queen              Shower                        $ 300                           $ 400

206                  Double & Single Shower                      $ 279                           $ 372

207                  Double             Shower                        $ 279                           $ 372

208                  2 long Doubles Shower                         $ 279/ $339                 $ 372/$452

209                  Queen              Jacuzzi no shower         $ 360                           $480

210                  Queen              Jacuzzi no shower         $ 360                           $480

211                  Double             Shower                        $ 279                           $372

301 NS            Queen              Shower                        $ 300                           $400

302 NS            Long Double    Shower                        $ 279                           $372

303 NS            Long Double    Shower                        $ 279                           $372

304 NS            Double             Shower                        $ 279                           $372

305                  Queen              Shower                        $ 300                           $400

306 NS            Queen & Single Tub& Shower             $ 300/$339                  $400/$452

307                  King                 Shower                        $ 375                           $500

308 NS            2 Doubles         Shower                        $ 279/ $339                 $ 372/$452

309                  Long Double    Shower                        $ 279                           $372

310                  Queen              Tub& Shower              $ 300                           $400



417                  Queen              Jacuzzi & Shower         $ 375                           $500

418                  King                 Jacuzzi & Shower         $ 600                           $800

419 NS            Queen              Jacuzzi & Shower         $ 375                           $500

420 NS            King                 Jacuzzi & Shower         $ 600                           $800



411                  Queen & Daybed Jacuzzi & shower      $ 480                           $640

412                  Queen & single    Jacuzzi & shower      $ 480                           $640

415                  Double             Tub and Shower           $ 279                           $372

416                  Queen & 2 singles Jacuzzi & shower     $ 510                           $680


*Rates include all taxes and a continental breakfast daily.  Several of the more expensive rooms are huge suites (418 & 420 are ½ the floor--3 to 4 rooms each).