The Pearce Collections Museum at Navarro College in Corsicana will launch its Civil War History Distinguished Lecture Series this fall. The first lecture of the series will feature battlefield historian, Ed Bearss, on Oct. 18.

Born from a desire to raise awareness of the Pearce Civil War Museum and promote excellent Civil War scholarship, the series builds on the well-researched, balanced exhibits in the museum.

“The Distinguished Lecture Series offers excellent opportunities to attract renowned Civil War scholars to campus,” said Dr. Tommy Stringer, vice president for institutional advancement and director of the Navarro College Foundation. “The lectures are intended to enhance the historical vitality of the college, showcase our faculty, students and programs to the public, as well as Civil War historians and enthusiasts.”

Bearss, a well-known Civil War scholar, began his public history career in 1955 at Vicksburg National Park. Bearss served for three years as park historian before being named regional historian. His research at Vicksburg led to the discovery of the long-lost Union gunboat Cairo.

Bearss also located two forgotten Civil War forts at Grand Gulf and was instrumental in having Grand Gulf named a state military monument. In 1981, Bearss was named chief historian of the National Park Service, a position he held until 1994. In 1995, he received the title chief historian emeritus, which he holds to this day.

Bearss has developed a large, devoted following. Known for his incredible memory and extraordinary battlefield tours, Bearss has been called the “Homer of the Civil War.” James M. McPherson said of Bearss, “He has a remarkable sense of place. If you lowered him blindfolded from a helicopter at night on any Civil War battlefield, I believe he would immediately know where he was and what happened there.” The recipient of numerous awards, Bearss was named “an American who made a difference” by Smithsonian Magazine. Ed Bearss is the author of numerous books about the Civil War including his most recent work, “Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War.”

Prior to the lecture, exhibits will open at 9 a.m. at the Pearce Civil War Museum in The Cook Center. The lecture will take place in Dawson Auditorium, located at the west end of the Albritton Administration Building, and will begin at 10:30 a.m. A short question and answer session will follow. Admission to the lecture and museum is $25, and $15 for college students with proper ID. Lunch will be provided at noon for a cost of $10. Preregistration for lunch is required. For more information, visit the Web site at or call (903) 875-7642 or (800) 988-5317.

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