Dr. John F. Marszalek is the William L Giles Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Mississippi State University and serves as the Executive Director and Managing Editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library. He is the author or editor of fifteen books and over three hundred articles and book reviews. Sherman, A Soldier's Passion for Order was a finalist for the 1993 Lincoln Prize and won non-fiction awards from the Mississippi Library Association and the Ohioiana Library Association. His latest books are The Best Writings of Ulysses S. Grant (2015) which won a writing award from the U.S. Army Foundation, Lincoln and the Military (2014) and A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow, South Carolina's George Washington Murray (2006). He continues to lecture widely throughout the nation and has appeared on the major television networks. He serves on the board of advisors of the Lincoln Forum and the Lincoln Prize. Dr. Marszalek and his wife Jeanne live in the Starkville area.
Maj. (Ret.) Mark A. Smith is a U. S. Army veteran with 21 years of service. He holds a BS from Slippery Rock University and a MA of Military Studies – Civil War from American Military University. An avid Civil War historian, Smith has co-authored with Wade Sokolosky, No Such Army since the Days of Julius Caesar: Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro and "To Prepare for Sherman's Coming" The Battle of Wise's Forks, March 1865. Smith has conducted several battlefield tours at Averasboro and has been a guest speaker at several CWRTs.
The Friends of Bentonville Battlefield is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization.