Edwin Cole Bearss: History’s Pied Piper

By John C. Waugh

HistoryAmerica Tours, 2003
71 pages

Edwin Cole Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, has become a legend to match history itself. A virtual walking encyclopedia of America’s past, an absolute polymath, he has made himself into icon, a historian immeasurably gifted to interpret that past in all of its compelling drama.

First as a historian for the National Park Service, then as its chief historian, and now as a tour guide extraordinaire, he has been instrumental in his long career in laying out many of this nation’s most famous battlefield parks and historic sites. And he has brought and continues to bring history in all its drama back to life, popularizing it for hundreds of admirers and followers. He is truly a Pied Piper of the past.

This is a brief, richly illustrated biography of that extraordinary historian.