Bill’s family is originally from York, Pennsylvania, which is just outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
At an early age, Gettysburg was the spark that ignited the flame to his interest and passion in American Civil War history. Since that time, Bill has spent endless hours visiting historic American sites and battlefields -
Manassass, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, Lookout Mountain, Nashville, Franklin, Corinth, Mill Springs, Chancellorsville, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Appomattox Court House to name only a few.
Studying the BATTLES, PEOPLE, FACTS, and STATISTICS.
Anything and Everything about American Civil War history.
Bill is an active member of the National Civil War Museum and a member of the National Civil War Battlefield Preservation Trust. Also, a life long member of the History Channel.
In fact, Bill’s first job as a pre-teen was working at the original Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center.
In addition, he has studied as an actor and has performed in hundreds of plays, films, commercials and various live productions for over 25 years.
Through his Living History program, YOU can choose all or one type of performance. Each can be tailored to meet your needs.
PRESENTATION / STORY TELLING
QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION.
Rest assured, though, this is much more than a "costumed character".
Bill is a life long student of the American Civil War and strives to maintain his uniform, weapons and appearance from head to toe as authentic as possible. Bill’s experience as a full time musician also helps him to understand people’s interest level and to interact appropriately.
In addition to Bill, his wife, Cresha is also an enthusiast and often travels with him. She has several dresses she has custom made. She is able to speak from the women’s perspective, as well as discuss the elements of clothing women wore during the period. Inquire about adding this element to your event.
Bill's Mother and Uncles are from York, Pennsylvania. This is how he became so familiar with the Gettysburg area - spending countless hours on the Gettysburg battlefield and working at the original vistor center.
Some of his favorite story subjects include heroes like John Buford, Ben Crippen, John Fulton Reynolds, Winfield Scott Hancock, Lewis Armistead, John Burns, Mary Virginia (Jennie) Wade, Strong & Elizabeth Vincent, Patrick O'Rorke, Joshua & Fannie Chamberlain, Charles Hazlett, Daniel Sickles, Tillie Pierce, John B. Gordon, Elmer Ellsworth, Albert Sidney Johnston, Henry Rathbone and countless other men and women well known and unknown, who were thrust into fame in the 1860's.
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 60 - 120 minutes
Bill is a life long student of the entire American Civil War, 1861-1865.
You choose the topic or Bill can cover a wide range of topics.
Taking you on a journey through the conflict.
From Fort Sumter, to the dramatic death of Elmer Ellsworth in Alexandria, the first battle of Bull Run/Manassass, the Hornet's Nest at Shiloh, the Burnside Bridge and the Bloody Lane at Antietam, Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, to the unimaginable loss of over 7000 men in 20 minutes at Cold Harbor, the seige at Petersburg, to the final days and ultimate surrender at Appomattox Court House.
The stunning assasination of Abraham Lincoln. The desperate hunt for John Wilkes Booth. His capture and death. The swift search for justice. The trial of the conspirators. Their prison sentences and executions.
Sharing his knowledge from the most major events to the smallest of known facts.
Telling compelling REAL stories of the battles. What led up to the events. The BRAVERY, the WOUNDED, the SURVIVORS, the DEAD, the GLORY.
The true American heroes of the NORTH and the SOUTH and the difficult situations with which they were confronted.
Tremendous real life struggles from the common soldier, to the generals and commanders, to the commanders in cheif. As well as the civilian perspective of the war and the entire time period. Bringing these stories to life and drawing you in with his true passion for the past.
Typically, Bill does not require a sound system for his presentation. However, for large groups he can provide one if needed.
2006: 12 gigs
2007: 15 gigs
2008: 18 gigs
2009: 25 gigs
2010: 31 gigs
2011: 32 gigs
2012: 30 gigs
2013: 35 gigs (so far)
Available for Your
Awards Night, Convention, Corporate Event, Fair, Festival, Fundraiser, Grand Opening, Hotel, Launch Party, Other, Parade, Private Party, Retreat, Seminar, Trade Show, Workshop
Here are testimonials Bill Foley, Living History has chosen to post.