Are you looking for a Civil War Reenactor for your next event? Need a great storyteller who can interact with your guests or students with interesting facts told in a way that will bring history to life?
Bill Foley is accustomed to live performances, from small intimate audiences to large crowds. Bill is able to interact with your guests or students and engage them with incredible stories about the American Civil War.
Whether they are avid history buffs or just getting started. He loves nothing more than nurturing people’s interest in history, through exciting Real Life stories and insights that bring history out of books and into life.
Bill and Cresha are completely amazing. They performed wonderfully and as if they indeed lived in the 1860's. They professional and friendly through out the entire event. We had them here for a History Club event for two days. They inspired kids and parents alike and did it in a manner that made the event fun. They traveled so far away to do it as well! I cannot say enough good things about them!
Bill and his wife were recently guests at a "Military Heroes" drop-in event our library hosted out in our courtyard during the Granville (OH) 4th of July festivities. Bill and his wife were not only knowledgeable, they had a great rapport with the crowd, especially children of all ages. They made history relatable and fun while keeping the integrity of the time period in tact. I would reccommend them easily! ~ Julia Walden, Programming & Outreach Librarian, Granville Public Library, Granville OH
Response from Bill Foley, Living History:
Thank you again, Julia. Cresha and I were excited to be a part of your event!
The Filets were so enjoyable and a pleasure. All of our guests were so impressed by their knowledge and the manner that history was portrayed. The children were even kept captivated. The Filets were prompt and kept true to every aspect of the contract which I felt was important. I HIGHLY recommend them. The Gadleys from Ohio
Bill and Cresha came to my 8th grade social studies class to perform a Civil War demonstration. Bill dressed as a private in the Union army, in an authentic civil war uniform. He discussed a wide range of topics, from all of the accoutrements of a Civil War soldier, to the weapons, to engaging stories from the battle of Gettysburg. Bill even showed the students how they would march and load a musket. He allowed the students to touch everything, to allow for a hands on experience. Cresha dressed as the wife of a soldier during the Civil War years. She talked about life at home, clothing, leisure time activities, and the women's role during the war. The kids were very engaged, and did not want to stop asking questions and learning about all of the different artifacts and stories. We will have Bill and Cresha back!
Bill came and spoke to our senior adults at their monthly luncheon. His costumed presentation was terrific. His expertise in all-things civil war was outstanding and how he related it to the people was even better. Our folks loved him and the presentation was a wonderful way to celebrate Veteran's Day.
Bill & Cresha Foley were great! We had a very curious crowd of adults and children and noone was bashful...so there were lots of questions which Bill & Cresha gratiously answered and they did some demonstrations as well.
What to Expect
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 chief. 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.
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.
Additional Booking Notes
Typically, Bill does not require a sound system for his presentation. However, for large groups he can provide one if needed.
Past Booked Events
|July 05, 2020 • 10:30am - 11:15am||Religious Celebration|
|May 08, 2019 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm||Nonprofit Event|
|April 29, 2017 • 11:30am - 1:00pm||Fair|
Influences & Inspiration
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.
"...He is an excellent storyteller, too. We loved all the little 'tidbits' of extra information he gave us. He held our interest from the beginning...to the end."
"...I discovered that the same passion and knowledge he has for his music was displayed several times in theses Civil War stories. This passion was only outdone by his compassion for those who fought and died..."
"...Bill made the tours come to life with his stories of the soldiers and heroes, as well as dressing in full uniform (and Cresha in her lovely homemade dress and bonnett.)...Bill was so impressive on his knowledge of the war and it's many battles."
"...The stories you told were so compelling. The uniform you wore, Bill, and Cresha's handmade dress of that period was unbelieveable..."