Finance Can be Fun and a Journey through History

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Bruce Venter

Bruce Venter

Welcome to a New Year at America’s History LLC.

The General is busy working on a marketing plan with the University of Oklahoma Press for his Kill Jeff Davis book. He is trying to persuade the university to provide a bus for the book tour! Those of you, who know the General, know this is written in jest, well sort of!!!!!! But he is consumed with the requirements from the University and on a deadline to complete so it is up to me to keep you informed on what is happening with America’s History.

I am drawn to books on leadership. What fascinates me about studying large military operations is leadership both good and bad that can be evaluated to our heart’s content. The lessons we take from studying it can be used effectively in our own lives. I recently purchased a book by John Maxwell an author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership. It is a daily reader and the first entry of the year hit home. He relates the story about a participant who came up to him after one of his talks and said that he really wanted to write, but had never written anything before and was too nervous to begin. John’s response: just start doing it. Just start writing; write anything. Just start. I am not the writer in this family, and I admit I am nervous about putting pen to paper or fingers to computer but I decided to take Mr. Maxwell’s advice.

As CFO of America’s History LLC this is the time of the year to begin what many people would call the “onerous task” of compiling records required for tax reporting.
I actually like this process and will explain why. History touches everything in life, yes even financial reporting! Reviewing and compiling information on the past year allows me to retrace the steps on the wonderful journeys we took together.

America’s History first event in 2014 was our 3rd Annual Conference on the American Revolution. It was a huge success but it might surprise you to know based on the previous two years conference attendance Bruce and I believed this might be the last conference we would run on the American Revolution. We knew how good the conference was and we knew the participants who attended gave it the highest marks on their evaluations. However, unless we increased attendance we could not continue and be financially sustainable. We told ourselves we would give it one more year. We did not want to give up, we knew what we were doing was something pretty special. In the winter of 2014 I wrote on Americas History Facebook page, if you build it they will come. It happened! Through word of mouth, through some additional advertising in The Journal of the American Revolution ( you came and experienced it and loved it. We prepare for our 4th Annual Conference on the American Revolution with much anticipation and joy. Registration is booming. Thanks to all of you who were with us from the very beginning and helped spread the good word. And welcome all of our new participants.

Our first tour of 2014 was The Kilpatrick Dahlgren Raid on Richmond. This subject is close to our hearts and is the third time we have completed this tour. It is always very special. Through his research on General Kilpatrick Bruce and I spent years traveling these roads mapping the original routes that Kilpatrick and Dahlgren took. It is always of particular joy to share this with fellow cavalry enthusiasts. We had a spirited group, wonderful weather, a terrific bus driver and the expert on Kilpatrick Dahlgren Raid wasn’t bad .
It would be a bit lengthy at this late date to summarize each tour of 2014. The General has been remiss in posting summaries to his blog. He admits it. Instead let me take you through a summary of tours we completed in 2014 and promise that we will post more timely summaries in 2015.

We began the year with a cavalry raid on Richmond and ended our year with cavalry raider: Mosby Rides Again with Horace Mewborn and Bob O’Neill, fellow lovers of cavalry. Excellent symmetry!

In between we visited Trenton and Princeton with Bill Welsch and Jay Jorgensen, Southhampton County for Nat Turner’s Slave Revolt; with John Quarstein, Lake George for Rogers Rangers and the French and Indian War; with John Grenier, the Mohawk Valley in New York for the Oneida Indians in the Revolutionary War; with James Kirby Martin, Bennington for Burgoyne’s Campaign of 1777: The Second Stage; with Mike Gabriel and the General, Hagerstown for Antietam, Sites Seldom Seen; with Tom Clemens, Chickamauga and Chattanooga; with Will Greene and Philadelphia Campaign and Monmouth; with Bill Welsch and Rich Bellamy. I cannot say enough about the quality of our historians. They are the best, the absolute best. We have come to know them all personally and are so grateful for the research and study they have done in their areas of expertise. Equally as important the enthusiasm they show in sharing all of this information, taking us to ground we might never be able to get on is what makes our tours so much fun and so very memorable. Thank you all.

One of the most memorable moments came on the Chickamauga Battlefield when one of our participants, Kirk Hinman stood on the spot where his great grandfather fought. The look on his face as he stood there was priceless and I had tears in my eyes as I watched his emotions. I understood what Will said on the battlefield that day: “ When we walk in their footsteps, we honor them. “

We just completed our calendar of tours for 2015. We have reduced the number of tours due to the General’s schedule in 2015 – both of his books will be published in 2015. However, as you can see, the tours designed for 2015 are unique and in the spirit of our Mission Statement: “The Roads Less Traveled.” We are excited about our continued collaboration with Fort Ticonderoga and the Company of Military Historians.

We hope to see you in 2015!

America’s History, LLC
Our 2015 Calendar of Events

  • March 20-22—4th Annual Conference on the American Revolution—Edward G. Lengel, Rick Atkinson, James Kirby Martin, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Jack Buchanan, Holly Mayer, Don Hagist, Julia Osman—Williamsburg, VA—Conference package–$225.
  • May 28—Victory at Yorktown—Edward G. Lengel, Bill Welsch, and Bruce Venter—in conjunction with the Company of Military Historians Annual Meeting in Richmond, VA–$145.
  • July 23-25— Patriot and Traitor: Benedict Arnold in Connecticut—James Kirby Martin and Bruce Venter—Middletown, CT–$495
  • September 9-12—Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley—A. Wilson “Will” Greene—Staunton, VA–$495.
  • September 25— The Battle of Valcour Island: Benedict Arnold Defends Lake Champlain—James Kirby Martin—in conjunction with the 12th Annual American Revolution Seminar at Fort Ticonderoga–$145.
  • October 22-24—Guerrillas in the Mountains: The Civil War in Kentucky and East Tennessee—Edward G. Lengel—Knoxville, TN–$325.
  • October 28-31—The Revolutionary War in Georgia: Savannah, Augusta, Kettle Creek, Briar Creek and more—Steve Rauch—Augusta, GA–$475.

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