Battlefield Tours of Virginia’s Story



Thank you for considering us for your journey

Battlefields Tours of Virginia came about because of the need to get visitors mobile with a battlefield guide and to achieve an excellent comprehensive private battlefield tour experience.

Many visitors get the Gettysburg experience first and then come to Virginia looking for similar offerings, only to have a difficult time finding a battlefield tour.

We’ve addressed this need and created a team of knowledgeable battlefield guides, primarily based out of the Central Virginia area.

Founded in 2018 and known initially as “Fredericksburg Tours” we only offered private battlefield tours of the Fredericksburg area battlefields at first.

Many of our satisfied clients eventually toured all the Fredericksburg area battlefields. Afterward, they started asking us to offer more battlefield tours because they had difficulty finding other battlefield tours in Virginia.

By 2022 we had expanded tours to the Culpeper, Shenandoah Valley, and Richmond area battlefields. At that time, we decided it was best to change our name to “Battlefield Tours of Virginia” to better reflect what we do.

In the future, we may add more battlefield tour offerings in Virginia. Thank you for considering us to be your battlefield guide in Virginia.

If you have any questions at all, please get in touch

Meet your Guides

We look forward to meeting you!

John Kanaster

John is the owner and operator of Battlefield Tours of Virginia. He is driven by a passion to get visitors mobile with a local battlefield guide and create the best private battlefield tour experience. He is a U.S. Army veteran who worked for the government for over 25 years.

John is a member of various Civil War organizations and gives speaking engagements. Today, he resides in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia with his wife, son, and a house full of retrievers. His home sits on the Fredericksburg portion of the battlefield known as Bloody Plain, where countless waves of Union soldiers charged the Confederate-held positions on Marye’s Heights.

Greg Mertz

Greg retired after a 40-year career with the National Park Service as a historian at the Gettysburg battlefield, the Eisenhower home, and the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania area battlefields. The majority of his career was spent years teaching tour guiding skills and supervising new employees, interns and volunteers.

Greg looks forward to trading the training room and office for getting back on the battlefield sharing the importance of what happened with visitors to our special landscapes. He has written a book on the battle of Shiloh, and has penned feature magazine articles on the Wilderness and Spotsylvania battles.

Don Pfanz

Don was born in Gettysburg, Pa. to legendary Gettysburg author/historian Harry Pfanz. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. During his 32-year career with the National Park Service, he worked at Fredericksburg National Military Park, Petersburg National Battlefield, and Fort Sumter National Monument. He is a founding member of what is now the American Battlefield Trust, our nation’s largest battlefield preservation organization.

An accomplished author, Don has written seven books about the Civil War, including “Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life”, “Clara Barton’s Civil War”, “War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg”, and many, many more. Currently he resided on the Wilderness battlefield with his family in Spotsylvania County, Va.

​Gary Barr

Gary is a retired social studies teacher from the Charlottesville, Va. area where he also operated a private historic tour service for over a decade. Today, he resides near the Chancellorsville battlefield and continues his passion for history & sharing it with others.

He is a published author of a number of historic books & articles.

Steward Henderson

Steward is an accomplished historian, author, and speaker. He is one of our area’s leading African American historians and a contributing author for the Emerging Civil War. Steward is the co-founder of the 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops living history unit and a member of the 54th Massachusetts.

When he’s not giving battlefield tours for us, Steward works as a seasonal historian for the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Today, he resides on the outskirts of the Chancellorsville battlefield.

Mike Block

Mike a military veteran, recently retired after nearly 40 years of service. Since 2004, he has been active as a public historian in Culpeper County. Mike leads tours, staff rides and gives lectures, in addition to serving on non-profit boards supporting historic preservation. He has written articles for “Blue & Gray” and “Hallowed Ground” Magazine’s, and the “Emerging Civil War”.

His first book, on the Battle of Cedar Mountain, was published in 2021. Mike believes that to truly understand an action or event, you must walk the ground and hear from those who were there. He will personalize your tours, so you can get the most out of your experience.

John Roos

John is a very passionate historian with a good sense of humor. Originally from New Jersey, not far from New York City, he was drawn to the charm of Fredericksburg & its four area battlefields. John did an internship with the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public history.

He loves to go the extra mile to find out where a visitor’s ancestor was on the battlefield. John currently resides on the outskirts of the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield.

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