Don Pfanz

An avid historian, author, preservationist, former National Park Service employee, and a founding member of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites

Meet Don Pfanz

Don Pfanz is one of the nicest historians you’ll ever meet. He was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to legendary Gettysburg author/historian Harry Pfanz. Don is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.

In his 32-year career with the National Park Service, he worked as a historian at three Civil War parks: Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County National Military Park (1981-1985, 1990-2013), Petersburg National Battlefield (1985-1988), and Fort Sumter National Monument (1988-1990).

Don has been featured numerous times on popular television series on the History Channel, A&E Network, The American Heroes Channel, C-SPAN, and many others. An avid historian and preservationist, Don is a founding member of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (now the American Battlefield Trust).

Published Civil War Author

In 2001, he was inducted into the American Battlefield Trust Hall of Fame and presented with the Trust’s Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also in the same year, the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust selected Don Pfanz as the recipient of its Ralph Happel Lifetime Achievement Award in Civil War preservation.

Don has written eight books and a dozen articles on Civil War topics. In 2014, he co-authored the book No Turning Back: A Guide to the 1864 Overland Campaign, as part of the Emerging Civil War series published by Savas Beatie.

A ninth book, Fredericksburg: A Comprehensive Civil War Guide, is scheduled for publication in 2023 fall. Don lives with his wife, Zandra, in Spotsylvania County, not far from the Wilderness Battlefield.

Learn more from Don

Take a private Virginia battlefield tour with Don Pfanz

Battle of Fredericksburg

This tour goes beyond the stone wall at Marye’s Heights. We’ll spend time around the town of Fredericksburg as well as Slaughter Pen Farm & Prospect Hill.

Battle of Chancellorsville

One of Robert E. Lee’s greatest victories. Hear about Stonewall Jackson’s Flank Attack & the bloodiest morning in the Civil War.
The Wilderness

Battle of The Wilderness Battlefield Tour

Next major battle after Gettysburg, known as the opening phase of Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign. Historians say, it’s the beginning of the end of the Confederacy.

Published Books

Blue & Clara Barton’s Civil War
Between Bullet & Hospital
December 2018

Historic Furnishings Report
Grant’s Cabin, City Point Unit, Petersburg National Battlefield, Virginia
August 2018

Where Valor Proudly Sleeps
A History of Fredericksburg National Cemetery, 1866–1933
March 2018

The Letters of General Richard S. Ewell: Stonewall’s Successor
Voices of the Civil War
November 2012

War So Terrible
A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg
June 2003

Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life
Civil War America
January 1998

Featured Videos

Over 100 5 Star Reviews

Took a full day tour of Jacksons Valley Campaign a few weeks ago and it was outstanding. The tour guide was well prepared and provided an in-depth overview of the multiple battles that make up this campaign.


We are big Civil War buffs, and even after reading about the battles and previously visiting some of the battlefields, we STILL learned so much. Highly recommend this tour for anyone, it’s well worth it.


We would highly recommend taking as much of the tour as you can. I learned so much and appreciate how he explained each battle. My husband has always been very interested in the civil war and now I am too. Can’t wait to go on more tours.


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