Gary Barr

A professional educator and published author. A past employee of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, the General George C. Marshall Museum, and a lead guide at Arlington National Cemetery.

Meet Gary Barr

Gary is a retired high school social studies teacher. He firmly believed that active learning was best for student learning and frequently used group activities, question and answer sessions, living history simulations, and press conference formats for guest speakers. Additionally, he loved taking students on field trips to historical sites in Virginia where he spent almost his entire career. The latter led to him creating a tour-guide service called Old Virginia Tours, Inc.

In his company, he personally led narrated walking and driving tours in the southern Shenandoah Valley, Charlottesville area, and at battlefields in Virginia. Gary also trained others to carry out these tours as he continued his teaching career. After 13 years, Gary closed down the operation and moved on to other pursuits.

As retirement loomed, publishers approached him to edit social studies books (middle school level) for content, and then to author some. Eight books resulted on topics such as Pearl Harbor, the War on Terror, Slavery in the US, and Climate Change. He also wrote historical articles on the Shenandoah Valley for a tourism website and penned feature articles for a local newspaper.

Following his retirement from teaching Gary worked at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and the General George C. Marshall Museum in addition to being a tour guide at local Fredericksburg venues. Before joining Battlefield Tours of Virginia, he conducted guided tours of Arlington National Cemetery.

Gary enjoys relating the valor, sacrifice, and drama exhibited on our area battlefields to tourists. He is also excited about leading our new tours in the Shenandoah Valley. Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign is recognized worldwide for its brilliant use of geography, swift marches, and surprise attacks. Philip Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign involved furious battles resulting in the “fall” of the “Confederacy’s Breadbasket” and a crucial invasion route to the North.

Living with his wife Alice near Chancellorsville and Wilderness Battlefields, he enjoys golf, exercise, and travel. He and Alice are in the process of visiting the homes of all US Presidents (and have visited about 3/4ths of them). However, his greatest joys are narrating tours and being with family.

Learn more from Gary

Take a private Virginia battlefield tour with Gary Barr

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.
Northern Shenandoah Valley

Northern Shenandoah Valley Campaigns Guided Tour

Visit 3 different Winchester battlefields from 2 different campaigns in 1862 & 1864. Explore the City of Winchester, the town that changed hands over 70 times.
Southern Shenandoah Valley

Southern Shenandoah Valley Campaigns Guided Tour

The Shenandoah Valley is the site of dramatic conflicts during the Civil War. Visit 4 different valley battlefields from 3 different campaigns in 1862 & 1864.

Published Books

History and Activities of the Islamic Empire
(Hands-on Ancient History)
January 2008

The War on Terror: Is the World a Safer Place?
(Behind the News)
May 2007

The History & Activities of the West African Kingdoms
(Hands-on Ancient History)
October 2006

Climate Change: Is the World in Danger?
(Behind the News)
October 2006

The Mid-Atlantic
(Regions of the USA)
September 2006

World War II Home Front
(Witness to History)
May 2004

Pearl Harbor
(Witness to History)
May 2004

Slavery in the United States
(Witness to History)
May 2004

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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