John Kanaster

A U.S. Army veteran whose mission is to get people on the battlefield with a knowledgeable guide.

Meet John Kanaster

John is the founder 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. While trying to satisfy a great need for private Civil War battlefield tours in Virginia, John has assembled an incredible list of knowledgeable battlefield guides, many are notable authors and historians.

He is a U.S. Army veteran and spent significant time in Afghanistan during the War on Terror. John has worked for the government for over 25 years.

For a time he was the education and events director for the Ft. MacArthur Museum in San Pedro, California. While there, he created a successful WWII interpretive program. At Ft. Mac Arthur John also produced big band swing events and was a site coordinator for television and films from R. Lee Ermey’s “Mail Call” to “America’s Next Top Model”.

Over the years John worked on collaborative projects with the National Park Service. He was part of a team who researched and created a permanent NPS exhibit on Civil War medicine at Chancellorsville. He also orchestrated the NPS 100th Anniversary event for the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP.

John is a member of various Civil War organizations such as the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield. He presents at Civil War Roundtables, museums, historic groups, and civic organizations on topics such as the Battle of Fredericksburg, Mine Run, or Civil War medicine.

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.

Learn more from John

Take a private Virginia battlefield tour with John Kanaster

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.
Mine Run

Battle of Mine Run

Part of the Forgotten Fall of 1863, find out what both armies have been up to since the battle of Gettysburg months earlier.

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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