What is the A.L.B.G.?
A few days after the armies left the smoldering battlefield of Gettysburg in July, 1863, local residents began to guide curiosity seekers and grieving family members through the sites associated with the recent conflict. Over the last decades of the 19th century many individuals took up guiding as veterans and visitors from around the world arrived at what was fast developing as the premier battlefield park commemorating the American Civil War. Shortly after the Federal Government instituted a testing process to regulate the quality of the existing battlefield guides in the summer of 1915, these newly licensed guides met to establish an organization providing a common voice in promoting guide services and improving the quality of the visitor’s experience. The A.L.B.G. is now incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania as a 501 (C) (6) non-profit organization with the mission of improving the quality of the battlefield guide and promoting the benefits of a licensed guided tour of this and other battlefields of the American Civil War. Today, more than one hundred Association guides conduct thousands of visitors around Gettysburg and other battlefields of the Civil War each year. There are many other internet based, self-proclaimed “battlefield guides” out there with more popping up every year. Even in Gettysburg, there are tour companies purporting to have onboard guides – in reality simply untrained drivers providing narration -NOT legitimate trained and tested guides. If your guide of the Gettysburg battlefield does not wear the official uniform or does not wear the official guide patch depicted on every page of this website then he/she is NOT a sanctioned battlefield guide. Bus / Van drivers at NO time are permitted to provide tours of the field. Be wary of anyone not wearing the official uniform. Choose the oldest, most experienced and the ONLY guides tested, licensed by the federal government AND legally authorized to conduct tours of the Gettysburg National Military Park!! Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Chapter 1, Part 25, Section 25.2, Subsection (a): “No person shall be permitted to offer his services or to act as a guide unless licensed for that purpose by the superintendent…”
Welcome New LBGs!
The A.L.B.G welcomes the 582nd and 583rd persons to be licensed to do tours of the Gettysburg Battlefield. Mr. Tom Clark passed his oral examination on the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, August 25, 2016, completing the licensing process begun by over a hundred and fifty individuals last December. Mr. Chris Bagley was licensed a few days later on Monday, August 29th. They join Mr. Fran Feyock, Mr. Eric Lindblade and Mr. Rick Schroeder all of whom completed their licensing requirement since mid-June. Eric has joined the ranks of the full time guides while Tom, Chris, Fran and Rick all have opted to accept part time or weekend licenses in order to keep their “real jobs.” Again, welcome to all of you and hope to see you around the guide room as the summer winds down.
Our series of losses in the guide force continues with the death of veteran guide Mr. Charlie Kingston this past week (June 2016.) Charlie was unable to guide for the past several years but prior to that was quite active. Coupled with the recent loss of long-time colleagues John Volbrecht and Rob Wingert. John fought a long and valiant battle against a barrage of cancers likely related to his military service during the Vietnam war. He last guided on Saturday April 9, taking several of his military buddies around the field. A few days later he lost his battle and will be deeply missed. Rob Wingert’s unexpected passing on April 21 was an even greater shock. He had recently retired and was looking forward to expanding his guiding career. All of these gentlemen will be greatly missed by their guide family. Full obituaries will be placed in the Memoriam section as the become available.