Dispatches from the Field

We are eagerly anticipating your visit.  One of our longest standing members, who has been president of other Civil War Round Tables attended one of your presentations with the past year or so (I don’t recall where).  When he saw your name on the schedule he told me I had scheduled the most realistic/authentic presenter he’s ever seen.  

Hamilton County (Indiana) Civil War Round Table

General,

I attended my first meeting last night and was truly overwhelmed by both your lecture and your gravitas.
Can you recommend a biography which you feel most accurately interprets your life and career?
I would be most appreciative.
Thank you, General.
Laura Finster
 Jim Doncaster

Curt,

Just a brief note to thank you and Lena once again for the wonderful presentation last night. We at the Knoxville CWRT are most fortunate to have a quality presentation nearly every month of the year. What we rarely have, however, is history in the first person. Combining Civil War history with performance art takes an evening to a whole new level as far as I’m concerned. And so it was last night. I’ll never be able to talk with General Grant, but last night I felt like I came mighty close. I can’t imagine a truer portrayal. The good general has to be smiling down on you everytime you put on that uniform.

You drew very well. Our numbers were excellent. We had about 100 people in the audience. That’s about as good as it gets for us. For that we thank you.

Thank you to everyone who attended the March meeting to hear Curt Fields speak on “Appomattox: The Days before the Surrender”. His appearance and presentation as General Grant was commanding as well as enlightening. Total attendance for the lecture was an even 100. There were sixty-three diners, nine who were non-members. Also attending were an additional thirty-seven members and six who were non-members to hear the presentation. Thank you once again for your support and interest in the Round Table as this is the best attended event of the year.

Hi Curt, 

It was good to talk with you just now and make your acquaintance. I feel like I already know you, though, having watched your videos and seen your likeness on the Camp Chase Gazette a time or two through the years. As I mentioned to you on the phone, your videos are outstanding. I love first person presentations. Tom said you were good, but I didn’t realize how good until I watched your videos. I’m delighted you can join us in March.

Jim Doncaster

Dr. Curt Fields as General Grant adds a lot to the study of Civil War.

Having served on the board of the Lincoln Museum for several years, I have seen many impersonators.  I’ve met numerous General Grants and Abraham Lincolns.  I must say that you are the best Grant I’ve seen to date.

Doug Lippman

“to watch the General give a talk is totally spell binding and inspiring, he is my role model when i do them……”

Scooter Aldrich

Thank you Curt and thank you for helping me see the real Grant, for indeed you have shone a beacon on the man as no other can. I suppose in the past I have just accepted the role of the despot, as depicted by many Southerners, but when you scratch the surface there is so much more to this man and you embody his spirit as no other can.

Robert Taylor (New Zealand)

 "...but in fact I 
sense a shift, not large, perhaps, but important, in my own feeling. I 
say "feeling" because my "thinking" has been conditioned by my 
perception of the facts of the war. That I can feel differently comes 
as something of a surprise.

On the other hand, that is no surprise. Ever since meeting you at 
Appomattox I have been aware of how you are shaping the way people feel 
about General Grant. I long ago came to terms with his role in the War, 
but I never felt a lot of sympathy for him, for his struggles, for his 
ability to rise above his own limitations, and especially for his 
endurance toward the end, determined to finish his own literary work as 
a writer and thinker who was more gifted than perhaps he realized. 
Which means that you are more than just a remarkable reenactor."

Jerry Tompkins 
Retired Presbyterian Minister

 

 

 

 

The last time I saw Curt was in Appomattox, Virginia, where he portrayed General Grant at the Sesquicentennial of Lee’s surrender in April, 1865.  That excursion produced this photo:

Unity - The Final Interview - Grant and Lee at Appomattox - April 10 1865/2035

which I still like to think of as one of the defining images of the Sesquicentennial.

When I first saw that image in the LCD on the back of my camera, I thought I had my “Hindenburg” shot (OK, maybe not quite that dramatic, but you get the idea…).

I don’t know how he does it, but Curt Fields is so well steeped in everything that has ever been written either by or about Ulysses S. Grant that he can hold forth for hours at a time and tell stories about Grant from Grant’s own perspective.  The material is all Grant, but the delivery… well, that’s all Curt. He keeps audiences enthralled, and while he has their attention he delivers a rich education on the true history of America’s Civil War and the men who fought, won, and lost it.

Curt Fields is much more than a cliche “Civil War reenactor.” He is the quintessential embodiment of a “living historian.”  I’m proud to consider him my friend and I hope these photos capture a little bit of what he brings to the experience.

Paul Schatzkin  aka ‘The Matthew Brady of the re-enacted War’

I love listening to his stories! Dr Curt Fields is an awesome living Historian and if you get the chance to attend one of his appearances I highly recommend it!

Jennifer Fincher

My friend, Curt Fields, is a living historian and his portrayal of Grant is amazing.

Lynda Cox

It’s been my honor and privilege to be a “Friend” both on and off Face Book to Prof. Curt Fields…..there Is, in my opinion, NO finer “General U.S. Grant” in the entire community of Civil War Reenactors.

Richard William Baker

Another one of my pictures made the cover of Camp Chase Gazette magazine. Featured on the cover is General Grant, Curt Fields, who does the best Grant portrayal in the land. Curt was Grant at the Appomattox 150th and has worked with the National Parks Service in other roles such as movies and such for their visitor centers.

Jeff Shiflett– Photographer referring to the March-April (2016) cover of the Camp Chase Gazette Magazine

Curt Fields: I saw one of your short films recently, where you were explaining how “you’ had arrayed your army before a battle across the river [maybe Port Gibson?] and it was really quite extraordinary, in both voice & story. And for what it’s worth…in Look & Storytelling ability, you do… far & away… the best U.S. Grant portrayal in the World! Is there a place [website?], where I could watch all the other battlefield shorts you must have filmed?

(Yes, generalgrantbyhimself.com  and on Facebook: Curt Fields, General Grant’s Campaigns, Grant: Unconditional Surrender, and President Grant by Himself)

Cary Eberly

Curt Fields who portrays Grant does an excellent job and really captures the essence of the General.

Chris Cherry

A memorable occasion at Appomattox a year ago. Curt Fields and I on hand for the 150th anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox. Curt really embodies U.S. Grant in every way imaginable and he handled the ceremonies with the dignity they deserved. History truly lived that day. Lest We Forget

David Kinsella

Dr. Fields sets the standard for such endeavors.  His depth of knowledge and performance approach are just remarkable.

Mike Moorman

“You are so authentic, that even as a military history major from West Point, it was hard to keep reminding myself that I was not, in fact, listening to a lecture from General Grant.”

Roy Shipley  USMA  Class of 1994

Integrity, intelligence, and inspiration do not always earmark celebrity.  The qualities of a true gentleman are always apparent and noticeable but do not necessarily represent the man himself.

The mask of hypocrisy is worn by many who ply their trade by entertaining audiences, individuals, and followers by depending on a scripted dialogue; speaking, moving, and performing on cue.

I recommend all of my Facebook folks to friend Curt Fields, or General Ulysses S. Grant.  He has taken upon himself to resurrect history factually, purely, and honestly.  when you find one such as he is, it is a worthy find.

Curt works hard at period costuming, language, weaponry, accuracy, and a tremendous team effort with others who join him in keeping the dignity, horrors, lessons, costs, trauma, and causes of the Civil War alive.

His gift of realism, love of character, and energy toward excellence reward the follower with a great deal of satisfaction, and if they will allow it, the feeling that they are right there in the time, place, and essence of the era.

I am impressed and interested in his work, and I believe you will be also if you friend and follow Curt Fields.

ML

I’ve been following your Facebook posts about the activities at Appomattox.  I can’t imagine the excitement and honor you must feel in portraying General Grant during this time.  Based on everything I’ve seen and heard, the General could not have asked for a better, more devoted person than yourself to carry out the role of remembering his life and service.

MS                                                                                                                                                          OHIO

Your portrayals of Grant are world class.  I believe Grant himself would be impressed.  All of us here are (Dallas, TX, CWRT).

John C. Waugh

Author of: “The Class of 1846:  From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan and Their Brothers”   (1994)

Warner Books

Steven Eleftheriadis You really capture Grant’s look of weariness combined with an almost ‘sadness’ too. I see the determination as well. Truly you have done an amazing job to capture the essence of this man. Well done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Responses to Dispatches from the Field

  1. Well it was hot sunny day. The General was talking among his advisors. Then a lone rebel came and Captured the General and took him away.. I hope you find Sam Grant as entertaining as I have over the years. He is a great speaker and a wonderful historian on Grant.

    Merlin.

  2. ecfields says:

    May I say again that I enjoyed your program at the Dallas Civil War Round Table last evening. Best ever as I told you last evening.

    ZD
    TX

  3. ecfields says:

    To Whom It May Concern:
    My husband & I visited Vicksburg for the 150th anniversary of the siege/surrender for the first part of July.
    The re-enactments were at the Old Courthouse & the military battleground were great. General Grant (the actor) must have been the real General Grant’s twin! His mannerisms were exactly what we would have expected from the real Gen. Grant…

    K and TW

  4. ecfields says:

    I attended the 150th anniversary and commemoration of the surrender of Vicksburg. I am pleased that I drove the 2000 miles on my motorcycle to witness the event. Your portrayal of General Ulysses S. Grant was compelling and from my study of history as accurate as I could have imagined it to be. I especially liked your speech. It was truly like being transported back in time to this momentous event.
    Thank you for your dedication to history and in coming to this event.

    JW
    NC

  5. ecfields says:

    Mr. Fields,
    I wanted to drop you a line to express to you the wonderful time my wife and I had in Vicksburg on the 4th of July celebration.
    Your portrayal of US Grant was stunning and added a lot to the entire experience. We will remember that 4th of July for a long time.

    J and TF
    TN

  6. ecfields says:

    Just got to tell you how much I enjoyed your remarks at the (Fort Donelson) National Cemetery yesterday. I have been to many, many memorial ceremonies in my service years. Your comments made this one really special. As I was listening to you, it dawned on me — “This guy really gets it.” Whether you know it or not, you have captured the “heart of the warrior” in your portrayal of USG. You really have a talent for speaking the soldier’s truth from deep in your heart.

    JV
    Lt. Col. USA ret.
    KY

  7. ecfields says:

    I really enjoyed meeting you yesterday at the Grant Mausoleum. You are a remarkable likeness of the General! I wish I had had more time to talk with you, but feel lucky my visit coincided with yours.

    JD
    MA

  8. ecfields says:

    “… You are, without a doubt, the spitting image of U. S. Grant!!!
    Unreal!!!”

    BJ
    TN

  9. ecfields says:

    Does the best job of portraying General Grant!
    None better!

    LM
    MS

  10. Mr. Mayor says:

    General Grant ( Dr. Curt Fields) has been a dear friend of mine for a number of years. He is with doubt one of the most prepared of all the people trying to represent a Civil War General or Officer.
    His portrayal of General ( Sam) Grant is probably better than Grant himself could do. Keep up the good work of telling the History of the Civil War My friend.

  11. MP says:

    Just a note to tell you, again, how great your presentation was at our Ft.Worth Civil War Roundtable! So glad to meet you, and as I told you at the meeting, it was as if Gen. Grant had come back to life. Obviously, you have “done your homework” and perfected your impression right down to the dress, look and mannerisms. Would love to be there when you will do the 150th anniversary of the surrender. Thank you for all the time and work you put into this authentic portrayal.

  12. ecfields says:

    Thank you, for your very kind words!
    General Grant

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