Dennis E. Frye Bio
Dennis E. Frye is known for challenging convention and sparking provocation. His newest book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, turns inside out and upside down what you know about Antietam and the first invasion of the North. Dennis establishes his theme with the first line of his book: "What is history but a fable agreed upon." Dennis' provocation is certain to generate debate and conversation. Join us as we discover "Antietam Shadows" from one of the nation's most enlightening and entertaining Civil War historians.
Dennis recently retired from the National Park Service (NPS) at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, where he served for more than three decades - 20 years as Chief Historian. Arnold Schofield was his First NPS supervisor. While with the NPS, Dennis earned the Department of Interior's "Distinguished Service Award," the highest honor of the department.
Dennis also received the American Battlefield Trust's highest honor, the "Shelby Foote Award," and was awarded the "Nevins-Freeman Award" by the Chicago Civil War Round Table for his years of scholarship and his national leadership role in battlefield preservation. Dennis is a founder of today's American Battlefields Trust (formerly Civil War Trust) and a co-founder of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, and served as president of both organizations. While president of the American Battlefields Trust, Dennis earned the Kansas City CWRT's "Harry S. Truman Award" for his efforts to help preserve Bryam's Ford at the Westport Battlefield.
Dennis has authored 10 books and 101 articles, writing for every major Civil War publication; and he is a tour guide in national demand, leading programs for the Smithsonian, National Geographic, and the New York Times, as well as universities and Civil War organizations around the country. Dennis has made frequent national television appearances, including on PBS, the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, A&E, Fox News, CSPAN, and Voice of America. Dennis is a native of the Antietam/Harpers Ferry area, and he and his wife Sylvia have restored and reside in the post-Antietam headquarters of General Burnside, where President Lincoln conferenced with Burnside.
In 2011, Dennis Frye published the book, Harpers Ferry Under Fire: A Border Town in the American Civil War.
Harpers Ferry experienced the Civil War like no other place and was a case study of repeated invasions, military operations, martial law, and endless danger. Journey into the Civil War with stories from those who lived, worked, fought, and died in a border town. This narrative is complemented by full color and black-and-white illustrations, photographs, and maps. Paperback, 200 pages.
Dennis co-authored with Catherine Mägi Oliver the book, Confluence: Harpers Ferry as Destiny.
One place. Countless stories. Harpers Ferry has long been a gathering point of the American story. From explorers and innovators to warriors and reformers, passionate souls with wildly diverse causes have flowed again and again into this tiny village, shaping the town--and, in many cases, the country. Focusing on personal, human experiences recorded in journals, letters, and other documents, Confluence: Harpers Ferry as Destiny offers a view of Harpers Ferry history that is both sweeping and intimate. Come: Discover the national dramas that have converged at Harpers Ferry. Slavery and the quest for freedom. War, expansion, and revolution. Natural disaster upon natural disaster, and the enduring human spirit that has refused to relinquish hope. Published in honor of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s 75th anniversary, Confluence also includes a perspective on the rebirth of this war- and flood-ravaged town as a national park. Under the stewardship of NPS, Harpers Ferry has continued to evolve, continued to reveal new stories.