Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Richard B. “Rich” Kleese grew up in Shenandoah County, Virginia where he still resides with his wife. He traces his family lineage to the earliest settlers in the Shenandoah Valley and to a great-grandfather who served in “Stonewall” Jackson’s famous “Stonewall Brigade”.
He has lectured on Civil War History at Shenandoah College in Winchester and is a featured speaker on a variety of programs. He is currently a member of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and serves as the Commander of the “Strasburg Guards” Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He was appointed by the Secretary or the Interior to serve on the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District Commission and later served as Treasurer and Trustee of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. He is the author of numerous articles and works on the American Civil War including Shenandoah County in the Civil War, Recollections of an Old Dominion Dragoon, 23rd Virginia Cavalry, and 49th Virginia Infantry.