Witnessing History

Kent Masterson Brown

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Born in Lexington, Kentucky on February 5, 1949, Kent Masterson Brown is a 1971 graduate of Centre College of Kentucky; he received his juris doctor degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia in 1974. Mr. Brown has practiced law for forty-three years from offices in Lexington, Kentucky and as counsel to Webster, Chamberlain & Bean in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Brown was the creator and first editor of the national magazine, The Civil War, and the originator of its Civil War seminars. He is the author of Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993. It was a History Book Club selection and a recipient of the Award of Merit from the Wisconsin Historical Society. The book was used as the basis for the posthumous award of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing by President Obama, on November 6, 2014. Mr. Brown delivered the Keynote Speech on Lt. Cushing at the 151st Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address in the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19, 2014. Mr. Brown published The Civil War in Kentucky: Battle for the Bluegrass State, Mason City: Savas, 2000. He reissued and re-illustrated A.D. Kirwan’s Johnny Green of the Orphan Brigade through the University Press of Kentucky in 2002; it was the recipient of the Basil W. Duke Award as the best reprint of the year. Mr. Brown’s recent book, Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign, was released in April of 2005 by the University of North Carolina Press and received rave reviews. It was a selection of both the History Book Club and the Military Book Club and was awarded the 2005 Bachelder-Coddington Award, the 2005 United States Army Historical Foundation Award for Distinguished Writing in History and the 2005 Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize. Mr. Brown’s book, One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, was released in February 2011 by the University Press of Kentucky. It was a History Book Club selection and was the winner of the 2011 Basil W. Duke Literary Award. Mr. Brown is the author of a lavishly-illustrated new book, The Confederacy’s First Battle Flag: The Story of the Southern Cross, published by Pelican Publishing Company in Gretna, Louisiana. It was released in March 2014. He is presently writing another major study on the Gettysburg campaign entitled, General George Gordon Meade and the Gettysburg Campaign, for the University of North Carolina Press to be published in 2018. He has written numerous articles and book reviews for scholarly historical journals, and regularly leads Civil War battlefield tours. Mr. Brown is a highly-sought-after speaker, and he lectures on Civil War history all across the nation.

As President and Content Developer for Witnessing History, LLC, Mr. Brown has written, hosted and produced many broadcast and DVD documentaries, including Retreat From Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics & the Pennsylvania Campaign (2008), and Bourbon and Kentucky: A History Distilled (2008). They both are being broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television (“KET”) and have received Telly Awards for 2008 and 2009. Bourbon and Kentucky was accepted by NETA for national broadcast on all PBS affiliates. Witnessing History, LLC released in 2011 a sixty-minute documentary entitled: Henry Clay and the Struggle for The Union; it chronicles the compromises of 1820, 1833 and 1850 that narrowly averted civil war. It is now being broadcast on KET. Henry Clay and the Struggle for the Union won a Telly Award in 2012. Witnessing History, LLC produced Unsung Hero: The Horse in the Civil War, for HRTV, The Horse Network, in 2012. Its premier broadcast on HRTV was in March of that year. It was awarded a Telly award in 2013 and was nominated for an Emmy Award. It has been aired on KET since April 2015. The Southern Cross: The Story of the Confederacy’s First Battle Flag, was released in June 2013; its premier broadcast on KET was on September 10, 2013.  It won a Telly Award in 2014.  A two-hour documentary, Daniel Boone and the Opening of the American West, was released by Witnessing History, LLC and first aired on KET in May 2015. Daniel Boone actually won the television ratings in May 2015; its premier broadcast on regional television reached two million viewers.  Theatrical premiers were held in Louisville, Cumberland Gap and at Eastern Kentucky University. It won a Telly Award in 2015.  Witnessing History, LLC completed the production, “I Remember the Old Home Very Well:” The Lincolns in Kentucky, in November 2015.  Premiers were held in Elizabethtown and Louisville, Kentucky.  The premier KET broadcast for The Lincolns in Kentucky was on February 12, 2016.  It has received rave reviews and won a Telly Award.  Witnessing History’s productions are all being distributed by PBS and Discovery Education.  Broadcast rights to all of those productions were sold to the History Channel of Australia and New Zealand. Similar rights are being considered by the countries of Western Europe.

Mr. Brown was the first Chairman of the Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission, having been appointed by President George Herbert Walker Bush. He was the first Chairman of the Perryville Battlefield Commission, appointed by Governor Brereton Jones of Kentucky. Mr. Brown was a member of the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and is now a member of the Board of Directors of the Gettysburg Foundation.  Governor Matt Bevin appointed Mr. Brown a member of the Kentucky Film Commission in 2017.  Mr. Brown is currently the President of the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable. He has been given numerous awards for his work in Civil War history as well as historic preservation. For his published works and documentary films, he was named a 2014 Distinguished Graduate by Centre College.

Mr. Brown lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife, Genevieve, and their children, Annie Louise, Philip and Thomas.

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