Why Choose EHE to Explore History?

Essential History Expeditions is pleased to have received ALL five-star reviews on Yelp! Check out our Yelp reviews here and our testimonials here. More than 50 percent of all guests who join us for an EHE tour register for a second tour and approximately 15 percent of guests have traveled with us three or more times! Our goal is not to run many tours per year but, instead, to focus on a few highly crafted tours with engaging guests. We truly value the friendships we develop with guests in seminal locations around the world!

Numerous tour groups and companies focus on battlefield and historic city tours. Depending on the intent of the guest and what they hope to gain from the experience, many of these companies may prove eminently suitable and even cost less than an EHE expedition. The Essential History experience is not for everyone. It is an investment in time and energy, make no doubt. EHE guests are active participants in their learning as we subscribe fully to the Benjamin Franklin quote “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I learn. Involve me and I remember.” Furthermore, EHE ensures only top quality accommodations, meals and transportation. EHE promises a rewarding, enriching encounter that will resonate for a lifetime.

Expert historian and guide, LTC Dr. Brian DeToy (Ret.) served as Director of the Defense & Strategic Studies program at the United States Military Academy, West Point from 2007-13. His previous assignments include Assistant Professor in the Academy’s History department, Chief of Research and Publications in the Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Professor of Military Science at the University of Kansas. DeToy graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in History and earned a PhD from Florida State University in European History. He has presented papers, and chaired and commented on sessions at numerous conferences both in the United States and Europe.

Sheryl Rankin Shafer serves as full-time expedition director, committed to meeting the unique needs of each group. She is also a freelance writer, researcher and editor focusing on educational leadership and business marketing communications. She has leadership experience in the start-up phase of multiple corporate and nonprofit businesses, including roles as president, consultant and board of directors member. She is currently president of an education software company; her published work focuses on the education and travel fields. She is passionate about exploring worldwide cultures through travel. She holds a BA in English from Texas A&M, an MA in in Education Leadership, Policy and Politics from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Qualifications of Dr. Brian DeToy

Documentary Expert Historian

  • “Gettysburg: The Battle that Changed America” on Discovery and Military channels
  • “Napoleon and Wellington” on A&E, History and Discovery channels
  • “Napoleon Bonaparte: The Glory of France” Biography on A&E, History and Discovery channels
  • “Global View: Five Battles that Changed the World” on History Channel
  • “Global View: Napoleon” on History Channel
  • “The West Point Story: America’s Fortress of Freedom” on PBS

Select Publications

  • “Admiral George Berkeley and Peninsular Victory, 1809-1812”
  • “Defeating Napoleon’s Designs: Naval Operations on the Galician Littoral, 1809”
  • Introduction, Napoleon’s Art of War. Barnes & Noble
  • General Editor. Turning Victory Into Success: Military Operations After the Campaign (Iraq War)
  • Article on George Berkeley for The Oxford New Dictionary of National Biography

Select Expeditions

In addition to the following battlefields, Dr. DeToy has also personally walked and can lead expeditions at 30 other sites from six wars on three continents.

American Revolution
  • West Point & Fort Montgomery, NY 1777
  • Saratoga, Fort Ticonderoga, Bennington, NY 1777
  • Stony Point, NY 1779
  • Southern Campaign including King’s Mtn, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse SC/NC 1780-81
Yorktown, VA 1781
  • War of 1812
  • New Orleans, LA 1815
Napoleonic Wars
  • Peninsular War, Spain/Portugal 1808-14
  • Waterloo, Belgium 1815
American Civil War
  • 1st & 2nd Bull Run, VA 1861-62
  • Wilson’s Creek, MO 1861
  • Lexington, MO 1861
  • Pea Ridge, AR 1862
  • Antietam, MD 1862
  • Fredericksburg, VA 1862
  • Chancellorsville, VA 1863
  • Gettysburg, PA 1863
  • Lawrence Raid, KS 1863
  • Wilderness, VA 1864
  • Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA 1864
  • Mine Creek, KS 1864
World War One
  • Somme, France 1916
  • Verdun, France 1916
  • Beersheva, Israel 1917
World War Two
  • Normandy/D-Day, France 1944
  • Battle of the Bulge, Belgium/Luxembourg 1944-45
Six Day War
  • Jerusalem, Israel 1967

Experienced Travelers

The map indicates Brian’s international travel in red and Sheryl’s in blue (does not indicate multiple trips or multiple destinations within each country).

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