The Northern Virginia Association for History presented Wally Owen, assistant director of Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site, with the Joseph L. Harsh Award at a luncheon on Saturday, May 2, in Fairfax. The annual honor is named for the founding president of the Northern Virginia Association for History and former chair of history at George Mason University, and is presented in recognition of significant contributions to history and historic preservation.
A native Alexandrian, Owen is a Civil War historian respected for his research, lectures and publications, including the book "Mr. Lincoln’s Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington." Co-authored with B. Franklin Cooling, this book about the Union forts protecting the Federal capital during the Civil War is being republished with updated information later this year. Owen is also a member of the 1971 T.C. Williams High School State Championship football team made famous by the movie "Remember the Titans."
His professional experience includes curatorial work for the National Archives, and cultural assessment studies for Civil War sites throughout Northern Virginia. Owen has served as assistant director and curator of Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site since 2002.