Virginia Civil War 150
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"Military Strategy in the American Civil War"
Virginia Tech, Cassell Coliseum
Saturday, May 21, 2011

James I. Robertson, Jr.
Virginia Tech
Alumni Distinguished Professor
Conference Chair


JAMES I. ROBERTSON, JR., Conference Chairman, one of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary. Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation. A native of Danville, Virginia, Professor Robertson is the author or editor of more than twenty books that include such award-winning studies as Civil War! America Becomes One Nation, General A.P. Hill, and Soldiers Blue and Gray. His massive biography of Stonewall Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the basis for the movie “Gods and Generals.” Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film. Professor Robertson is the recipient of every major award in his field, and is a popular and renowned lecturer on the Civil War. He is retiring as Alumni Distinguished Professor, one of ten such honorees among 2,200 faculty members at Virginia Tech. He is also Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, created in 1999.
Read more about James I. Robertson, Jr.


JOHN M. BOWEN graduated from Royal Veterinary College in London and then embarked on an international career. He practiced veterinary medicine in the U.K. and conducted research as a visiting professor in Canada, the U.S., and Brazil. An equine specialist, Dr. Bowen is former director of the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center, a unit of Virginia Tech, and conducted research there on nutrition in thoroughbred horses. From 1994 to 2001, he was director of continuing education at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg. He was instrumental in organizing the Equine University series of meetings in Virginia. Dr. Bowen has been an active member of the Virginia Horse Council for more than a decade.


WILLIAM C. DAVIS, a native of Independence, Missouri, was educated in Northern California and spent twenty years in the publishing industry. He left in 1990 to work as a writer and consultant. The author or editor of more than fifty books and documentary screenplays on Civil War and southern history, Davis was senior consultant for the television series “Civil War Journal” and he has worked as historical consultant for several other television and film productions, including “The Blue and the Gray,” “George Washington,” and “The Perfect Tribute.” Davis is the only three-time winner of the Jefferson Davis Award, given for book-length works on Confederate history. Professor Davis came to Virginia Tech to teach history and to serve as director of programs for the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. In coming to Virginia, he returns to his roots: virtually all of his ancestors came to the Old Dominion, some as long ago as 1608.


DENNIS E. FRYE is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and past president of a national battlefield preservation organization that is today’s Civil War Trust. He is a native of the Harpers Ferry and Antietam area and grew up in the shadow of South Mountain. Frye has authored six books, the most recent titled Antietam Revealed, and nearly seventy articles. He has served as a battlefield guide for National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, and major universities, and Civil War Round Tables across the country. He has appeared on the television series “Civil War Journal” and many documentaries. Frye also worked as associate producer and historical consultant for the movie “Gods and Generals.”


GARY W. GALLAGHER is John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. He graduated from Adams State College in Colorado and earned an MA and PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to UVA, Professor Gallagher taught history at Penn State. He has written or edited more than thirty books, including The Confederate War, Lee and His Army in Confederate History, and The Union War. Professor Gallagher has received many awards for his research and writing, including the Laney Prize for the best book on the Civil War, the William Woods Hassler Award for contributions to Civil War studies, the Lincoln Prize (honorable mention), and the Fletcher Pratt Award for the best nonfiction book on the Civil War. Gallagher was a founder and first president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites and has served on the board of directors of the Civil War Trust.


JOSEPH T. GLATTHAAR is Stephenson Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A specialist in American Military History, Professor Glatthaar was educated at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is author of many articles and books, including The March to the Sea and Beyond, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and Their White Officers, General Lee's Army, and Partners in Command. His scholarship has earned many academic honors and awards. In 1991 and 1992, he held the prestigious Harold K. Johnson Visiting Professorship at the Army Military History Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He is currently Vice President of the Society for Military History.


RICHARD M. MCMURRY, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a historian, author, and lecturer of Civil War history. He graduated from the Virginia Military Academy, earned a PhD in history from Emory University, and taught at Valdosta State University and North Carolina State University. He has written four major books on the western theater, one of which was awarded the Laney Prize, and many articles and essays for history journals and magazines. Dr. McMurry compiled a biographical encyclopedia of the alumni of the Virginia Military Institute who served in the Civil War.


RICHARD J. SOMMERS is the Senior Historian at the Army Heritage and Education Center and teaches at the U.S. Army War College. He has spent his entire professional career at the Army Military History Institute, where he was Chief Archivist-Historian and Assistant Director before assuming his present position. His book, Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg, received the Bell I. Wiley Prize from the National Historical Society. In 1989, Dr. Sommers was designated an “Alumnus of Distinguished Achievement” by his alma mater, Carleton College. He earned his doctorate from Rice University under Professor Frank E. Vandiver. Dr. Sommers has contributed to many Civil War publications and has lectured extensively throughout the country. His latest essay appeared in Virginia at War 1864.


STEVEN E. WOODWORTH is professor of history at Texas Christian University and author, co-author, or editor of 27 books. Born in Ohio and raised in Illinois, he graduated from Southern Illinois University, studied at the University of Hamburg, earned a PhD from Rice University, and went on to teach at at Bartlesville Wesleyan College in Oklahoma, and Toccoa Falls College in Georgia. In 1997 he came to TCU, where he specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction and the Old South. Professor Woodworth is a two-time winner of the Fletcher Pratt Award (for Jefferson Davis and His Generals and Davis and Lee at War), a two-time finalist for the Peter Seaborg Award of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War (for While God Is Marching On and Nothing but Victory), and winner of the Grady McWhiney Award of the Dallas Civil War Round Table for lifetime contribution to the study of Civil War history.




Virginia Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the American Civil War
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