Edward L. Ayers has been president of the University of Richmond since 2007. Since his arrival, President Ayers has led the creation of The Richmond Promise, an ambitious strategic plan that has helped foster progress across the institution.
Ayers is a noted historian and the author of ten books on the American South. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American History and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492 for In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Civil War in the Heart of America. His book, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Ayers’ digital archive project, The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, has been used in thousands of classrooms across the country to enable students to directly access the letters, diaries, newspapers, and other first-person accounts of two communities, one North and one South, during the Civil War. Dr. Ayers is also a co-host of BackStory, a nationally syndicated radio show that ties history to the present day.
W. Fitzhugh Brundage is the William B. Umstead Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written on the history of the American South, including lynching, utopian socialism, and historical memory. He also has an interest in African American culture and is currently completing a history of torture in the United States, from DeSoto to the administration of George W. Bush.
John M. Coski is Historian at The Museum of the Confederacy, where he has worked in various capacities since 1988, and is editor and principal writer of the Museumís quarterly Magazine. He earned his B.A. from Mary Washington College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the College of William and Mary. He is the author of several books, most notably The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem (2005) and Capital Navy: The Men, Ships, and Operations of the James River Squadron (published in 1996), and more than 125 essays, articles, and reviews. He has lectured widely on Civil War topics and participated in many academic conferences and community discussions about Confederate symbols and controversies.
He lives in Richmond's Westover Hills neighborhood with his wife, Ruth Ann, and their dog, Portia.
J. Matthew Gallman is professor of history at the University of Florida. An authority on the American Civil War, he is the author of four books: Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia During the Civil War (1990); The North Fights the Civil War: The Home Front (1994); Receiving Erin’s Children: Philadelphia, Liverpool, and the Irish Famine Migration, 1845–1855 (2000); and America’s Joan of Arc: The Life of Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (2006). He is working on a study of political rhetoric and satire in the North during the Civil War.
Gary W. Gallagher is the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. He is the author or editor of more than thirty books, including The Confederate War (Harvard University Press, 1997), Lee and His Generals in War and Memory (Louisiana State University Press, 1998), The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History (co-edited with Alan T. Nolan, Indiana University Press, 2000), Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2008), The Union War (Harvard University Press, 2011), and Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty (University of Georgia Press, 2013). He serves as editor of two book series at the University of North Carolina Press ("Civil War America," with more than 100 titles date, and “Military Campaigns of the Civil War,” with 9 titles) and appeared regularly on the Arts and Entertainment Network's series "Civil War Journal" as well as participating in more than three dozen other television projects in the field. Professor Gallagher is also the recipient of the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professorship for 2010-2012 (the highest teaching award conveyed by the University of Virginia) and the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in 2013. Active in the field of historic preservation, he was president from 1987 to mid-1994 of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (an organization with a membership of more than 12,500 representing all 50 states). He also served as a member of the Board of the Civil War Trust and has given testimony about preservation before Congressional committees on several occasions.
Barbara A. Gannon is assistant professor of history at the University of Central Florida. She received her B.A. from Emory University in Atlanta, an M.A. from George Washington University in Washington DC, and a Ph.D. from Penn State University. She is the author of The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic (UNC Press, 2011), an examination of the black and white members of the Union Army's largest veterans’ organization. This book received the Wiley-Silver Prize (University of Mississippi) for the best first book on the Civil War, was recognized with an honorable mention by the Lincoln Prize Committee 2012 (Gilder Lehrman Institute), and was a finalist for the Jefferson Davis Prize (Museum of the Confederacy). She is currently working on two separate studies; one surveys Civil War memory, and the other examines American veterans. She is the coordinator for UCF’s Community Veterans History project and teaches U.S. Military History, Civil War and Reconstruction, and Oral History. She is a veteran of the United States Army.
Thavolia Glymph is professor of history and of African and African American studies at Duke University, where she teaches courses on slavery, the United States South, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and African American women’s history. She is the author of Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (2008) and a co-editor of two volumes of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867, a part of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project. She is currently completing Women at War, a study of women in the Civil War.
Harold Holzer is Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, official successor organization of the U. S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which he co-chaired for nine years, appointed by President Bill Clinton. Holzer is the author, co-author, or editor of 46 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era. His most recent are Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America (2012), the official young-adult companion book for the Steven Spielberg film, for which he served as script consultant; and The Civil War in 50 Objects, which traces the war through the collections of the New-York Historical Society, for which he serves as the Roger Hertog Fellow. His next book is "Lincoln and the Power of the Press," to be published by Simon and Schuster in October 2014.
Holzer has also written more than 500 articles, published 15 monographs, and contributed chapters and prefaces to 50 additional volumes. He was won many awards for his writing, including a second-place Lincoln Prize in 2005 for Lincoln at Cooper Union, prizes from the Freedom Foundation, the Manuscript Society of America, and the Illinois State Historical Society, lifetime achievement awards from the Lincoln Groups of New York, Washington, Peekskill, and Detroit, and honorary degrees from nine colleges and universities. In 2008 Holzer was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Bush.
Holzer also lectures throughout the nation. One of his programs, “Lincoln Seen and Heard,” with actor Sam Waterston, was staged and broadcast from such venues as the White House, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, the Clinton Presidential Library, the Library of Congress, and Ford’s Theatre. Holzer also appears frequently on C-SPAN and the History Channel, has served as an on-air commentator on PBS, NBC, MSNBC, and the BBC, and has performed in Lincoln programs onstage with such actors as Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Diane Wiest, Liam Neeson, Norm Lewis and Stephen Lang.
In professional career, Holzer serves as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he has worked for the last 22 years following more than two decades in public relations in government, politics, and television. He and his wife, Edith, who live in Rye, New York, have two grown daughters and a grandson.
Caroline E. Janney is professor of history at Purdue University. A native of the Shenandoah Valley, Janney received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her first book, Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (2008) explores the role of white southern women as the creators and purveyors of Confederate tradition in the immediate post-Civil War South. Her second book, a volume in the Littlefield History of the Civil War Era, examines how the Civil War has been remembered between 1865 and the 1930s. She is the editor of John Richard Dennett’s, The South As It Is, 1865-66 and is the author of essays about the Civil War and its aftermath that have appeared in the Journal of Southern History, Civil War History, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Crucible of the Civil War: Virginia from Secession to Commemoration, Virginia’s Civil War, and the Journal of the Civil War Era.She serves as a co-editor of the University of North Carolina Press’s Civil War America Series.
Elizabeth D. Leonard is the John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. A native of New York City, she earned her Ph. D. in U.S. history from the University of California, Riverside, in 1992. Leonard is the author of several articles and five books on the Civil War-era: Yankee Women: Gender Battles in the Civil War (1994); All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies (1999); Lincoln's Avengers: Justice, Revenge, and Reunion after the Civil War (2004); Men of Color to Arms! Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the Quest for Equality (2010); and Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky (2011), which was named co-winner of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize in 2012. She is currently engaged in research on two projects: one, a deeper study of Joseph Holt’s post-Emancipation legal opinions regarding the issue of black Americans’ civil, political, and human rights; the other, an exploration of the lived experience of enslaved men from one particular region of Kentucky as they ran from slavery to fight for freedom and then returned to try and claim the promises of Emancipation.
James M. McPherson was born in North Dakota and grew up in Minnesota, where he graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1958. In 1963 he received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. From 1962 until retirement in 2004 he taught American history at Princeton University, where he is now the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of American History Emeritus. He is the author of 15 books and editor of another 10 books, most of them on the era of the American Civil War and Reconstruction. His books have won several prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize (1989) for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, a Lincoln Prize (1998) for For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, and a second Lincoln Prize (2009) for Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. He has received a number of other awards, including the Pritzker Prize for lifetime achievement in military writing. In addition to his membership in several professional associations and historical preservation societies, he is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is now working on a book about the navies in the Civil War.
John R. Neff is associate professor of history at the University of Mississippi. He completed his undergraduate work at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and his Masters and Doctorate at the University of California, Riverside. He joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 1999. His first book, Honoring the Civil War Dead: Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award, and became the founding director of the University’s Center for Civil War Research. His current research explores Civil War memorialization in Chicago, striving to understand how northerners – civilians and veterans – responded to the challenges of Reconstruction, immigration, economic strife and the rise of the Lost Cause in the decades following the war.
Elizabeth R. Varon is Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia. She received her MA from Swarthmore College and PhD from Yale, and has held teaching positions at Wellesley College and Temple University. A specialist in the Civil War era and 19th-century South, Varon is the author of We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), which won the Lerner-Scott Prize of the American Historical Association; Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (Oxford University Press, 2003), which won the Lillian Smith Prize of the Southern Regional Council; the People’s Choice Award of the Library of Virginia; and the Richard Slatten Biography Prize of the Virginia Historical Society; and Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859, volume I of the "Littlefield History of the Civil War Era" series (Littlefield Fund for Southern History and University of North Carolina Press, Fall 2008). Her new book is Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (Oxford 2013). Varon’s public presentations include book talks at the Lincoln Bicentennial in Springfield; and at Gettysburg’s Civil War Institute; and on C-Span’s Book TV. She is also a featured speaker in the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lectureship program.
Joan Waugh, professor at the UCLA History Department, researches and writes about nineteenth-century America, specializing in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Gilded Age eras. Waugh has published numerous essays and books on Civil War topics, both single authored and edited, including her prize-winning U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth, (University of North Carolina Press, 2009). Other works include Unsentimental Reformer: The Life of Josephine Shaw Lowell (Harvard University, 1998); Civil War and Reconstruction, 1856 to 1859 (Facts on File, 2003, 2010); The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), Wars Within A War: Controversy and Conflict Over the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), and an e-textbook (co-written with Gary W. Gallagher) covering the Civil War and Reconstruction period, entitled The American War (Flip Learning, 2014). The recipient of Huntington Library, NEH, and Gilder-Lehrman fellowships, she has been interviewed for many documentaries, including the PBS series, “American Experience” on Ulysses S. Grant and the History Channel’s production of “Lee and Grant.” Waugh has also published a number of op-eds on current controversies regarding Civil War issues for media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and Salon.com. An active public speaker, Professor Waugh recently delivered the 50th Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Joanna Dunlap Cowden Memorial Lecture at California State University at Chico, and the Andrew Bell Appleby Memorial Lecture at San Diego State University. Serving on numerous advisory boards and editorial boards, Dr. Waugh has been honored with four teaching prizes, including UCLA’s most prestigious teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award. Her dedication to teaching reaches far beyond the campus classroom and she has participated in local, state-wide and national teaching workshops for elementary, middle-school and high school teachers. She led groups of Southern California teachers on Civil War battlefield trips and developed and led a summer travel-study program for UCLA students to go on a two-week field trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Antietam, Maryland, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Professor Waugh’s current research agenda includes two book projects: a study of Harvard-educated Union officers and an examination of the nature of surrender during the Civil War. In 2013-2014 Dr. Waugh held the Stephen and Janet Rogers Distinguished Fellowship in Nineteenth Century American History at the Henry Huntington Library in San Marino, California.