Behind the Lines

Our interview series featuring conversations with prominent members of the American Civil War community

Published 1/24/2014

An Interview with Rachel Shelden

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Rachel Shelden, an Assistant Professor of History at Georgia College and State University and author of "Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War" published by the University of North Carolina Press. In the interview, Shelden touches on the late antebellum political network that existed in Washington and how its insular nature contributed...

Published 12/6/2013

An Interview with Diane Sommerville

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Diane Sommerville, an associate professor of history at Binghamton University, and author of a recent article entitled "'A Burden Too Heavy to Bear' : War Trauma, Suicide, and Confederate Soldiers" in the December 2013 issue of Civil War History. In this article (part of a special issue dedicated to the Trauma of War) Sommerville discusses the role of suicide in the ...

Published 12/6/2013

An Interview with Matt Dellinger

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Matt Dellinger, a writer and author of a piece entitled "Why I Fight" in the Civil War Monitor's Fall 2013 issue. In this interview, Dellinger touches on what drew him to the world of reenacting, the unique nature of the Brooklyn 14th and Progressive reenacting, and his future project on Brooklyn during the Civil War. For those who may be interested in learning more about...

Published 11/15/2013

An Interview with Harold Holzer

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Harold Holzer, esteemed Lincoln scholar and the Roger Hertog Fellow at the New York Historical Society. In this interview, Holzer details his thoughts on the meaning of the Gettysburg Address 150 years on as well as his assessment of sesquicentennial commemorations throughout the country. Finally, Holzer details his latest project "The Civil War in 50 Objects" in association...

Published 10/31/2013

An Interview with David Gleeson

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with David Gleeson, a Reader in American History at Northumbria University and author of "The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America," now out with the University of North Carolina Press. In the interview, Dr. Gleeson touches on the reluctant embrace of secession by Irish Confederates who ultimately go on to serve with distinction in the Confederate ...

Published 10/28/2013

An Interview with Kathryn Shively Meier

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Kathryn Shively Meier, an assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of "Nature's Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia," published by the University of North Carolina Press. In the interview, Dr. Meier touches on the antebellum medical situation and how this impacts initial thoughts of Civil War soldiers in 1862 ...

Published 10/18/2013

An Interview with Elizabeth Varon

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Elizabeth Varon, the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia and author of "Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War" published by Oxford University Press. In the interview, Dr. Varon touches on the deeper contested meaning of the iconic surrender at Appomattox Court House. She explains how such feelings...

Published 9/20/2013

An Interview with Ben Wright and Zach Dresser

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Ben Wright and Zach Dresser, editors of "Apocalypse and the Millennium in the American Civil War Era," forthcoming from LSU Press. In the interview, Wright and Dresser discuss the origins of the ideas that led to the initial conference at Rice University and how it morphed into an edited collection. They also share their insight on millennialist thought in the Civil War Era. ...

Published 9/13/2013

An Interview with Margaret Humphreys

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Margaret Humphreys, the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine at Duke University and author of "Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War" published by Johns Hopkins University Press. In the interview, Dr. Humphreys discusses the crises faced in both the North and South at the outbreak of the war as they tried to grapple with medical...

Published 9/6/2013

An Interview with Cate Wyatt

By: David K. Thomson Category: Behind the Lines

Our conversation with Cate Wyatt, President of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. In the interview, Wyatt discusses the extensive work of the partnership over a 180 mile stretch from Gettysburg to Monticello. Included are Wyatt's thoughts on the Journey's extensive educational outreach programs including summer sessions. Finally, Wyatt touches on the Partnership's efforts to...