Author: Will

New Perspectives on the Union War

I’m very pleased to announce the release of a new edited volume of essays on the North’s war effort titled, New Perspectives on the Union War. The book will be released in June 2019 as part of Fordham University Press’s “The North’s Civil War” Series. From the publisher: “Edited by Gary Gallagher and Elizabeth Varon, two of the most prominent… Read more →

UVA Unionists in UVAToday

Matthew Kelly, staff writer at UVAToday, recently published an article about our latest digital project at the Nau Center, UVA Unionists. Kelly’s article is a nice companion piece to a similar one he wrote about our other major research endeavor, Black Virginians in Blue, last October. UVA Unionists is our effort to identify UVA students who fought for the Union.… Read more →

Rosecrans: The North’s Great Anti-slavery General

Major General William S. Rosecrans enjoyed a prominence and popularity in the middle of the Civil War equaled by few commanders on the Union side. After his successful fight at the Battle of Stones River on January 2, 1863, the Republican New York Times compared him to Napoleon and other great military minds of the past, declaring, “Gen. Rosecrans, if… Read more →

Dear Father Jenkins

Although this blog has been entirely devoted to topics related to my career and my scholarly interests such as the Civil War and Catholic history, I feel that as an historian, Notre Dame graduate, and a Catholic father with two children that I must speak out against the current widespread corruption in the Church. This corruption takes many forms but… Read more →

Habemus Cover!

I am pleased to announce that Father David J. Endres and I have signed a contract with the University of Notre Dame Press to publish our scholarly-edited edition of David P. Conyngham’s Soldiers of the Cross: The Heroism of Catholic Chaplains and Sisters in the American Civil War. This book, never finished in the author’s lifetime, tells the story of… Read more →

Who Were the Fenians?: An Evaluation of Toronto Jail Records

The Fenian Brotherhood, organized in the United States in the late 1850s, was the American wing of a transatlantic Irish nationalist movement bent on the violent overthrow of British rule in Ireland. Led by John O’Mahony, the Civil War years saw the group grow in numbers, both in terms of members, equipment, and financial strength. While not exactly endorsing their… Read more →

Nuns of the Battlefield: A Tribute

March is Women’s History Month and a fitting time to recall the important contributions of Catholic nuns and sisters during the U.S. Civil War. Often neglected in studies of women or gender during the war, these courageous Catholic women cared for thousands of sick and wounded Confederate and Federal soldiers in every theater of the war. About 700 women religious… Read more →

“Great Injustice Has Been Done Me”: Rosecrans, Greeley, and the Battle of Chickamauga

Though a conservative Catholic Democrat before 1861, General William S. Rosecrans courted the support of radical Republicans during the American Civil War. His friendship with fellow Ohioans such as Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, Senator Benjamin Wade, and Congressman James A. Garfield was forged by their mutual desire to save the Union and destroy slavery. Rosecrans’s victory at… Read more →

Rosecrans in His Own Words (Part 2)

Having published the first half of General William S. Rosecrans’s personal report last month, I am now glad to be able to present the second part. This section follows Rosecrans from the spring of 1863 through the Tullahoma campaign, the capture of Chattanooga, his defeat at Chickamauga, and his ten-month long command of the Department of Missouri. It finishes with… Read more →