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About Civil Warriors

Civil Warriors is–well, was–a group blog once composed of four professional historians of America’s bloodiest conflict.  The first three members were Brooks D. Simpson, Steven E. Woodworth, and myself.  Upon Steve’s departure (he discovered that blogs weren’t really his medium), Ethan S. Rafuse came aboard.

Here’s the original explanation of our purpose in starting Civil Warriors early in 2006:

Our intent, in part, is to have a platform that supports the books we write: after all, few authors write with no hope of gaining a readership. But we’re also historians committed to dialogue with the wider community of people who love history as much as we do.

Here we candidly share our views concerning the field of Civil War history, the joys and terrors of writing books, and our encounters with publishers, Civil War tour companies, internet discussion groups, and pretty much anything that touches upon the vocation we’ve chosen. We’re glad you’ve chosen to visit. We hope you enjoy Civil Warriors, and we always enjoy your comments.

Most comments post immediately. If yours does not, it’s probably being held for moderation by our no-nonsense Spam Filter.

For the moment there’s just one Civil Warrior:  me.  Brooks departed in 2010 to start his own blog.  Ethan moved on in June 2013, for reasons explained in his valedictory post.  Me, I abandoned the blog in all but name.  That owed to several things:  first, a rather whirlwind relationship that led to marriage, the birth of a baby daughter, a rather unpleasant divorce; and the responsibilities of being a new father.  But the more important reason is that I lost my passion for blogging–whether here or on my other blogs, particularly Blog Them Out of the Stone Age–which took a big hit when some elusive malicious script crept into its WordPress platform, leading me to shift to an older Blogger platform.  To avoid potentially infecting my readers’ computers, I placed a “redirect” on the WordPress address, rendering most of my posts inaccessible.  That wasn’t too great, either.  Third, to a considerable degree I relied upon blogging as a way to maintain productivity when I hit a long period during which conventional writing was difficult for me, and that period is largely behind me.  Eventually I did return to blogging, this time as a contributor to the official blog of the Society for Military History, but on a rather intermittent basis.

Yet somehow my interest in blogging has resurfaced, so I’ve begun publishing both here and on BTOOTSA.  Whether I’ll try to secure a partner(s) to justify the plural–Civil Warriors–remains to be seen.  Heck, it remains to be seen whether this is a full-blooded re-commitment or a flash in the pan.  But either way, I hope you enjoy such posts as do appear.  Thanks for being a reader.

So …

The current Civil Warrior:

mark-grimsleyMark Grimsley is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 (Cambridge University Press, 1995), which received the Lincoln Prize. A professor of history at The Ohio State University, from July 2008 through June 2010 he held the Harold Keith Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College.

Mark has received three teaching awards, including the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, Ohio State’s highest award for teaching excellence.

Mark has conducted staff rides for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and has lectured at the United States Military Academy, the U.S. Army War College, and the Marine Corps University. He maintains, a web site devoted to the field of military history, and writes frequently on its weblog, Blog Them Out of the Stone Age. From 1983 to 1991 he served as a fire support specialist in the U.S. Army National Guard.  He is currently writing a book on Sherman’s Atlanta campaign as a pivotal moment in American history and beginning research on a new project, tentatively entitled Wars for the American South, 1865-1965.  His daughter Chloe is the cutest kid that has existed in the history of the world.  You can all stop having children now. It’s been done to perfection.

Past Civil Warriors.

Ethan S. Rafuse is a professor at the U.S. Army Command General Staff College.  He grew up in northern Virginia, received his BA and MA degrees in history at George Mason University, and did his doctoral work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

He is the author, editor, or co-editor of eight books and monographs on Civil War and military history, including McClellan’s War:  The Failure of Moderation in the War for the Union; Antietam, South Mountain and Harpers Ferry:  A Battlefield Guide; Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy; The Ongoing Civil War: New Versions and Old Stories (with Herman Hattaway), and A Single Grand Victory: The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas, as well as articles, essays, and reviews in various academic and popular history publications.

He taught Civil War and military history at the U.S. Military Academy in 2001-2003. He lives with his wife and daughter in Platte City, Missouri.

Brooks D. Simpson is a native of New York and a lifelong Islanders and Yankees fan. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and his graduate degrees at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of several books, including Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865 (2000); The Reconstruction Presidents (1998); America’s Civil War (1996); The Political Education of Henry Adams (1996), and Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868 (1991).

Brooks is also the co-editor or co-author of several other works, including The Collapse of the Confederacy (2001; with Mark Grimsley); Gettysburg: A Battlefield Guide (1999; with Mark Grimsley); Sherman’s Civil War: Selected Correspondence, 1860-1865 (1999), Union and Emancipation: Essays on Politics and Race in the Civil War Era (1997), and Advice After Appomattox: Letters to Andrew Johnson, 1865-1866 (1987). At present he is working on the second volume of his biography of Ulysses S. Grant, entitled Ulysses S. Grant: The Fruits of Victory, 1865-1885, volumes on the Grant presidency and ex parte Milligan for the University Press of Kansas, and an overview of the Civil War in the East for Praeger.

Brooks continues to blog at Crossroads. It offers readers a discussion of various topics, most of them related to history, historians, and the academic life.

Steven E. Woodworth received his PhD at Rice University in 1987.  His first book, Jefferson Davis and His Generals:  The Failure of Confederate Command in the West, received much favorable attention when it appeared in 1991. He has since written or edited an astounding 32 books–32 is not a typo–and continues to produce books the way the “Octomom” produced babies.  I once asked him the secret to his productivity.  “I have six kids to feed,” he replied.  Steve is currently a professor at Texas Christian University, having been there since 1997.