McCormick Civil War Institute Spring 2024 Conference
“Is the Vindictive Spirit… Just?”: Waging “Civil” War
Saturday, April 20, 2024
On the campus of Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia
Truce at Antietam (Library of Congress)
For many, the Civil War, like all conflicts, raised profound questions about how war could be waged, and victory achieved, but in a “just” way. The McCormick Civil War Institute’s spring 2024 conference–“Is the Vindictive Spirit… Just?”: Waging “Civil” War—will explore a variety of topics related to this question including what soldiers thought about waging war on civilians and private property and how those perspectives transformed as the conflict progressed, how political leaders’ perspectives about the “rules of war” evolved throughout the conflict and how those views laid the foundation for the modern laws of war, how allegiances became blurred in a battle’s aftermath as individuals who were once enemies offered aid and comfort, and investigate the complexities of lives for Unionist civilians behind Confederate lines.
Registration fee of $30 covers cost of all presentations and lunch in Allen Dining Hall.
A limited number of scholarships are available for educators and students. For more information on obtaining a scholarship please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Check-in, Henkel Hall, Hester Auditorium, Shenandoah University (1460 University Drive, Winchester, Virginia). If you are unfamiliar with the campus please follow this link to the campus map
- 9:30-9:40 a.m.: Welcome
- 9:40-10:40 a.m.: “All Elements of War are Evils”: Exploring Soldiers’ Perspectives about Waging War on Civilians & Private Property (Jonathan A. Noyalas, Shenandoah University)
- 10:40-10:55 a.m.: Break
- 10:55-11:55 a.m.: The War of the Rebellion and the Emergence of the Modern Law of War (Paul Finkelman, Marquette University)
- 11:55 a.m.-1:15 p.m.: Lunch in Allen Dining Hall
- 1:15-2:15 p.m.: Confederate Control: Southern Unionists Living Under Military Occupation (Barton Myers, Washington & Lee University)
- 2:15-2:30 p.m.: Break
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: “Angelic in Their Ministering”: Shepherdstown’s Citizens Deal with Antietam’s Aftermath (Kevin Pawlak, Prince William County Historic Preservation Division)
- 3:30-4 p.m.: Book Signing
For questions about the conference, contact Jonathan Noyalas at email@example.com or 540-665-4501.
About the Speakers
Paul Finkelman is the author of more than 100 law review articles, 100 other scholarly articles and book chapters, and the author or editor of more than fifty books. He has appeared on PBS, C-Span, NBC, Sunday Morning on CBS, and was recently filmed for forthcoming CNN special. Many of his public lectures are on YouTube or available on C-Span. He has published Op-Eds, reviews, and essays in, among others, the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Washington Monthly, Huffington Post, New York Times.Com, The Los Angeles Review of Books, TheRoot.Com, USA Today, and the Baltimore Sun. He is a specialist in American legal history, constitutional law, law and religion, slavery, civil rights and race relations, civil liberties, African American history, American Constitutional history, the American Civil War, and legal issues surrounding baseball. The United States Supreme Court has quoted and cited his work or mentioned him in six decisions as have numerous other federal and state courts. He has lectured on human trafficking and on human rights issues at the United Nations, throughout the United States, and in more than a dozen other countries. In 2014 he was ranked as the fifth most cited legal historian in American legal scholarship in Brian Leiter’s Scholarly Impact Survey. He is ranked in the top 10% of all scholars for downloads on SSRN. He was an expert witness in a number of cases including the lawsuit over the ownership of Barry Bonds’ 73rd home run ball (Popov v. Hayashi) and in the famous Alabama Ten Commandments Monument Case (Glassroth v. Moore). In 2017 he held the Fulbright Chair in Human Rights and Social Justice at the University of Ottawa.
Barton A. Myers is Professor of History at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, an award-winning teacher and author, and a recognized authority on American Civil War, military history and Presidential history. He has taught at Cornell University, the University of Georgia, Texas Tech University, and currently teaches military history and Civil War era courses, including his intensive battlefield travel seminar at W&L. Before becoming a professor, he served as a historian with the National Park Service at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP, where he lived on Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg battlefields. Dr. Myers’ is regularly a consultant on American history for national media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sirius XM’s “The Michael Smerconish Program”, CSPAN’s “American History TV”, National Public Radio’s Virginia Insight, and the Civil War Monitor magazine. In 2020 and 2022, he was a featured expert for A&E Networks/HISTORY Channel’s documentary miniseries “GRANT” produced by Leonardo Dicaprio and “LINCOLN” produced by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Most recently, he has appeared in HISTORY Channel’s new series “Dark Marvels,” examining the history of military technology. He is the author of the awarding winning Executing Daniel Bright: Race, Loyalty, and Guerrilla Violence in a Coastal Carolina Community, 1861-1865 (LSU Press, 2009), Rebels Against the Confederacy: North Carolina’s Unionists (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2014), and co-editor with Brian D. McKnight of The Guerrilla Hunters: Irregular Conflicts during the Civil War (LSU Press, 2017). In 2023, Dr. Myers received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to support his current book project on the southern-born generals and admirals who fought for the Union cause during the Civil War. His website is: www.bartonamyers.com
Jonathan A. Noyalas is director of Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute, the founding editor of Journal of the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War Era, and a professor in the history department at Shenandoah University. He is the author or editor of fifteen books including most recently Slavery and Freedom in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War Era published by University Press of Florida in the spring of 2021. Noyalas has authored more than 100 articles, essays, book chapters, and reviews for a variety of scholarly and popular publications. In addition to teaching and writing Noyalas has consulted on various public history projects with organizations such as the National Park Service, American Battlefield Trust, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District, and National Geographic. Noyalas has appeared on NPR’s “With Good Reason,” C-SPAN’s American History TV, and PCN. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship including the highest honor that can ever be bestowed upon anyone teaching at a college/university in Virginia–the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award.
Kevin Pawlak is a historic site manager for Prince William County’s Office of Historic Preservation. He is also a licensed battlefield guide at Antietam National Battlefield and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Kevin is a graduate of Shepherd University, where he majored in history. He has authored six books on the American Civil War. His first book, Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital, was published by the History Press in 2015.