Virginia Center for Civil War Studies


Paul Quigley is Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and the James I. Robertson, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil War History in the History Department at Virginia Tech. Originally from Manchester, England, he holds degrees from Lancaster University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Quigley is the author of Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 1848-65, which won the British Association for American Studies Book Prize, the Jefferson Davis Award from the Museum of the Confederacy, and the Albert Lee Sturm Award from the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Southern History and Journal of the Civil War Era, as well as the Roanoke Times, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and the New York Times Disunion section. In 2018 he published an edited volume entitled The Civil War and the Transformation of American Citizenship, and another essay collection, Reconciliation after Civil Wars: Global Perspectives, coedited with his colleague James E. Hawdon. His research projects include a study of Preston Brooks, the South Carolina Congressman who achieved notoriety by caning Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate in 1856, and Mapping the Fourth of July in the Civil War Era, a collaborative digital humanities project with colleagues in Education, Computer Science, and the Virginia Tech libraries.

He serves on the board of the Society of Civil War Historians, the editorial board of the journal Civil War History, the board of the Smithfield-Preston Foundation, and the historians advisory board of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond.

You may reach Quigley at


Caroline Wood NewhallCaroline Wood Newhall is the 2020-2022 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech. A native of New York, she received her degrees from Trinity College (Hartford) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Newhall specializes in 19th-century United States history, focusing on North American slavery, warfare, and the Civil War Era. Her dissertation, “‘Under the Rebel Lash’: Black Prisoners of War in the Confederate South,” analyzes the experiences of Black Civil War soldiers who became prisoners of war in the Confederacy. She is currently working on her book manuscript, as well as a digital database and mapping project centered on Black POWs’ movements throughout the American South. A past fellow at UVA’s Nau Center and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for the Study of the American South, Dr. Newhall has written for several publications including Civil War History, the Civil War Monitor, and The Journal of the Civil War Era Muster Blog, as well as UNC Chapel Hill libraries’ For the Record blog on her research into the lives of enslaved people at UNC Chapel Hill. She has spoken at numerous engagements, including the National Park Service Lecture Program and the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg, and is a member of several organizations including the Society of Civil War Historians, the Society for Military History, and the Southern Historical Association.

You may reach Dr. Newhall at


William C. Davis, former Executive Director

William C. “Jack” Davis

William C. “Jack” Davis is the former Executive Director of the Center. A native of Independence, Missouri, he was educated in Northern California, spent 20 years in editorial management in the magazine and book publishing industry, then left the industry in 1990 to spend the next decade working as a writer and consultant.

Davis is author or editor of more than 50 books and numerous documentary screenplays in the fields of Civil War and southern history. He has also served as consultant for numerous television productions, including the Arts & Entertainment Network/History Channel series “Civil War Journal.  He is a three-time winner of the Jefferson Davis Award given for book-length works on Confederate history. Among his most recent books is Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee–The War they Fought, the Peace they Forged.



James I. Robertson, Jr.

James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr.

James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., 1930-2019, was Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Center. The Danville, Va., native served as executive director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and played a leading role in Virginia’s Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission.

Robertson was the author or editor of more than 40 books. His biography of Gen. Thomas Jonathan Jackson, Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend, won eight national awards and was used as the foundation for the portrayal of Jackson in the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. film, Gods and Generals, released in 2003. He regularly appeared in Civil War programs on the Arts & Entertainment Network, the History Channel, C-Span, and public television, and he recorded a weekly Civil War program that aired on 11 public radio stations. He was also a lecturer of national acclaim and one of the most popular teachers in the history of Virginia Tech, attracting some 300 students each semester to his Civil War course.


Graduate Student Assistant

Alfonso Zavala, Jr. , is a first-year graduate student from Washington State. His hometown is the small agricultural community of Othello (the same name as the Shakespeare play), located in the semi-arid Columbia Basin region of Eastern Washington. He obtained his B.A. in History and minored in Museum Studies at Central Washington University. His primary historical interest lies in the Civil War Era, specifically dealing with Reconstruction and the theme of post-war reconciliation. 

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