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, the Washington Post, 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 study of Preston Brooks, the South Carolina Congressman who achieved notoriety by caning Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate in 1856, is under contract with Oxford University Press. Quigley also leads the NEH-funded project “Experiencing Civil War History Through Augmented Reality: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Environment at Pamplin Historical Park.”

He serves on the editorial board of the journal Civil War History, and has previously served on the historians advisory board of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond and the advisory board of the Society of Civil War Historians.

You may reach Quigley at

Miles Abernethy is an outreach assistant with the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and a graduate student in the Virginia Tech History M.A. program. He earned his B.A. in History and Political Science from Virginia Tech in 2023, and worked for the VCCWS as an undergraduate. As a graduate assistant, he continues his work at the VCCWS as well as at Virginia Tech’s Special Collections and University Archives. Miles’ research centers on how white Southerners wrote and discussed “marginal” peoples within the Confederate military: Indigenous troops and soldiers with foreign origins. Miles interned at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania NMP and Appomattox Court House NHP, and interned with Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation in Summer 2024. He is planning for a career in Civil War era public history.

Elizabeth Bucklen is a graduate assistant at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and a Master’s student in the history program at Virginia Tech. Elizabeth is from Saugerties, New York. She earned her B.A. at Virginia Tech in History. Her master’s research is focused on transforming landscapes during the Union encampment at City Point, Virginia, from 1864 to 1865. After completing the Master’s program, Elizabeth hopes to continue her study of environmental history and the American Civil War in a Ph.D. program.

Rachel Stanley is the Program Coordinator for the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. Rachel is from Mechanicsville, VA  and earned her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As Program Coordinator, Rachel maintains the center website and social media, organizes the Traveling Trunk elementary school outreach program and works on event planning for the center. Contact Rachel at

Previous Directors

William C. “Jack” Davis is the author or editor of more than 50 books in Civil War and Southern history. He retired in 2013 as Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. His latest book, coedited with Sue Heth Bell, is The Whartons’ War: The Civil War Correspondence of General Gabriel C. Wharton & Anne Radford Wharton, 1863-1865. Among his awards are a record fourth Jefferson Davis Award from the American Civil War Museum and the Richard Nelson Current Award from the Lincoln Forum.

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.

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