Previous research grant recipients


Tracy Lynn Barnett, a doctoral candidate in the History Department at the University of Georgia. She researched firearms and masculinity in the mid-nineteenth-century South.

Brianna Kirk, a PhD student at the University of Virginia, who studied Norfolk, Virginia, during the immediate post-Civil War years to understand how the process of reconstruction in Virginia unfolded.

Peter Porsche, a PhD student at Texas Christian University. His research explored how race and religion shaped the nineteenth-century citizenship debates that culminated in the Fourteenth Amendment and proved determinative during the Reconstruction Era.

Lisa Tendrich Frank, an independent scholar who is the author of The Civilian War: Confederate Women and Union Soldiers During Sherman’s March (2015) and the co-editor of Household War: How Americans Lived and Fought the Civil War (2020). She studied the U.S. Army’s use of  “domestic warfare”–the intentional gendered attacks by soldiers on non-combatants and households–to successfully achieve victory.



Molly Mersmann, a graduate student at Purdue University, studied the physically devastated landscape of the post-war South.

Patrick Doyle a lecturer in Modern American History at Royal Holloway, University of London. His work focused on Confederate loyalty and draft evasion in Civil War America.

David Gerleman of George Mason University researched Civil War horses, including training methods, transportation, veterinary treatment, and death.

Joshua Bader, a doctoral student at Mississippi State University. His research explored the way mid-nineteenth century Americans saw their place in the world, and what that world thought of Americans.



Daniel Sunshine is a graduate student at the University of Virginia. He studied Confederate loyalties in West Virginia.

Viven Rendleman is a PhD candidate at Duke University. She researched the way that mobility and movement impacted questions of citizenship for nineteenth century Americans.
Kristen Brille is a lecturer in American history at Keele University in the UK. She came to Tech to research the relationship between gender and nationalism in the Confederate South.



Cristina Bon is a research fellow at the Catholic University of Milan in Italy. She researched the role played by John Janney in Virginia’s Secession Convention.

Stephen Engle is professor of history at Florida Atlantic University. He worked on a biography of Massachusetts governor John Andrew, advocate of the use of black troops in the Union army.

Steve Nash teaches in the history department at East Tennessee State University. He studied African Americans in Appalachia following the Civil War.

Christina Regelski, a Ph.D. candidate at Rice University, researched elite white southern women who were displaced by the Civil War.



Blake Lindsey, an MA student at Pittsburg State University. He studied interactions between soldiers and civilians around the defenses of Washington, D.C., during the Civil War.

John Martin McMillan, an MA student at Marshall University, who explored the role environmental factors had on Civil War military operations in western Virginia from 1861 to 1863.

Cecily Zander, a graduate student at Penn State,  who investigated Civil War veterans’ engagement with higher education–including the institution that became Virginia Tech.



Rebecca Adams, a PhD student at George Mason University. Her research explored romance, courtship, and marriage rituals in the lives of southern women.

Wendy Gonaver, who conducted research for a book entitled The Peculiar Institution: Race, Gender, and Religion in the Making of Modern Psychiatry.

Charles Irons, associate professor of history at Elon University. He studied black southerners’ withdrawal from white-controlled churches during and after the Civil War.

Eric Meckley, a PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research examined literary depictions of the Civil War from the start of the war to World War I.

Seth Nichols, an MA Student at Marshall University. He conducted research for a thesis that looks at how returning Union and Confederate soldiers shaped the legacy and meaning of the Civil War in West Virginia.



Jack Furniss, a PhD student at the University of Virginia. Looking at six key states – New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, California, and Massachusetts – he explored the role that state governors played in articulating the political messages, and building the electoral coalitions, that kept the Union war effort going.

Jesse George-Nichol, a PhD student at the University of Virginia. Her dissertation project revisits the state secession conventions to ask why the Upper South states of Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina ultimately seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy while other slave states in the Upper South, like Kentucky, did not.

Tim Williams, author of Intellectual Manhood: University, Self, and Society in the Antebellum South, who teaches at the Robert D. Clark Honor’s College, University of Oregon. During his time in Virginia Tech’s Special Collections, he researched the reading habits of Confederate prisoners of war.

Michael Woods, assistant professor of history at Marshall University. He researched the origins, development, and effects of the Emancipation Proclamation, paying special attention to the place of West Virginia – then in the process of statehood – in the broader story

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