Burnham Lecture

Burnham Lecture in Civil War History | The Center for Civil War Research

Each April, the Center for Civil War Research invites a distinguished historian to the University of Mississippi to deliver a lecture on the Civil War era. The Burnham Lecture in Civil War History is free and open to the public.

Dr. Van Robinson Burnham was a family physician, Mississippi native, and University of Mississippi alumnus whose lifelong love of history and archeology prompted his generous support for the Center for Civil War Research. Through the Burnham Lectures, the Center honors Burnham's commitment to sharing historical knowledge and ensuring that others have the resources to explore and learn from history.








"Refugee Camps on U.S. Soil: Exiting Slavery and Remaking Citizenship in Civil War Contraband Camps"

April 19, 2023 at 6pm, Overby Center Auditorium

Chandra Manning, Georgetown University

Dr. Manning is a historian of slavery and the Civil War who focuses on the experience of ordinary Americans, both black and white, during the war. Her first book, What This Cruel War Was Over (2007), won the Avery O. Craven Prize which is awarded by the Organization of American Historians for the most original non-military history on the Civil War Era. Her most recent book, Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War (2016), which examines the experience of former slaves who fled to Union lines during the war and in the process shaped the course of the war and of emancipation, won the Jefferson Davis Prize awarded by the American Civil War Museum for best book on the Civil War.


Past Burnham Lecturers


"What It Meant to Them: How the Civil War Generation Remembered"

April 12, 2018 at 6pm, Farley Hall Auditorium (Room 202)

Caroline Janney, Purdue University

Dr. Janney is a Civil War historian who focuses on memory. Her most recent book, Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (2013), looks at the different ways Union and Confederate veterans remembered the war in order to commemorate their own cause. Ultimately these soldiers sought to justify their own reasons for fighting in the Civil War while dismissing the other side's reasons as unjust. Though it seemed Americans across the nation eventually accepted the Lost Cause, this was because the United Daughters of the Confederacy were effective at publicizing education.


"Reconstructing: A Life Amidst the Ruins"

April 25, 2017 at 6pm, Farley Hall Auditorium (Room 202)

Stephanie McCurry, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of History, Columbia University

Dr. McCurry is a Civil War historian who focuses on gender history and Southern women. Her most recent book, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South (2010), explores the Confederate government's inability to provide for the large numbers of women and slaves left to fend for themselves on the home front, and concludes that these domestic crises ultimately decided the fate of the Confederacy. Dr. McCurry is currently working on two book-length projects: the first examines the Civil War as an event in women's history while the second investigates the chaotic period immediately following the fall of the Confederacy.



"Black Women and Children Refugees: The Making of a Civil War Humanitarian Crisis."

April 14, 2016 at 6pm, Farley Hall Auditorium (Room 202)

Thavolia Glymph, Associate Professor of History, Duke University

Dr. Glymph is an historian of the Civil War and slavery who examines the roles of women, gender ideology, class, and race during and after the Civil War. Her most recent book is Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (2008). Dr. Glymph is currently working on a study of Civil War veterans who served in the Egyptian Army in the 1870s, and an examination of the lives of enslaved and free women and children in Civil War labor and refugee camps.


"Death of the President: The Murder of Abraham Lincoln."

John R. Neff , Director of the Center for Civil War Research, University of Mississippi

Dr. Neff is a Civil War historian who not only examines the military aspects of the war but also analyzes the momentous social and political ramifcations wrought by the conflict. His most recent book, Honoring the Civil War Dead: Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation (2004), examined how memorializing the war dead kept alive lingering sectional animosities and subsequently impeded the process of reconciliation. Dr. Neff is currently working on an examination of Civil War memory in postwar Chicago.



"Sorrow and Survival: Providing for the Families of Gettysburg's Soldier Dead."

Carol Reardon, George Winfree Professor of American History, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Reardon is a military historian of the Civil War who incorporates political and social history into her research of military doctrine and training. She has published a number of works on Civil War military history, including the award winning Pickett's Charge in History and Memory (1997), With a Sword in One Hand and Jomini in the Other (2012), and the recent A Field Guide to Gettysburg: Experiencing the Battlefield Through Its History, Places, and People (2013), which she co-authored with William Thomas Vossler.



"God as General: Was There a Religious History of the American Civil War?"

George Rable, Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History, University of Alabama

Dr. Rable has published five books on a diverse array of Civil War Era topics, his most recent being God's Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War (2010). His research has won numerous prizes, including the Jefferson Davis Award, the Julia Cherry Spruill Prize, and the Lincoln Prize. His current research will explore the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Goerge B. McClellan as well as how Confederates defined their "Yankee" enemies



"Terrorism and Counterterrorism in the American Civil War"

Daniel Sutherland, Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas

Daniel Sutherland is the author of eight books and over forty chapters and articles on a range of topics in the Civil War Era. His most recent book, A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerillas in the American Civil War (2009), won the 2010 Tom Watson Brown Book Prize for scholarship on the Civil War era.




Elizabeth Varon, Professor of History, University of Virginia

Elizabeth Varon's research focuses on the American South, the Civil War Era, and Women's and Gender history. Her publications include We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (1998) and Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 (2008). She joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 2011.



"Hollywood's Civil War: How Films Shape Memory"

Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War, University of Virginia

Gary Gallagher has written and edited numerous books on the Civil War, inluding The Confederate War (1997) and most recently, The Union War (2011). His research includes work on Civil War memory, the Lost Cause, and Robert E. Lee.

















Caroline Janney





Stephanie McCurry





















Picture of Daniel Sutherland