Welcome

The Society of Civil War Historians (SCWH) is an association of scholars dedicated to exploring slavery, the sectional crisis, Civil War, emancipation, and reconstruction roughly from the 1830s through 1880. The society also looks at the legacies of the conflict that continue to have an impact on society today. SCWH’s mission is to encourage scholarly activity and academic exchange among historians, graduate students, and professionals who interpret history in museums, national parks, archives, and other public facilities. SCWH’s goal is to bring greater coherence to the historical field by encouraging the integration of social, military, political, and other forms of history and generally to promote the study of the Civil War era.

News

Tom Watson Brown Book Award

ARI KELMAN WINS TOM WATSON BROWN BOOK AWARD

The Society of Civil War Historians and the Watson–Brown Foundation are proud to announce that Ari Kelman, McCabe-Greer Professor of the American Civil War Era, The Pennsylvania State University, is the recipient of the $50,000 Tom Watson Brown Book Award for 2014. Kelman received the award for his book A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, which was published by Harvard University Press, 2013. The book explores how generations of Americans have struggled to come to terms with the 1864 Sand Creek massacre and its aftermath. In November 1864 Colonel John Chivington, commanding Colorado volunteers, surprised and slaughtered more than 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho people, the great majority of them women, children, and the elderly who were camped on the banks of Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. Kelman tells the stories of those who lived through the massacre as well as the succeeding generations impacted by the destruction wrought by the Civil War and the conquest of the American West. Examining competing memories of this horrific event, he deftly shows how Native Americans, Colorado residents, National Park Service employees, historians, and politicians debated how the event should be memorialized at the 2007 opening of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. In doing so, he reveals the varied ways in which different groups of Americans come to know a shared past.

Kelman will receive the $50,000 award at the Tom Watson Brown Book Award dinner to be held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hilton Atlanta, on Friday, November 14, starting at 5:30 p.m. The Hilton Atlanta will serve as the conference hotel for the annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 13-16, 2014. The SCWH holds its annual banquet in conjunction with the Southern.