Joseph Glatthaar specializes and teaches courses in the American Civil War and American military history. He is author of numerous books and articles, including: "The March to the Sea and Beyond: Sherman's Troops in the Savannah and Carolinas Campaigns" (New York University Press, 1985), "Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and Their White Officers" (The Free Press, 1989), "Partners in Command: Relationships Between Leaders in the Civil War" (The Free Press, 1994), "Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians in the American Revolution" (Hill & Wang, 2007) with James Kirby Martin, "General Lee's Army: From Victory To Defeat" (The Free Press, 2008), and "Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia: A Statistical Portrait of the Troops Who Served under Robert E. Lee" (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). He is past president of the Society for Military History. He uses military history to understand or highlight certain aspects of society and culture.
Areas of Expertise (3)
American Military History
The American Civil War
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Ph.D., History 1983
Rice University: M.A., History 1981
Ohio Wesleyan University: B.A., History 1978
- Past President Society for Military History
Media Appearances (5)
Things Historians Can’t Live Without
History News Network online
"I cannot live without the National Archives and various state historical societies, museum libraries, and university repositories of manuscripts."...
What If Lincoln Had Lived?
Discovery News online
A second-term President Lincoln would have also faced challenges, according to Joseph Glatthaar, history professor at the University of North Carolina, such as the beginning of wars between Native Americans and settlers on the new frontier, as well as a post-war depression. "There would have been an economic downturn with a million men in uniform in the Union army," Glatthaar said. "Those guys are going to have to be demobilized and they needed jobs. Usually in aftermath of the war you have an economic downturn, that might have affected his reputation."...
New report details racial violence, lynching history
Daily Tar Heel online
Violence against blacks predates the Civil War, but picked up in the Reconstruction era. After slavery was abolished, whites lost the control they traditionally held over black populations, said Joseph Glatthaar, professor of history at UNC. “In the aftermath of the Civil War, whites used it to terrorize black populations, trying to restore control through violence and intimidation,” he said...
Oneidas' role in Revolutionary War not forgotten
Green Bay Press Gazette online
Author Joseph Glatthaar, whose book "Forgotten Allies" chronicles the Oneida role in the American revolution, said other Indian tribes backed the British army. As a result, the U.S. government felt a special indebtedness to the Oneida once the war was over. A treaty signed in 1794 called for lasting peace and friendship, as well as yearly payments to the Oneida and other tribes. The payments initially took the form of rolls of cloth, but that was later changed to cash. Noting that $1,800 now seems a trivial amount, Glatthaar said it carries much greater symbolic value. "To the Oneida, it's become a big deal," he said. "It's more a matter of pride."...
Rethinking Sherman’s March
The New York Times online
To be sure, there was more destruction than allowed by these orders. Sherman’s soldiers, as the historian Joseph Glatthaar has written, saw this “as a golden opportunity to teach the people of Georgia … the hardships and terrors of [a] war” which they blamed Confederates for starting and continuing, despite repeated defeats on the battlefield. Some homes, especially those of wealthy slaveholders considered guilty of bringing on the war, were burned; private dwellings were entered and personal property was taken or ruined; and civilians were stripped of more food than the army needed or could possibly consume. Beyond food and livestock, high-value targets included anything that could be used by the Confederates to continue the struggle: factories, mills, cotton gins, warehouses, train depots, bridges and railroads...
The American Military: A Concise HistoryOxford University Press
A vivid and insightful overview of the American military experience throughout the nation's history. Explains the impact of mechanization and technology on warfare. Discusses current military developments in the Middle East and reflects on the inability of the United States to recognize the limits of its military power.
The West Point History of the Civil War (The West Point History of Warfare Series)Simon & Schuster
October 21, 2014 Glatthaar is author of two chapters in this book.
“Touched with Fire”: Uncommon Soldiers of the Civil WarOAH Magazine of History
2012 This unidentified Confederate embodies the youthful enthusiasm of the average Civil War soldier. Young men made up the bulk of both armies where the median age for soldiers was twenty-four years. Holding a “Mississippi” rifle, this member of the Eleventh ...
Best Civil War Military BooksThe Wilson Quarterly
2011 When I was asked to choose five great books on military aspects of the Civil War, I was initially thrilled, then perplexed. The Library of Congress, which by no means houses all Civil War volumes, has at least 100,000 books on the subject in its collections...
Everyman's War: A Rich and Poor Man's Fight in Lee's ArmyCivil War History
2008 Twenty-eight-year-old Benjamin Blackwell, a small-time tenant farmer from Washington County, Virginia, had had enough of war. A single man who lived with an uncle, he enlisted as a private back in June 1861 in the 48th Virginia Infantry, but prolonged service grew ...
The Civil War through the Eyes of a Sixteen-Year-Old Black Officer: The Letters of Lieutenant John H. Crowder of the 1st Louisiana Native GuardsLouisiana History
1994 ABSTRACT: Beginning in colonial times, Louisiana's free blacks had shared with whites the burden of self-defense, and in the War of 1812 they had stood alongside Andrew Jackson and his mixed lot of militamen and pirates to defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans...
The "New" Civil War History: An OverviewPennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
1991 ABSTRACT: In recent years, the historical profession, slowly yet steadily, has been revising its attitude toward military history. For many years, most professional historians held the study of military history in disdain. They opposed military studies as catering to the ...