Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy


Timothy Smith from the University of Tennessee at Martin was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live series” on Thursday, March 8, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green. His topic was “Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy.” The talk concluded with a book signing.

Timothy Smith is considered one of the nation’s leading civil war historians. His 2016 book Shiloh: Conquer or Perish published by the University of Kansas Press has been called “the new standard treatment of the Shiloh battle.” Said the reviewer for the Civil War Times “only the dead know Shiloh better than Tim Smith.” It received many awards including the Richard B. Harwell Award and the Tennessee History Book Award.

Smith received his BA and MA at the University of Mississippi and his Ph.D. at Mississippi State University in 2001. He served as a park ranger at Shiloh National Military Park for six years and now teaches history at the University of Tennessee at Martin where he was the online teacher of the year in 2009-10.

He’s the author of twelve books including This Great Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park (University of Tennessee Press, 2004); Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg (2004); The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and Battlefield (University of Tennessee Press, 2006); A Chickamauga Memorial: The Establishment of America’s First Civil War National Military Park (University of Tennessee Press, 2009); Mississippi in the Civil War: The Home Front (University Press of Mississippi, 2010); James Z. George: Mississippi’s Great Commoner (University Press of Mississippi, 2012); Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation (University Press of Kansas, 2012); Rethinking Shiloh: Myth and Memory (University of Tennessee Press, 2013); The Mississippi Secession Convention: Delegates and Deliberations in Politics and War, 1861-1865 (University Press of Mississippi, 2014).

His “Shiloh and the Western Campaign” was a main selection of the History Book Club and an alternate selection of the Military Book Club and the Book of the Month Club. His “Champion Hill” won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Nonfiction Book Award. His article “The Handsomest Cemetery in the South: Shiloh National Cemetery” won the Marshall Wingfield Award. He’s received research grants from the Iowa Historical Society and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Fellowship.

In his newest book Altogether Fitting and Proper: Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy, 1861-2015 (University of Tennessee Press, 2017) he discusses federal, state, local and private efforts to preserve Civil War Battlefields. Writing for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly Julie Holcomb called it “an important contribution to the field of Civil War history and the preservation of its battlefields.”


American Material Culture | Military History | Social and Cultural Anthropology | United States History