National Conflict, Personal Experiences: A Symposium on the Civil War–Era United States in Honor of Jim Marten

March 21–22, 2024

Sponsored by Marquette’s Center for the Advancement of the Humanities, the Department of History, and Raynor Memorial Libraries

James MartenDr. James (Jim) Marten is a distinguished historian of childhood and the Civil War–era United States who retired in 2022 after working at Marquette for over three decades. The recipient of the university’s Haggerty Award for Excellence in Research, he has published, edited, and co-edited over twenty books, including Texas Divided: Loyalty and Dissent in the Lone Star State, 1856–1874 (1990), The Children’s Civil War (1998), Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans (2011), and America’s Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace (2014). His career has been characterized by innovative explorations of topics such as childhood and the suffering of soldiers and veterans and by extensive service to Marquette and the historical profession. He has supervised ten doctoral students, mentored many colleagues, served as the long-time chair of Marquette’s History Department, and helped lead the Society for the History of Children and Youth and the Society of Civil War Historians.

Celebrating Professor Marten’s career provides an excellent opportunity to gather leading historians of the Civil War era to reflect on their work. Each presenter will take ten minutes to introduce one of their projects, leaving plenty of time for discussion. We welcome students, staff, faculty, and members of the public interested in the state of research on the Civil War and its significance today.

  • Participants
  • Program

Stephen Berry, Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era, University of Georgia

Author or editor of seven books, including House of Abraham: The Lincolns and the Todds, A Family Divided by War (2007), All that Makes a Man: Love & Ambition in the Civil War South (2003), and Count the Dead: Quantification and the Birth of Death as We Know It (2022), Berry has received funding from the NEH, ACLS, and Mellon Foundation and served as an OAH Distinguished Lecturer. He oversees major web projects including CSI Dixie, which showcases coroners’ inquests.


Megan Bever, Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Social Sciences Department, Missouri Southern State University

Bever is the author of At War with King Alcohol: Debating Drinking and Masculinity in the Civil War (2022) and articles in journals such as the Journal of Southern History, Civil War History, and the Journal of Sports History. She edits book reviews for the Journal of the Civil War Era.


William Blair, Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor Emeritus of Middle American History, Pennsylvania State University

Blair was the founding editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era and has authored and edited numerous articles and books, including Virginia’s Private War: Feeding Body and Soul in the Confederacy, 1861–1865 (1998), Cities of the Dead: Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865–1914 (2004), and With Malice toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era (2014).


Alison Clark Efford, Associate Professor of History, Marquette University

Efford’s publications include German Immigrants, Race, and Citizenship in the Civil War Era (2013) and a co-edited and co-translated volume of correspondence to and from the German American feminist and abolitionist Mathilde Franziska Anneke. An English version of Radical Relationships appeared in 2021 and a German version in 2023.


Stephen Engle, Professor of History and Associate Provost for Academic Personnel, Florida Atlantic University

Engle is the author of numerous books and articles, including Yankee Dutchman: The Life of Franz Sigel (1993), Gathering to Save a Nation: The Union’s War Governor (2016), and In Pursuit of Justice: The Life of John Albion Andrew (2023). He has held office in various professional societies and served as an OAH Distinguished Lecturer.


Lorien Foote, Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor of History, Texas A & M University

Foote’s latest book, Rites of Retaliation: Civilization, Soldiers, and Campaigns in the American Civil War (2021), won the OAH’s Civil War and Reconstruction Book Award. In addition to authoring and editing six other books, including the Yankee Plague: Escaped Union Prisoners of War (2016) and The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Manhood, Hon or, and Violence in the Union Army (2010), she leads Fugitive Federals, a digital project.


Caroline Janney, John L. Nau, III, Professor in History of American Civil War, University of Virginia

Director of the Nau Center for Civil War History, Janney is author of many articles and several books, including Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (2008), Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (2013), and Ends of War: The Unfinished Fight of Lee’s Army after Appomattox (2021), which won the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize.


Jonathan Jones, Assistant Professor of History, James Madison University

Jones’s first book, Opium Slavery: The Civil War, Veterans, and America’s First Opioid Crisis, is forthcoming with the University of North Carolina Press. His work on addiction has already resulted in many shorter publications and attracted media attention. His current project focuses on the development of medical capitalism in the Civil War Era.


Timothy G. McMahon, Associate Professor of History, Marquette University

Author of Grand Opportunity: The Gaelic Revival and Irish Society, 1893-1910 (2008) and editor of the memoir Pádraig Ó Fathaigh’s War of Independence: Recollections of a Galway Gaelic Leaguer (2000), McMahon has served as president of the American Conference for Irish Studies.


Bryan Rindfleisch, Associate Professor of History, Marquette University

An award-winning teacher involved in public-facing projects such as Marquette’s digital Indigeneity Lab and a Catholic Church project to reckon with the history of Indigenous boarding schools, Rindfleisch has also published prolifically. George Galphin’s Intimate Empire: Intercultural Family, Trade, and Colonialism in Early America appeared in 2019.


Amy Murrell Taylor, T. Marshall Hahn, Jr., Professor of History, University of Kentucky

Taylor is best known for the multi-award-winning Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps (2018), but she is also the author and editor of other publications, including The Divided Family in Civil War America (2005), and is active in public-facing projects in Kentucky.


All sessions to be held in Eisenberg Hall on the third floor of Sensenbrenner Hall, Marquette University (1103 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Thursday, March 21

4:30pm Welcome

Heidi Bostic, Dean of the Klinger College of Arts and Sciences

Lezlie Knox, Chair of the History Department


Session 1: Studying the Civil War Era in the Twenty-First Century


Caroline Janney
Lorien Foote
Amy Murrell Taylor


Reception: 6:00 pm 

Friday, March 22

10am  Session 2: The Union at War

Chair: Caroline Janney
William Blair: Jim Marten: The Early Years
Lorien Foote: Dogs, Military Commissions, and the Laws of War
Stephen Engle: James Tanner and John Andrew: Famous Americans Obscured by History

1pm   Session 3: On the War’s Fringes

Chair: Bryan Rindfleisch

Alison Clark Efford: A German Feminist Becomes an Armchair General
Amy Murrell Taylor: The Children's Reconstruction

3:30pm Session 4: Suffering Minds and Bodies

Chair: Timothy G. McMahon

Megan Bever: What Our Armies Have Sadly Needed: Civil War Soldiers and the Hygienic System

Jonathan Jones: Veterans and Addiction
Stephen BerryIn Our Youths, Our Hearts were Touched with Fire: Children, Veterans, and the Work of Jim Marten


Please email Dr. Alison Clark Efford ( for additional information. Dr. Efford can help participants and out-of-town visitors with logistics and alert them to additional opportunities for social interaction.