Carmichael, Peter S. 1966-

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Carmichael, Peter S. 1966-


Born February 13, 1966, in Indianapolis, IN; son of Lowell G. (a utility company worker) and Charlotte (a teacher) Carmichael; married, May 29, 1993; wife's name Tara. Education: Indiana University at Indianapolis, B.A., 1988; Pennsylvania State University, M.A., 1992, Ph.D., 1996.


Home—WV. Office—Department of History, 202 C Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6303. E-mail—[email protected].


Pennsylvania State University, College Park, PA, instructor, 1995; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, instructor, 1996-97; Western Carolina University, assistant professor, 1997-2000; University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, assistant professor, 2000-05, associate professor 2005-07; West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, Department of History, Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies, 2007—. Richmond National Military Park, seasonal historian; Friends of Richmond Battlefields, founder.


Mellon Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, 1993, 2002.


Purcell, Crenshaw, and Letcher Artillery, H.W. Howard (Lynchburg, VA), 1990.

Lee's Young Artillerist: William R.J. Pegram, University Press of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), 1995.

(Editor) Audacity Personified: The Generalship of Robert E. Lee, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 2004.

The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 2005.

Contributor of chapters to various books. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Civil War, Civil War History, Journal of American History, and Civil War Times Illustrated.


A writer, educator, and historian, Peter S. Carmichael was born February 13, 1966, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from the University of Indiana in Indianapolis with an undergraduate degree, then went on to complete his master's degree and his doctorate at Pennsylvania State University. An expert on the American Civil War, he has served as a historian during tourist season for the Richmond National Military Park and as the scholar-in-residence at Gettysburg National Military Park, and he is a founder of the Friends of Richmond Battlefields. He was also awarded a Mellon Research Fellowship by the Virginia Historical Society. Over the course of his career, he has taught at a number of institutions of higher learning, including Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Western Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since 2007, he has served on the faculty of West Virginia University as the Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies. Carmichael contributes regularly to a number of journals, including Civil War, Civil War History, Journal of American History, and Civil War Times Illustrated. He is also the author or editor of several books pertaining to the Civil War and to the history of Virginia.

In The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion, Carmichael takes a look at the youngest generation of men in Virginia to participate in the Civil War. Born between the years 1831 and 1843, the 121 individuals he chooses to focus upon not only fought in the last of the war, but became the backbone of the Reconstruction era in their state once the South had succumbed to Northern forces. In addition, in the years following the war and the various efforts to rebuild the nation, it was this group of men who served as liaisons between the North and the South in an effort to shore up poor relations and to encourage a new sense of unity in the nation and an ability to take a shared view of the war itself. Carmichael uses these men as an example of the ways in which Southerners and Virginians, who expressed pride in their sense of allegiance to both of those affiliations, could also consider themselves to be Americans and be proud of that affiliation as well. Randall M. Miller, in a review for the Journal of Southern History, remarked on Carmichael's "creative and often compelling re-reading of letters and diaries to find a common worldview within a generation." Stephen Berry, writing for Southern Cultures, stated that "Carmichael paints the most compelling portrait we have of a generation uniquely committed to modernization and slavery. Their sacrifice on behalf of that vision proved both heroic and appalling."

Carmichael also serves as editor for Audacity Personified: The Generalship of Robert E. Lee. The book collects a series of articles on Lee and his tenure as a Confederate general, seeking to provide a fresh perspective on his life and war efforts. Contributors were encouraged to use primary sources as background for their arguments in an effort to revisit the origins of what is known regarding Lee's military career. Carl H. Moneyhon, reviewing for the Historian, concluded that "the author offers a richer perspective on the life of Lee than many previous works and should encourage others to reexplore primary sources for the historical treasures that might be found there."



Historian, winter, 2005, Carl H. Moneyhon, review of Audacity Personified: The Generalship of Robert E. Lee, p. 744.

Journal of Southern History, November 1, 2006, Randall M. Miller, review of The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion, p. 940.

Southern Cultures, summer, 2006, Stephen Berry, review of The Last Generation, p. 90.

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Carmichael, Peter S. 1966-

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