Culpepper, Marilyn Mayer 1922–

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Culpepper, Marilyn Mayer 1922–

PERSONAL: Born August 20, 1922, in Flint, MI; daughter of Samuel Glenn and Florence (Tressler) Mayer; married Thomas Webber Culpepper (a professor), August 23, 1952. Education: University of Michigan, B.A., 1944, Ph.D., 1956; Columbia University, M.A., 1946. Religion: Presbyterian.

ADDRESSES: Home—1922 Moores River Dr., Lansing, MI 48910.

CAREER: Mademoiselle, guest editor, 1944, jobs and futures correspondent, 1944–46; Michigan State University, East Lansing, professor of American thought and language, 1946–88; retired, 1988. Junior League, sustaining member; public speaker on books and theater topics.

MEMBER: Oral History Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: Notable Book Award, Colonial Dames of America, c. 1991, for Trials and Triumphs: The Women of the American Civil War.


(With Perry E. Gianakos) Writing for Life, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1988.

Trials and Triumphs: The Women of the American Civil War, Michigan State University Press (East Lansing, MI), 1991.

All Things Altered: Women in the Wake of Civil War and Reconstruction, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2002.

Women of the Civil War South: Personal Accounts from Diaries, Letters, and Postwar Reminiscences, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2004.

Also author of A History of the Junior League of Lansing, Michigan, with Mary Jane Wilson, 2004. Weekly columnist for Lansing State Journal, 1940–44, and Detroit Free Press, 1943–44, 1952–53. Contributor to books, including Historic Women of Michigan, Michigan Women's Studies Association, 1987. Contributor to periodicals. Associate editor, University College Quarterly, Michigan State University, 1965–80.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on memoirs of World War II.

SIDELIGHTS: Marilyn Mayer Culpepper told CA: "From writing a little neighborhood news-sheet as a child, my interest in reading and writing grew to be a lifetime obsession. My preoccupation with the U.S. Civil War is a result of my marriage to a Mississip-pian who is well schooled in Civil War history. Stories relating to my great-grandfather, who lost a leg fighting with the Union troops during the war, made the tragedy of war all the more personal for me. Having taught Civil War history for forty-two years as part of my course in American thought and language at Michigan State University I am convinced that the Civil War was indeed a war that never should have taken place.

"School children everywhere know about Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and Sherman, but few know much about the role of women during the war: their sacrifices, their support, and their heartache. It seemed time that women deserved at least a tad more attention. Furthermore, some people think that it was all sweetness and light after the war. They forget that in some ways the reconstruction was more devastating for the South than the war itself. Also it seemed important that the true story of the war and Reconstruction must come from the people who lived through those devastating times. They should tell their own stories through their memoirs, letters, and diaries.

"I seem to have a war complex; my most recent interest has been in acquiring first-hand human interest stories from both male and female veterans of World War II. I do welcome any and all contributions of recollections of veterans—memoirs, diaries, and letters: stories yet to be told."