About the Center



April Holm is a historian of the nineteenth century United States with a particular interest in sectionalism, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Christianity, and the border states.  Her work concerns the intersection of the moral and the political.  Her first book, A Kingdom Divided: Evangelicals, Loyalty, and Sectionalism in the Civil War Era was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2017.  She is currently at work on a book about provost marshals and civilians in the occupied border states during the Civil War. This project reveals how civilians and the army created and contested occupation in the border states during the American Civil War. Professor Holm received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2010 and spent a year as at Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellow at the New School and The New-York Historical Society. She joined the University of Mississippi in 2011. She served as the center's Interim Director from 2020 to 2021, and in 2022, she became the director of the Center for Civil War Research.


Associate Director

Robert Colby is a historian of the Civil War era, with an emphasis on the lived experience of the conflict and on slavery and emancipation. His current book project explores the survival of the domestic slave trade during the Civil War, using wartime slave commerce to examine the endurance of Confederate nationalism, economic and social life during the war, and the contested onset of African-American freedom. He has published in the Journal of the Civil War EraJournal of the Early Republic, and Slavery and Abolition, as well as in an edited volume on reconciliation following Civil Wars. He is the recipient of the Society of American Historians' Allan Nevins Prize, of the Society of Civil War Historians' Anne J. Bailey Prize and Anthony Kaye Memorial Essay Award, and was a finalist for the Southern Historical Association's C. Vann Woodward Award. Professor Colby received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining the University of Mississippi's History Department in 2022, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University.


Founder & Director, 2009-2020

John R. Neff created the Center for Civil War Research in 2009 and served as its director until his death in 2020. He joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 1999. With a research focus in Civil War memory, he was delighted to be invited to participate in the placing of a monument to the Eleventh Mississippi Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg National Military Park in 2000. His first book, Honoring the Civil War Dead: Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation , appeared in 2005 from the University Press of Kansas. That year, he was also named the College of Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year, and in 2009 he received the Elsie B. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award. At the time of his death, he was researching the legacy of the Civil War in Chicago, a project he had tentatively titled City of Memory .

Web Development

The following individuals have contributed their time and expertise to the creation and maintenance of our Center website: Noah Arnold, Eli Baker, Andrew Davis, Amy Fluker, Boyd Harris, Tony Klein, Amanda Nagel, Christine Rizzi, Audrey M. Uffner, Hunter Upchurch, LeeAnn Whitely.


Amy Evans of Wide Eye Design designed and constructed the website: amy@wideeyedesign


Color Photo Credits

African American Civil War Memorial, Washington D. C.

Photo courtesy of Leon Reed / Flickr.  Used with permission.

Hancock's Monument, Gettysburg National Military Park, and

New York Irish Brigade Monument, Gettysburg National Military Park.

Photos courtesy of Julie Rentsch / Flickr.  Used with permission.

Sherman Monument, Central Park, New York City.

Photo courtesy of Peter Law / Flickr.  Used with permission.

Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument and Pennsylvania State Monument,

Gettysburg National Military Park, and

First Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument, Gettysburg National Military Park.

Photos courtesy of Ron Zanoni / Flickr.  Used with permission.

Iowa State Monument, Shiloh National Military Park.

Photo courtesy of Pat Neff.  Used with permission.

All other color photos, John R. Neff.



About the Center

• Mission Statement

• Staff

• McMinn Fellows

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