Campus News

Historian named to Gregory Chair in Civil War Era

Stephen Berry

Noted historian Stephen Berry has been named the inaugural holder of the Amanda and Greg Gregory Chair in the Civil War Era in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Berry, the author of four books on the Civil War era, joined the university’s department of history in 2007 and was selected as the Gregory chair after a national search.

“I can think of no UGA scholar more worthy of this honor than Steve Berry,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “He is a historian of the first order, and his research and writing have helped not only thousands of students but also many people, like myself, who have an ongoing interest in the Civil War. I am deeply grateful to the Gregorys for their generosity to the university and support of this important position in the history department.”

Berry’s first book, All That Makes a Man: Love & Ambition in the Civil War South was a finalist for the 2004 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship. His 2007 book Princes of Cotton: Four Diaries of Young Men in the South, 1848-1860 was described in one review as “an extraordinary contribution to Southern history.” House of Abraham: Lincoln & the Todds, A Family Divided By War, also released in 2007, was a Book of the Month Club main selection and received a Publisher’s Weekly starred review.

A reviewer of Berry’s most recent book, Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War’s Ragged Edges, published in 2011, wrote that “saying something truly new about the American Civil War seems impossible, but here is a book that offers an explosion of new perspectives and insights, often surprising and sometimes disturbing.”

In addition to authoring several articles in scholarly journals, Berry has written for magazines such as Civil War Monitor and North and South.

“Steve Berry has developed in a short period of time a national reputation as a leading scholar of the Civil War era. His work brings a fresh perspective to one of the defining periods in our nation’s history,” said Hugh Ruppersburg, interim dean of Franklin College. “The support of the Gregorys continues to elevate a department with established strengths in Southern history to the great benefit of our students and faculty.”