Awards and Recognition

The American Civil War Museum enjoys a legacy of 125 years through its predecessors, The Museum of the Confederacy and The American Civil War Center. During that time, the institutions have given and received numerous awards.

As of December 2019, the ACWM Book Award will be renamed to the Edward L. Ayers Award. This naming tribute honors Dr. Ayers, who was the founding Chair of the ACWM Board of Directors. The award is currently undergoing additional changes and there will not be an award given out in 2020. Please keep in touch for updates or contact us with any questions.  

Book Awards

The American Civil War Museum is pleased to announce the results of its 2017 (48th annual) literary awards.


The American Civil War Museum is pleased to announce that Dr. Adam I. P. Smith is the recipient of the 48th annual Jefferson Davis Award for his book, The Stormy PresentConservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846–1865, published by the University of North Carolina Press. Presented annually since 1970, the Jefferson Davis Award recognizes outstanding scholarship on the origins, life, and legacies of the Confederate States of America and the American Civil War.

The award jury praised The Stormy Present as a “beautifully-written, brilliantly-nuanced study of conservatism in the North that will change the way scholars think about the coming of the Civil War.” Smith “reveals how and why Northern Conservatives supported a war that evolved from a war for Union, a conservative goal, to emancipation, a ‘radical’ outcome.”

Dr. Smith is a Senior Lecturer in history at University College London. He received his B.A. from Oxford University, M.A. from Sheffield University, and Ph.D. from Cambridge University. He is also the author of No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North (Oxford University Press, 2006), The American Civil War (Palgrave, 2007), and a short biography of Abraham Lincoln.

The recipient of the Davis Award is decided by an independent jury of Civil War historians. The jurors for the 2017 Davis Award are Dr. Barbara Gannon of the University of Central Florida (chairman), Dr. Stephen Rockenbach of Virginia State University, and Dr. Kathryn Shively Meier of Virginia Commonwealth University.


Jefferson Davis Award Winners

2017: Adam I. P. Smith, The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846-1865
2016: Chandra M. Manning, Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War 
2015: Adam Rothman, Beyond Freedom's Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery
2014: William C. Davis, Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee: The War They Fought, The Peace They Forged
2013: Caroline E.Janney, Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation
2012: William J. Cooper, We Have The War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861
2011: Paul Quigley, Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 1848-1865
2010: George C. Rable, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War
2009: Joan C.Waugh, U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth
and Daniel E. Sutherland, A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War
2008:  Joseph T. Glatthaar, General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse
2007:  Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters
2006:  Eric H. Walther, William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War
2005: Charles W. Sanders, While in the Hands of the Enemy: Military Prisons of the Civil War
2004:  Richard Lowe, Walker’s Texas Division, C.S.A.
2003: G. Ward Hubbs, Guarding Greensboro: A Confederate Company in the Making of a Southern Community
2002: George C. Rable, Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!
2001: William W. Freehling, The South vs. The South
2000: William J. Cooper, Jr., Jefferson Davis, American
1999: Joseph L. Harsh, Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862
1998: J. Tracy Power, Lee’s Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern Virginia from the Wilderness to Appomattox
1997: James I. Robertson, Jr., Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend
1996: Drew Gilpin Faust, Mothers of Invention
1995: David H. Donald, Lincoln 
1994: William C. Davis, “A Government of Our Own”
1993: Robert M. Browning, Jr., From Cape Charles to Cape Fear
1992: T. Michael Parrish, Richard Taylor
1991: William C. Davis, Jefferson Davis
1990: Mary A. DeCredico, Patriotism for Profit
1989: George C. Rable, Civil Wars
1988: Thomas E. Schott, Alexander Stephens of Georgia
1987: William C. Harris, Williams Woods Holden
1986: Richard Beringer, et. al., Why the South Lost the Civil War
1985: Joseph T. Glatthaar, The March to the Sea and Beyond
1984: Walter L. Buenger, Secession and the Union in Texas
1983: Michael Wayne, The Reshaping of Plantation Society
1982: Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor
1981: Michael B. Chesson, Richmond After the War, 1865-1900
1980: James Lee McDonough, Stones River: The Bloody Winter in Tennessee
1979: Stephen Z. Starr, The Union Cavalry in the Civil War
1978: Michael C. C. Adams, Our Masters the Rebels
1977 Joseph H. Parks, Joseph E. Brown of Georgia
1976: Herman Hattaway, General Stephen D. Lee
1975: Bell I. Wiley, Confederate Women
1974: William C. Davis, Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol
1973: Thomas L. Connelly and Archer Jones, The Politics of Command
1972: Thomas B. Alexander and Richard Beringer, The Anatomy of the Confederate Congress
1971: Thomas L. Connelly, Autumn of Glory
1970: Frank E. Vandiver, Their Tattered Flags               

Founders Award Winners

2016: M. Jane Johansson, Albert C. Ellithorpe, the First Indian Home Guards, and the Civil War on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier
2014: Graham T. Dozier, A Gunner in Lee’s Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter
2012: Donald C. Pfanz, The Letters of General Richard S. Ewell: Stonewall’s Successor 
2010: George Burkhardt, Double Duty in the Civil War: The Letters of Sailor and Soldier Edward W. Bacon 
2008: Charles W. Mitchell, Maryland Voices of the Civil War
2006: Kimberly Harrison, A Maryland Bride in the Deep South: The Civil War Diary of Priscilla Bond
2004:  Lynda L. Crist, et. al., The Papers of Jefferson Davis, vol. 11  
2002: Michael B. Chesson and Leslie J. Roberts, Exile in Richmond 
2000: Charles F. Bryan, Jr. and Nelson D. Lankford, Eye of the Storm: A Civil War Odyssey
1998: Ward W. Briggs, Jr., Soldier and Scholar: Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve and the Civil War
1996: Lynda L. Crist, et. al., The Papers of Jefferson Davis, vol. 8
1994: Ira Berlin, et. al., Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, series I, vol. II  
1992: Russell Duncan, Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw
1990: Gary W. Gallagher, Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander
1988: Carol Bleser, Secret and Sacred: The Diaries of James Henry Hammond
and John Rozier, The Granite Farm Letters: The Civil War Correspondence of Edgeworth and Sallie Bird 
1986: Richard Harwell and Philip N. Racine, The Fiery Trail: A Union Officer’s Account of Sherman’s Last Campaigns
1985: Ira Berlin, et. al., Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, series I, vol. I
1984: Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark,  No Chariot Let Down 
1983: LeRoy P. Graf and Ralph W. Haskins, The Papers of Andrew Johnson, vol. VI
1982: John Y. Simon, The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, vols. IX and X 
1981: Charles C. McLaughlin and Charles E. Beveridge, The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, vol. II 
1980: James I. Robertson, Jr., An Index-Guide to the Southern Historical Society Papers
1979: David C. Roller and Robert W. Twyman, The Encyclopedia of Southern History
1978: William A. Frassanito, Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America’s Bloodiest Day
1977: John W. Blassingame, Slave Testimony
1975: Ezra J. Warner and W. Buck Yearns, Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress
1974: John Hammond Moore, The Juhl Letters to the Charleston Courier
1972: Robert Ranson Myers, Children of Pride
1971: Haskell M. Monroe, The Papers of Jefferson Davis, vol. I.
1970: Warren Ripley, Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War                                  

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