Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News




Prize-winning Civil War Scholar Will Serve as Carls-Schwerdfeger History Lecturer on October 25

Sep 18, 2012

Professor George C. Rable, an American Civil War scholar who holds the Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History at the University of Alabama, will be at Union University on October 25, 2012, as the speaker for the 16th Annual Carls-Schwerdfeger History Lectureship. Dr. Rable’s main lecture will deal with “God as General: Was There a Religious History of the American Civil War?” and will begin at 7:15 p.m. in the G. M. Savage Memorial Chapel. After his presentation, he will do a book signing in the foyer of the chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public. Professor Rable will also deliver an afternoon lecture to the Union University community on “Fredericksburg: The Battlefield and Beyond.” That talk will be at 1:40 p.m. in Salon II of the Carl Grant Events Center.

Recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent authorities on the American Civil War, Professor Rable has written five important books on the subject and received several prizes for his scholarship. His most recent work was God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), for which he received the Jefferson Davis Award from the Museum of the Confederacy. In 2002, Dr. Rable published Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! (University of North Carolina Press) which won the Lincoln Book Prize, the Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award in American Military History, the Jefferson Davis Award, and the Douglas Southall Freeman Southern History Award; in addition, it was a History Book Club Selection. Professor Rable’s The Confederate Republic: A Revolution against Politics (University of North Carolina Press, 1994) was also a History Book Club Selection. Another of his prize-winning books was Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism (University of Illinois Press, 1989); it won the Jefferson Davis Award and the Julia Cherry Spruill Prize. Dr. Rable’s first book, published in 1984, was But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (University of Georgia Press). He is currently doing research on the relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan and on how the Confederates portrayed their “Yankee” enemies.

Professor Rable’s achievements go beyond his scholarship. In 2011, the University of Alabama honored him with its Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award, which recognizes faculty for their excellence in teaching, scholarship, and research. The University of Alabama also gave him its prestigious Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award in 2003. As a sign of his high standing among Civil War historians, Dr. Rable had the honor of serving as president of the Society of Civil War Historians from 2004 to 2008.

After receiving a B.A. from Bluffton College in Ohio, Dr. Rable earned his M.A. (1973) and Ph.D. (1978) in American history at Louisiana State University. In 1979, he joined the faculty of Anderson University in Indiana where he taught for 19 years. Professor Rable has been a member of the history department at the University of Alabama since 1998.