Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute (CWI) has released its inaugural volume of the Journal Of The Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era. The journal is Shenandoah University’s first-ever academic, peer-reviewed journal, and is slated to be published annually by the CWI.
“With the launch of the Journal Of The Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era, Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute will become recognized nationally as a center for scholarly work in the field,” said Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Jeff Coker, Ph.D. “At a time when our understanding of this pivotal era in the nation’s history is so important, Jonathan Noyalas has brought together a distinguished group of historians to launch a publication that is poised to make immediate and lasting contributions to Civil War studies. This is a milestone for the institute, the history department and the university.”
The journal will provide fresh perspectives on seldom-studied aspects of the Civil War era in one of the most contested regions during the Civil War – Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. It examines the Civil War era broadly and examines aspects of memory, social, military and political history.
“This is one of the CWI’s most ambitious projects,” said CWI Director Jonathan Noyalas ’01, M.A., who serves as editor of the journal. “Despite its crucial role in the years leading up to the conflict, the war itself, and its role as a stage for some degree of reunion among former foes, the Shenandoah Valley craves scholarly attention. Although in recent years historians have given a moderately increased amount of attention to the campaigns and battles fought in the region, so much of the Civil War era’s history remains unearthed and stories untold.”
The inaugural issue of the Journal of the Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era offers new insight on the period in the region through examinations of important, yet neglected, topics – the experiences of slaves in the region, the operations of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and significant, but often overlooked, figures such as Col. Joseph Thoburn or John Mead Gould. In addition to an array of seven essays covering a variety of social and military topics, the inaugural issue contains reviews of nine recently released books which are in some way relevant to the region’s Civil War story.
The journal is governed by a board of 14 historians, many of whom are leading figures in the field of Civil War era history. The editorial board includes such notable scholars as Allen Guelzo, Ph.D., of Gettysburg College, three-time winner of the prestigious Lincoln Prize; Brian Matthew Jordan, Ph.D., of Sam Houston State University, a 2016 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History; and Kenneth Noe, Ph.D., of Auburn University.
“Like all good academic journals, CWI wants the contents to not only inform, but to inspire and encourage additional research and scholarship on topics that will further clarify one of the most complex and important periods in our nation’s history,” said Noyalas. “We hope that all who read this journal will enjoy it, and historians – whether established professionals or aspiring undergraduates – will be inspired to delve into the complexities and nuances of the Shenandoah Valley’s Civil War era history.”
The journal is currently available online at amazon.com, as well as at retailers throughout the Shenandoah Valley, including Winchester Book Gallery. The journal retails for $10, with all proceeds supporting the varied activities of the CWI, including free public programming throughout the year, unique opportunities for Shenandoah University students, and CWI’s various interpretive efforts at the university’s Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield in Clarke County. Work has already begun on volume two.