The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies was created to consolidate and extend Virginia Tech’s leading role in the teaching, scholarship, and public dissemination of Civil War history.
In a career spanning almost half a century, Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr. secured Virginia Tech’s reputation as a home for Civil War history. It was Dr. Robertson’s contributions to the university and to the study of the Civil War that inspired the creation of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies in 1999. Dr. Robertson had already developed a wide array of scholarly and public activities, including two public outreach programs that continue to be core Center activities: the Civil War Weekend, which has met annually in Blacksburg or Roanoake for the last 23 years; and Campaigning with Lee, which has taken enthusiasts to Civil War sites around the nation every June since 1978. As Founding Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, Dr. Robertson further enhanced Tech’s reputation for innovative Civil War programming alongside William C. “Jack” Davis, a prominent Civil War historian who was named Director of Center Programs in 2000 and Executive Director in 2011.
Now under the leadership of Paul Quigley, the Center continues to offer popular public programs such as the Civil War Weekend and Campaigning with Lee. We have expanded our activities to include other events such as a Civil War Film Series, in partnership with Blacksburg’s historic Lyric Theatre. The Center is also developing new digital initiatives, such as Civil War Sources and Mapping the Fourth, and has established two new fellowship programs: the Virginia Tech Special Collections Research Grants, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Civil War Studies.
In all these ways and more, the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies remains dedicated to bringing the best in Civil War history to as wide an audience as possible.