- Military History
The field of military history within Civil War studies is the healthiest it has ever been in terms of the diversity, quality, and creativity of the research projects published by major university presses. Publishers, even those in financial distress, continue to crave books addressing the intersection of war, culture, and society during the middle of the nineteenth century. The war between the "buffs" and the ivory tower, moreover, is largely quiescent. All agree that battles mattered—it was a war, after all. And all seem to agree that the men who took to those battlefields were not the whole of the story, nor was battle the whole of themselves.
Recent trends in military historiography suggest that we will continue carefully reconsidering the traditional lines that have been drawn between battlefield and home front and that have for so long dominated the mind-set and impeded the creativity of Civil War military history. But we will also see the rise of exciting subfields within military history, especially occupation studies, guerrilla studies, military policy studies, and veteran studies—as well as a continuing reboot of the traditional genres of battle history, biography, soldier studies, and unit history.
Studies that bridge the relationship between home communities and military units of every type will dominate military history. Whether these focus on an infantry regiment and its relationship with an occupied community or the impact of veterans transitioning home in the immediate postwar, scholars will continue to use social history techniques to enrich our knowledge of soldiering. We need creative investigations of cowards, torturers, amputees, saboteurs, executioners, and profiteers that will provide wholly new windows into the war. Future studies will span broad geographic areas while mapping the origins of the guerrilla conflict and military occupation and identifying the various cultures of conflict in Civil War America. [End Page 6]