Curriculum Vitae


Department of History
United States Naval Academy
107 Maryland Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21402-5044
410-293-2256 (Fax)


Ph.D., August 2004.  University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.  History.
Dissertation: “The Old Army in War and Peace: West Pointers and the Civil War Era, 1814-1865,” directed by Gary W. Gallagher and Edward L. Ayers.

M.A., January 2002.  University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.  History.
Thesis: “‘Stern Soldiers Weeping’: Confederate Clergymen and the Civil War,” directed by Edward L. Ayers

B. A., 2000, magna cum laude.  Yale University, New Haven, CT.  History.
Senior Essay on Lincoln and Religion directed by Professor David Brion Davis

Alhambra High School, 1997.  Alhambra, CA.


The gap between strategic intent and tactical “ground truth” in military history.  What allows larger strategic goals to be carried out, and how do institutions factor into this equation?  Also, the boundary between “objective,” for lack of a better term, military expertise and “subjective” cultural factors.  What aspects of military professionalism and effectiveness are not contingent on political, ideological, and cultural factors?  How do these two different types of phenomena interact with one another?


Detailed to the Department of State during the 2008/9 academic year to serve as the Tuz Satellite (FOB Bernstein) Lead for the Salah ad Din Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq.  Served as the senior civilian US Government official assigned to Tuz, and worked primarily on ethnic political issues in the district.


West Pointers and the Civil War: The Old Army in War and Peace. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

“Being Feared and Not Being Hated Can Go Together Very Well”: The Problem of Population Control and Legitimacy in Stability Operations.  Small Wars Journal 6 (Feb., 2010): 1-6.
- Grand Prize Winner for Small Wars Journal Writing Competition (Topic 1)

“The Civil War Era: Redeemer President and Warrior Prophet; Abraham Lincoln, William T. Sherman, and Evangelical Protestantism.” In Prophesies of Godlessness: Predictions of America’s Imminent Secularization, from the Puritans to Postmodernity, edited by Charles T. Mathewes and Christopher McKnight Nichols, 75-94. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

“‘I Owe Virginia Little, My Country Much”: Robert E. Lee, the United States Regular Army, and Unconditional Unionism.” In Crucible of the Civil War: Virginia from Secession to Commemoration, edited by Gary Gallagher, Edward L Ayers, and Andrew W. Torget, 35-57. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

"Christian Love and Martial Violence: Baptists and War--Danger and Opportunity." In Virginia's Civil War, edited by Peter Wallenstein and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 87-100.  Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005.


Commander's Award for Civilian Service, 3 BSTB, Department of the Army, June 10, 2009

Meritorious Honor Award, U.S. Department of State, Embassy Baghdad, June 2009

Grand Prize Winner, Question 1, Small Wars Journal Writing Competition, Feb. 2010

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University’s Whitney Humanities Center for the 2004/5 and 2005/6 academic years.  The second year was declined due to an appointment as an assistant professor in the history department at the United States Naval Academy.

Naval Academy Research Council Seed Grant (Summer 2006, Summer 2007).  Junior faculty research grant for book manuscript.

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship for the 2000/1, 2001/2, 2002/3, and 2003/4 academic years.

Honorary 2000 Mellon Fellow in Humanistic Studies.

E. Francis Riggs Memorial Prize for “demonstrating the best knowledge of general culture by means of the distinction of your performance" (Yale, May 1998).

David C. DeForest Prize and Townsend Premiums, 2nd Place.  To a Senior “who shall write and pronounce an English oration in the best manner” (Yale, May 2000).

Bristed Scholarship for “the sophomore standing highest in a competitive examination in Greek” (Yale, May 1999).

Robert C. Byrd Scholar for California (Yale, 1997 - 2000)


Current Courses

HH386D The American Way of War: The Colonial Period to Afghanistan
HH104 American Naval History

Past Courses

HH205 Western Civilization: Culture, Ethics, and Society to 1776
HH215 The West in a Global Context: Pre-History to the Enlightenment
HH485E U.S. Unconventional Warfare (Independent Study)
HH347 Civil War, Reconstruction, and Gilded Age
HH262 Unconventional Warfare in U.S. History

2004/2005 Academic Year: Directed Studies – History and Politics, Yale University
This year-long course covered western historical and political thought from antiquity to the present in Yale’s special first-year undergraduate program on western civilization, Directed Studies.  I was one of seven faculty members teaching sections in the program.


Slavery, Emancipation, and Freedom: Comparative Perspectives, by Stanley L. Engerman.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007.  Labor History, 49, November 2008, pp. 516-18.

From Conciliation to Conquest: The Sack of Athens and the Court-Martial of Colonel John B. Turchin, by George C. Bradley and Richard L. Dahlen. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2006.  Journal of Southern History, 74, February 2008, pp. 193-94.

Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through His Private Letters, by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York: Viking, 2007.  The Weekly Standard, 12, August 25, 2007.

Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War, by A. Wilson Greene, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006. Civil War Book Review, Summer 2007, at

Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies: A Life of General Henry W. Halleck, by John F. Marszalek. Cambridge, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004.  Canadian Journal of History, 41, Spring/Summer 2006, pp. 153-55.

Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864, by Earl J. Hess. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.  North Carolina Historical Review, 82, October 2005, pp. 519-20.

Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question, by Don H. Doyle. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002.  Civil War History, 52, June 2006, pp. 193-95.

The Railroad and the State: War, Politics, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America, by Robert G. Angevine. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004. H-War, H-Net Reviews, February 2005.

Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War, by R. J. Blackett. Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 2000. Civil War History, 49, June 2003, pp. 188-89.


“Military Knowledge and Professionalism at West Point Before the Civil War,” Society of Military Historians Annual Meeting (Frederick, MD), 21 April 2007.

“The Answer He Was Born to Make?” [Lecture on Robert E. Lee’s decision to secede], Symposium: The Answers They Were Born to Make: Choosing Sides in the Civil War, Sponsored by the Museum of the Confederacy and the Library of Virginia (Richmond, VA), 24 February 2007.

“Disorderly and Unconventional Warfare: The Legacy of the Indian Wars,” Yale International Security Studies Colloquium in International History and Security (New Haven, CT), 13 February 2007.

“What Civil War Military History Ought to Be,” Southern Historical Association Meeting (Birmingham, AL), 17 November 2006.

“The Old Army in War and Peace: West Pointers and the Civil War Era, 1814-1865,” Seventh Annual Triangle Institute for Security Studies New Faces Conference (Chapel Hill, NC), 16 September 2006.

“The Old Army in War and Peace: West Pointers and the Civil War Era, 1814-1865,” USNA History Department Works in Progress Seminar (Annapolis, MD), 9 December 2005.

“The Problem of ‘Demoralization’: Virginia Baptists' Distrust of War in 1860/1861,” Douglas Southall Freeman and Southern Intellectual History Conferences (Richmond, VA), 23 February 2002


Phi Alpha Theta Committee (Fall 05 – present / Chair beginning Fall 2009)
Awards Committee (Fall 2009 – present)
Naval and Military History Committee (Fall 06 – present)
Research and Sabbatical Committee (Fall 05 – Spring 08)
Library Liaison (Fall 05 – Sprint 08)