Douglas Southall Freeman History Award

The Douglas Southall Freeman History Award is given for the best published book of high merit in the field of Southern history beginning with the colonial period to the present time. The award shall be given only to works of high merit. If no work is submitted that meets the high standards of the Freeman History Award regulations, no award shall be given that year. The award shall be in the amount of $1,000 paid directly to the author. The winner also shall receive an engraved trophy denoting that he was the recipient of the award. All books to be considered for this year’s award shall be submitted to the Freeman History Committee by the publisher. All entries must be accompanied by a letter from the publisher giving the official date of publication. All entries must be accompanied by a biographical sketch of the author.

If the winning book goes to a second printing, it shall contain the acknowledgment that it was selected as the winner of the Freeman History Award plus stating the year it was awarded. The book shall also list the previous winners with additions as necessary. In response to the educational and historical charge set forth in the national Military Order of the Stars & Bars constitution, the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award was established. The award was named in honor of the premier historian of General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia.

The award was presented for the 28th year in 2010.

The recipient of the 2010 Douglas Southall Freeman History Award is:

Civil War Arkansas, 1863
The Battle for a State
By Mark K. Christ
From the Publisher: An overlooked turning point in the trans-Mississippi theater

The Arkansas River Valley is one of the most fertile regions in the South. During the Civil War, the river also served as a vital artery for moving troops and supplies. In 1863 the battle to wrest control of the valley was, in effect, a battle for the state itself. In spite of its importance, however, this campaign is often overshadowed by the siege of Vicksburg. Now Mark K. Christ offers the first detailed military assessment of parallel events in Arkansas, describing their consequences for both Union and Confederate powers.

Christ analyzes the campaign from military and political perspectives to show how events in 1863 affected the war on a larger scale. His lively narrative incorporates eyewitness accounts to tell how new Union strategy in the Trans-Mississippi theater enabled the capture of Little Rock, taking the state out of Confederate control for the rest of the war. He draws on rarely used primary sources to describe key engagements at the tactical level—particularly the battles at Arkansas Post, Helena, and Pine Bluff, which cumulatively marked a major turning point in the Trans-Mississippi.

In addition to soldiers’ letters and diaries, Christ weaves civilian voices into the story—especially those of women who had to deal with their altered fortunes—and so fleshes out the human dimensions of the struggle. Extensively researched and compellingly told, Christ’s account demonstrates the war’s impact on Arkansas and fills a void in Civil War studies.

Mark K. Christ is Community Outreach Director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Little Rock, and a member of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. He is the author or editor of several books on Arkansas history, including Rugged and Sublime: The Civil War in Arkansas and Getting Used to Being Shot At: The Spence Family Civil War Letters.

Previous Douglas Southall Freeman History Award Winners

2011 – My Old Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans – By Rusty Williams
2010 – Civil War Arkansas, 1863 The Battle for a State – By Mark K. Christ
2009 – Major General Robert E Rodes of the Army of Northern Virginia – Darrell L. Collins, Savas Beatie LLC
2008 – Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Tennessee in the Civil War – Richard B. McCaslin, University of Arkansas Press
2007 – William Lowndes Yancey: The Coming of the Civil War by Eric H. Walther, University of North Carolina Press
2006 – Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior, Conservative Statesman by Brian Cisco, Potomac Books, Inc.
2005 – Old Alleghany: The Life and Wars of General Ed Johnson by Gregg S. Clemmer, Hearthside Publishing
2004 – Gentleman And Soldier: The Extraordinary Life of General Wade Hampton by Edward G Longacre, Rutledge Hill Press
2003 – Lee’s Tar Heels: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade, by Earl J. Hess, University of North Carolina Press
2002 – Fredericksburgl Fredericksburg! by George C. Rable, University of North Carolina Press
2001 – Last Chance for Victory: Robert E. Lee & the Gettysburg Campaign by Scott Bowden & Bill Ward, Savas Publishing Co.
2000 – Taken At The Flood: Robert E. Lee & Confederate Strategy In The Maryland Campaign Of 1862 by Joseph L. Harsh, Kent State University Press
1999 – Arkansas Confederates In The Western Theater by James Willis, Morningside Books
1998 – Richard S Ewell: A Soldier’s Life by Donald C. Pfanz, University of North Carolina Press
1997 – Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I. Robertson, Jr., Macmillan Publishing Co.
1996 – Seasons Of War by Daniel E. Sutherland, Free Press
1995 – Andersonville: The Last Depot by William Marvel, University of North Carolina Press
1994 – Encyclopedia Of The Confederacy edited by Richard N. Current, Simon & Schuster, Publishers
1993 – The Confederacy’s Fighting Chaplain: Father John B. Bannon by Phillip T. Tucker, University of Alabama Press
1992 – In Deadly Earnest: The History Of The First Missouri Brigade by Phil Gottschalk, Missouri River Press
1991 – Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain by Robert K, Krick, University of North Carolina Press
1990 – Fighting For The Confederacy: The Personal Recollections Of General Edward Porter Alexander edited by Gary W. Gallagher, University of North Carolina Press
1989 – The Illustrated Confederate Reader by Rod Gragg, Harper & Row Publishers
1988 – Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key To The Confederate Heartland by B. F. Cooling, University of Tennessee Press
1987 – The Man Who Tried To Burn New York by Nat Brandt, Syracuse University Press
1986 – Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan by James A Ramage, University Press of Kentucky
1985 – The Last Review by Virginias Dabney, Algonquin Books