Christian McWhirter vita

Christian McWhirter vita

Christian L. McWhirter
Assistant Editor
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln
National Archives
Washington, DC 

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Ph.D., U. S. History, University of Alabama, 2009 (Dissertation: “Liberty’s Great Auxiliary: Music and the American Civil War”).

M. A., History, University of Alabama, 2003.

B. A., English & History, University of Toronto at Mississauga, 2000, Cum Laude. 


Professional Experience

Assistant Editor, The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, 2010-present.

Editor, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 2013-present.

Instructor, History Department, The University of Alabama, 2005-2008.

Historian in Residence, Teaching American History Program, The University of Alabama, 2006-2007.

Editor, Southern Historian, 2001-2006.

Teaching Assistant, History Department, The University of Alabama, 2001-2004. 




Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.


On Lincoln's Mind: Leading the Nation to the Gettysburg Address. Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2013 (principal author and co-editor).

On Lincoln's Side: Reelecting a Leader. Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2014 (principal author and co-editor).


“Birth of the ‘Battle Cry,’” The New York Times, Disunion Blog, July 27, 2012.

“The Birth of ‘Dixie,’” The New York Times, Disunion Blog, March 31, 2012.

“Conversation: William W. Freehling,” Southern Historian 28 (2007): 7-31.

"Fight Songs," Civil War Monitor 4 (Spring 2014): 40-49.

"How We Need to Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Lincoln and Django Unchained," Civil War Monitor Bookshelf, January 16, 2013.

"Music," in Aaron Sheehan-Dean, ed., A Companion to the U.S. Civil War (Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 2014), 1003-20.

"Pursuing the Mysteries: A Conversation with William Freehling" in Megan L. Bever and Scott A. Suarez, eds., The Historian Behind the History: Conversations with Southern Historians (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2014): 5-25.

Essays & Reviews

Review of The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song that Marches On by John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis. In Civil War History 60 (September 2014): 348-50.

Review of Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War, by Carole Emberton. In Civil War Monitor Bookshelf, July 16, 2014.

The Early Republic and Antebellum America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural and Economic History, Christopher Bates, ed. (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2010): “Embargo Act,” “John Tyler,” “Manifest Destiny,” and “Stephen Foster.”

Review of Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, by Elijah Wald.  In Southern Historian 27 (2006): 109-10.

Review of Everybody's History: Indiana's Lincoln Inquiry and the Quest to Reclaim the President's Past, by Keith A. Erekson. In Ohio Valley History 13 (Summer 2013): 87-89.

Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, by T. J. Stiles.  In Southern Historian 25 (2004): 116-18.

Review of Lee & His Army in Confederate History, by Gary Gallagher.  In Southern Historian 24 (2003): 73-74.

Review of Lincoln's Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky, by Elizabeth D. Leonard.  In Civil War History 58 (June 2012): 264-66.

Review of Music and the Making of a New South, by Gavin James CampbellIn Southern Historian 26 (2005): 126-27.

Review of The Myth of the Lost Cause in Civil War History, by Gary Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan, eds.  In Southern Historian 23 (2002): 101-3.

Review of Schooling the Freed People: Teaching, Learning, and the Struggle for Black Freedom, 1861-1876 by Ronald E. Butchart. In Alabama Review 66 (January 2013): 76-78.

Review of Southern Music/American Music, by Bill C. Malone and David Stricklin.  In Southern Historian 26 (2005): 138-40.

Review of Uncle Tom Mania: Slavery, Minstrelsy & Transatlantic Culture in the 1850s, by Sarah Meer.  In Southern Historian 28 (2007): 107-9.

Review of Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry – Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862, by Kendall D. Gott.  In West Tennessee Historical Society Papers 58 (2004), 125-27.



"1862: Northern Music and Northern War Motivation," paper presented at the Flair Symposium, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, September 18-20, 2014.

"Civil War Music" Workshop at Banner Moments: The National Anthem in American Life, NEH Summer Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, July 9, 2014.

"Lincoln and the Music He Loved," narration presented at International Carillon Festival, Springfield, Illinois, June 4, 2014.

"Music in the Civil War North," narration presented at the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, March 1, 2014.

"Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War," paper presented at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, October 8, 2013.

"Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Music," paper presented at Lincoln Group of Washington D.C., May 21, 2013.

"Music, Politics, and Resistance in the Confederacy," JCC Sanders Lecture Series, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, April 6, 2013.

"Music in Lincoln's White House," panel discussion at Library of Congress, Washington, DC, February 9, 2013. 

"Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War,:" paper presented at the Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky, January 24, 2013.

"Popular Music in the Civil War," paper presented at the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC, December 14, 2012.

"Songs of the Blue and the Gray: A Civil War Commemoration Concert," narration presented at Fort Myer, Virginia, October 13, 2012.

“Part of Everyone's Meat and Drink: Music and Civil War America,” paper presented at the Music and American Culture Lecture Series, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, September 2012.

“Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War,” Noon Lecture Series, National Archives, Washington, DC, July 2012.

“Emancipation in Northern Popular Music,” paper presented at the Civil War Institute Summer Conference, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, June 2012.

“The National Anthem of Secession: Dixie, Alabama, and the Confederacy,” paper presented at the Architreats Lecture Series, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama, April 2012.

“Anthems of the Confederacy,” paper presented at the Music of the Civil War Commemoration, University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama, April 2012.

“Those Brazen Monstrosities: Civil War Regimental Bands and the Limits of Federal Power,” paper presented at the Society for History in the Federal Government annual meeting, College Park, Maryland, March 2012.

“A New and Quaint Species of Literature: White Interpretations of Black Music in the Civil War,” paper presented at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History annual meeting, Richmond, Virginia, October, 2011.

“The War’s Other Victor: The Civil War and American Popular Music,” paper presented at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music - US Chapter annual meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 2011.

“The Confederacy’s Troubled Anthem: The Inauguration of Jefferson Davis, ‘Dixie,’ and Confederate Nationalism,” paper presented at Alabama Association of Historians annual meeting, Gulf Shores, Alabama, February 2011.

“‘The Choked Voice of a Race, at Last Unloosed’: Black Music and the American Civil War,” paper presented at the Southern Historical Association annual meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina, November 2010.

“The Union ‘Marseillaise’: ‘John Brown’s Body,’ The Northern War Effort, and Civil War Music,” paper presented at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association National Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March-April 2010.

“‘Let Us Unite in the Selection of One ‘Dixie’ and upon this Be a Solid South:’ The Alabama United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Movement to Change the Words of ‘Dixie,’” paper presented at the Alabama Association of Historians annual meeting, Livingston, Alabama, February 2009.



David Warren Bowen Award (co-winner), Best Paper Presented at the 2011 Meeting of the Alabama Association of Historians, (2011).

Nominated for The University of Alabama Outstanding Dissertation Prize (2010).

The University of Alabama Graduate Council Fellowship (2008).

Graduate Student Research and Travel Support Award, The University of Alabama (2008, 2007).

Mark C. Stevens Researcher Travel Fellowship, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan (2007).

Research Fellowship, Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky (2007).

Johnson Dissertation Research Fellowship, The University of Alabama (2007).

Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society (2007).

Student Government Association Research Grant, The University of Alabama (2006).

Service and Dedication Award, Southern Historian, The University of Alabama (2006, 2005).

James E. Jacobson Award, The University of Alabama Office of Student Media (2005).

National Golden Key Honor Society (1997).

Ontario Scholarship Award (1996).