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On June 3, 1970, The Museum of the Confederacy inaugurated a literary awards program to recognize outstanding scholarship on the Confederacy and the Confederate period. Three awards were created and given for the first time in 1971: the Jefferson Davis Award for outstanding narrative works; the Founders Award for outstanding editing of primary source documents; and the Award of Merit for outstanding articles. (The Museum ceased presenting the Award of Merit after 1980 and made the Founders Award biennial in 1988.) “The primary purpose in creating these awards,” explained the Museum’s director in 1973, “is to stimulate continued interest in scholarly research and serious writing about one of the most important periods in American history.”
The awards consist of a framed certificate bearing a red wax seal made from the original Great Seal of the Confederacy. Thanks to the generosity of several anonymous donors, the Davis Award also carries a modest cash prize. The winners are chosen by independent panels of leading scholars, many of whom are past recipients of the awards. The Great Seal and the peer review have made the Jefferson Davis and Founders Awards among the most prestigious and desirable awards for Civil War scholars.
To nominate books for the awards, the publisher or author must send a copy directly to each of the three judges for the appropriate award and a fourth copy to the Museum’s award administrator.
A PDF of the 2012 Award Announcement is available here and includes the award criteria, nomination deadlines, the names and addresses of the judges, and contact information.
To receive the announcement via an email attachment or to learn more about the awards, write to: John Coski.
The recipient of the Founders Award is Donald C. Pfanz, editor of The Letters of General Richard S. Ewell: Stonewall’s Successor. The book is part of the Voices of the Civil War series published by the University of Tennessee Press. Pfanz retired recently as Park Staff Historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
The recipient of the Jefferson Davis Award is Dr. William J. Cooper for We Have The War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 published by Alfred A. Knopf. Cooper is Boyd Professor of History at the Louisiana State University and also received the 2000 Davis Award for Jefferson Davis, American.
The Jefferson Davis Award judges also named as finalist Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War by Megan Kate Nelson, published by the University of Georgia Press.
To order copies of the winning books, please contact the Haversack Store or (855) 649-1861, ext. 153. They also have winning titles from past years available.
Jefferson Davis Award
2011: Paul Quigley, Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 1848-1865 (Oxford University Press)
2010: George C. Rable, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press)
2009: Joan Waugh, U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth (University of North Carolina Press) and Daniel E. Sutherland, A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War (University of North Carolina Press)
2008: Joseph T. Glatthaar, General Lee's Army From Victory to Collapse (Free Press)
2007: Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Reading the Man:A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters
2006: Eric H. Walther, William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press)
2005: Charles W. Sanders, Jr., While in the Hands of the Enemy: Military Prisons of the Civil War (Louisiana State University Press)
2004: Richard Lowe, Walker’s Texas Division, C.S.A. (Louisiana State University Press)
2003: G. Ward Hubbs, Guarding Greensboro (University of Georgia Press)
2002: George C. Rable, Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! (University of North Carolina Press)
2001: William W. Freehling, The South vs. The South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War (Oxford University Press)
2000: William J. Cooper, Jr., Jefferson Davis, American (Knopf)
1999: Joseph L. Harsh, Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 (Kent State University Press)
1998: J. Tracy Power, Lee’s Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern Virginia from the Wilderness to Appomattox (University of North Carolina Press)
1997: James I. Robertson, Jr., Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend (MacMillan)
1996: Drew Gilpin Faust, Mothers of Invention (University of North Carolina Press)
1995: David H. Donald, Lincoln (Simon & Schuster)
1994: William C. Davis, “A Government of Our Own” (Free Press)
1993: Robert M. Browning, Jr., From Cape Charles to Cape Fear (University Press of Alabama)
1992: T. Michael Parrish, Richard Taylor (Louisiana State University Press)
1991: William C. Davis, Jefferson Davis (HarperCollins)
1990: Mary A. DeCredico, Patriotism for Profit (University of North Carolina Press)
1989: George C. Rable, Civil Wars (University of Illinois Press)
1988: Thomas E. Schott, Alexander Stephens of Georgia (Louisiana State University Press)
1987: William C. Harris, Williams Woods Holden (Louisiana State University Press)
1986: Richard Beringer, et. al., Why the South Lost the Civil War (University of Georgia Press)
1985: Joseph T. Glatthaar, The March to the Sea and Beyond (New York University Press)
1984: Walter L. Buenger, Secession and the Union in Texas (University of Texas Press)
1983: Michael Wayne, The Reshaping of Plantation Society (University of Illinois Press)
1982: Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor (Oxford University Press)
1981: Michael B. Chesson, Richmond After the War, 1865-1900 (Library of Virginia)
1980: James Lee McDonough, Stones River: The Bloody Winter in Tennessee (University of Tennessee Press)
1979: Stephen Z. Starr, The Union Cavalry in the Civil War (Louisiana State University Press)
1978: Michael C. C. Adams, Our Masters the Rebels (Harvard University Press)
1977: Joseph H. Parks, Joseph E. Brown of Georgia (University of Georgia Press)
1976: Herman Hattaway, General Stephen D. Lee (University of Mississippi Press)
1975: Bell I. Wiley, Confederate Women (Greenwood Press)
1974: William C. Davis, Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol (Louisiana State University Press)
1973: Thomas L. Connelly and Archer Jones, The Politics of Command (Louisiana State University Press)
1972: Thomas B. Alexander and Richard Beringer, The Anatomy of the Confederate Congress (Vanderbilt University Press)
1971: Thomas L. Connelly, Autumn of Glory (Louisiana State University Press)
1970: Frank E. Vandiver, Their Tattered Flags (Harper’s Magazine Press)