OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Peter S. Carmichael

Portrait of Peter S. Carmichael

Peter S. Carmichael is the Fluhrer Professor of History and the director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, where he teaches a range of courses in the Civil War era, public history, and cultural history. He coedits the Civil War America series, published by the University of North Carolina Press, and oversees an annual conference at Gettysburg that typically draws 200 attendees each year. Many of his presentations can be seen on c-span's American History TV, and he has also appeared in the Smithsonian documentary Civil War 360 and Who Do You Think You Are?. He currently completing a book, "The War for the Common Soldier."

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Professor Carmichael will share transcribed soldier letters with his audience to explore the varied ways that Union and Confederate soldiers expressed themselves on paper. A blended lecture and discussion format allows audiences an opportunity to consider the different ways that war and violence were translated from experience to paper.
What are the different ways that tourists have experienced the Gettysburg battlefield since 1863? This question uncovers a wide range of expectations that tourists have brought to Gettysburg, and how they have interacted with historical sites for commercial needs, historical interests, and for play.This talk offers audiences an opportunity to reflect on how American tourists think historically at military sites, and the different aesthetics imagined at cultural landscapes.
This program explores the cultural and intellectual bonds of the slave-holding South as a way to understand support for secession, service in the Confederate military, and sacrifice on the Southern home front. This approach does not overlook Confederate dissenters, including slaves and poor whites. The thrust of this program is aimed at understanding the power dynamics of a nation engaged in organized killing
Why did the idea of the Confederate slave emerge in 1861, and what purposes did it serve white Southerners for the remainder of the war? This question reveals the political and emotional needs of a Confederate people at war, and tries to answer why they were willing to risk imagining their slaves as being almost men. This talk also centers on the experience of the enslaved in the ranks.