One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, James I. Robertson Jr. was executive director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary. Today, his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as Civil War! America Becomes One Nation, General A.P. Hill, and Soldiers Blue and Gray. His massive biography of Gen. Stonewall Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the basis for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals." Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.
The recipient of every major award given in the Civil War field and a lecturer of national acclaim, Robertson is probably more in demand as a speaker before Civil War groups than anyone else in the field.
He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University and honorary doctorates from Randolph-Macon College and Shenandoah University. He is presently an Alumni Distinguished Professor, one of 10 such honorees among Virginia Tech’s 2,200 faculty members. He is also executive director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, created by the university in 1999.
Robertson is a charter member (by Senate appointment) of Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
See the related Virginia Tech Magazine story: James I. Robertson: Mr. Civil War