Brooks D. Simpson

Brooks Donohue Simpson (born August 4, 1957) is an American historian and an ASU Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University, specializing in studies of the American Civil War.

Brooks D. Simpson
D03 9527 Brooks D. Simpson
Simpson in 2018
Brooks Donohue Simpson

August 4, 1957 (age 61)
EducationPhillips Exeter Academy
Alma materUniversity of Virginia
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Known forStudies of the American Civil War

Early life and education

Simpson was born August 4, 1957, in Freeport, New York. Educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy, he graduated in 1975; four years later he graduated from the University of Virginia. Receiving his M.A. in history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1982, he earned his PhD in 1989.


After working three years as an assistant editor for The Papers of Andrew Johnson, based at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Simpson joined the faculty at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1987. Three years later, in 1990, he migrated west to Arizona State University, where he presently teaches. Currently he divides his time between Barrett, The Honors College at ASU and the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.

Simpson is the author of six books, the coauthor of two more, and the editor or coeditor of eight other books. He is perhaps best known for his work on Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2000, was a New York Times Notable Book and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for that year.[1] He has appeared several times on C-SPAN, as well as on PBS's American Experience.[2] In 2009 the U.S. State Department asked him to travel to Turkey for two weeks to lecture on Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama in historical context.


After serving four years as one of the contributors to the prize-winning "Civil Warriors" blog,[3] in late 2010, Simpson started his own blog, "Crossroads", where he discusses the American Civil War and offers critiques of negationist neo-Confederate and Lost Cause claims regarding the war.[4]

Personal life

Simpson is descended from Richard Denton, a reverend from Yorkshire, England.[5]

Honors and awards

  • NEH Travel to Collections Award, 1990;
  • Huntington Library Fellow, 1991;
  • Newberry Library Fellow, 1991;
  • American Philosophical Society Grant, 1991;
  • Dirksen Congressional Research Center Grant, 1991;
  • Father Smith Lecturer, Gonzaga University, 1994;
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 1994;
  • Fulbright Scholarship, Leiden University, 1995;
  • Interdisciplinary Fellow, ASU, 1998;
  • ASU Alumni Faculty Research Award, 2003.


  • Advice After Appomattox: Letters to Andrew Johnson, 1865-1866. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987. With LeRoy P. Graf and John Muldowny.
  • Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991. Paperback edition, 1997.
  • The Political Education of Henry Adams. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.
  • America's Civil War. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1996.
  • Union and Emancipation: Essays on Race and Politics in the Civil War Era. Kent: Kent State University Press, 1997. With David W. Blight.
  • Think Anew, Act Anew: Abraham Lincoln on Slavery, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1998.
  • The Reconstruction Presidents. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998. Paperback edition, 2009.
  • Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. With Jean V. Berlin.
  • Gettysburg: A Battlefield Guide. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. With Mark Grimsley.
  • Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
  • Collapse of the Confederacy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2001. Paperback edition, 2002. With Mark Grimsley.
  • The Civil War: The First Year in the Words of Those Who Lived It. New York: Library of America, 2011. With Stephen W. Sears and Aaron Sheehan-Dean.
  • The Civil War in the East: Struggle, Stalemate, and Victory. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011.
  • Victors in Blue: How Union Generals Fought the Confederates, Battled Each Other, and Won the Civil War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2011. With Albert Castel.
  • The Civil War: The Third Year in the Words of Those Who Lived It. New York: Library of America, 2013.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-18. Retrieved 2015-03-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Simpson, Brooks D. (April 18, 2012). "My Cousin Connie". Crossroads. WordPress. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.

External links

American Civil War prison camps

American Civil War Prison Camps were operated by both the Union and the Confederacy to handle the 409,000 soldiers captured during the war from 1861 to 1865. The Record and Pension Office in 1901 counted 211,000 Northerners who were captured. In 1861-63 most were immediately paroled; after the parole exchange system broke down in 1863, about 195,000 went to prison camps. Some tried to escape but few succeeded. By contrast 464,000 Confederates were captured (many in the final days) and 215,000 imprisoned. Over 30,000 Union and nearly 26,000 Confederate prisoners died in captivity. Just over 12% of the captives in Northern prisons died, compared to 15.5% for Southern prisons.

August 4

August 4 is the 216th day of the year (217th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 149 days remaining until the end of the year.

Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg (locally (listen)) was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North.

After his success at Chancellorsville in Virginia in May 1863, Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to begin his second invasion of the North—the Gettysburg Campaign. With his army in high spirits, Lee intended to shift the focus of the summer campaign from war-ravaged northern Virginia and hoped to influence Northern politicians to give up their prosecution of the war by penetrating as far as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or even Philadelphia. Prodded by President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker moved his army in pursuit, but was relieved of command just three days before the battle and replaced by Meade.

Elements of the two armies initially collided at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, as Lee urgently concentrated his forces there, his objective being to engage the Union army and destroy it. Low ridges to the northwest of town were defended initially by a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen. John Buford, and soon reinforced with two corps of Union infantry. However, two large Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north, collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders retreating through the streets of the town to the hills just to the south.On the second day of battle, most of both armies had assembled. The Union line was laid out in a defensive formation resembling a fishhook. In the late afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, and fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den, and the Peach Orchard. On the Union right, Confederate demonstrations escalated into full-scale assaults on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. All across the battlefield, despite significant losses, the Union defenders held their lines.

On the third day of battle, fighting resumed on Culp's Hill, and cavalry battles raged to the east and south, but the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett's Charge. The charge was repulsed by Union rifle and artillery fire, at great loss to the Confederate army.Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history.

On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.

Brooks (given name)

Brooks is a given name. More commonly, it is also a surname.

As a given name, Brooks may refer to:

A. Brooks Harris (born 1935), American physicist

Brooks Atkinson (1894–1984), American theater critic

Brooks Conrad (born 1980), American baseball player

Brooks Cryder (born 1955), American soccer player

Brooks DeCillia, Canadian television reporter

Brooks Douglass (born 1961), American film producer, actor and lawyer

Brooks Foster (born 1986), American football player

Brooks Gray (born 1975), Canadian actor and film producer

Brooks Hansen, American author and illustrator

Brooks Haxton (born 1950), American poet and translator

Brooks Hays (1898–1981), American politician and religious leader

Brooks Headley, American musician and chef

Brooks Holder (1914–1986), American baseball player

Brooks "Bubba" Jennings, American basketball player and coach

Brooks Johnson (born 1934), American sprinter and track coach

Brooks A. Keel, American university president

Brooks Kerr (born 1951), American jazz pianist

Brooks Kieschnick (born 1972), American baseball player

Brooks Koepka (born 1990), American golfer

Brooks Laich (born 1983), Canadian ice hockey player

Brooks Landgraf (born 1981), American politician

Brooks Macek (born 1992), German-Canadian ice hockey player

Brooks McCormick (1917–2006), American businessman and philanthropist

Brooks Mileson (1947–2008), English businessman and philanthropist

Brooks Moore, Canadian voice actor

Brooks K. Mould, American music publisher

Brooks Newmark (born 1958), American-born English member of parliament

Brooks Orpik (born 1980), American ice hockey player

Brooks Otis (1908–1977), American classical scholar

Brooks Pate, American chemist

Brooks Pennington Jr. (1925–1996), American businessman, politician, and philanthropist

Brooks Reed (born 1987), American football player

Brooks Robinson (born 1937), American baseball player

Brooks D. Simpson (born 1957), American historian

Brooks Stevens (1911–1995), American industrial designer

Brooks Thompson (1970–2016), American basketball player and coach

Brooks Wackerman (born 1977), American rock drummer

Brooks Wheelan (born 1986), American comedian and actor

Brooks Williams (born 1958), American folk musician

Brooks D. Williams (born 1978), American women's basketball coach

D. Brooks Smith (born 1951), U.S. federal judge

E. Brooks Holifield (born 1942), American religious historian

G. Brooks Earnest (1902–1992), American college president

L. Brooks Leavitt (1878–1941), American financier and antiquarian

L. Brooks Patterson (born 1939), American lawyer and politician

Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College

The Civil War Institute (CWI) at Gettysburg College is a non-profit organization created to promote the study of the American Civil War Era. The CWI was founded in 1982 by historian and Gettysburg College professor Gabor Boritt, an Abraham Lincoln and American Civil War scholar. The current director is Peter S. Carmichael. The Institute helps coordinate a number of Civil War-related events for the public, including the Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, an annual program designed to commemorate Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, as well as a week-long summer conference that hosts 400 participants annually. The CWI also supports student learning at Gettysburg College, offering several programs throughout the year to help students hone their skills as young historians.

Culp's Hill

Culp's Hill is 0.75 mi (1.21 km) south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which played a prominent role in the Battle of Gettysburg. It consists of two rounded peaks, separated by a narrow saddle. Its heavily wooded higher peak is 630 ft (190 m) above sea level. The lower peak is about 100 feet (30 m) shorter than its companion. The eastern slope descends to Rock Creek, about 160 feet (50 m) lower in elevation, and the western slope is to a saddle with Stevens Knoll (formerly McKnight's Hill) with a summit 100 ft (30 m) lower than the main Culp's Hill summit. The hill was owned in 1863 by farmer Henry Culp and was publicized as "Culp's Hill" by October 31, 1865.During the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1–3, 1863, Culp's Hill was a critical part of the Union Army defensive line, the principal feature of the right flank, or "barbed" portion of what is described as the "fish-hook" line. Holding the hill was by itself unimportant because its heavily wooded sides made it unsuitable for artillery placement, but its loss would have been catastrophic to the Union army. It dominated Cemetery Hill and the Baltimore Pike, the latter being critical for keeping the Union army supplied and for blocking any Confederate advance on Baltimore or Washington, D.C.

General Order No. 11 (1862)

General Order No. 11 was an order issued by Major-General Ulysses S. Grant on December 17, 1862 during the American Civil War. It ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military district, comprising areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. The order was issued as part of a Union campaign against a black market in Southern cotton, which Grant thought was being run "mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders." In the war zone, the United States licensed traders through the Army, which created a market for unlicensed ones. Union military commanders in the South were responsible for administering the trade licenses and trying to control the black market in Southern cotton, as well as for conducting the war. Grant issued the order in an effort to reduce corruption.

Jewish community leaders protested, and there was an outcry by members of Congress and the press; President Abraham Lincoln revoked the General Order on January 4, 1863. Grant infamously claimed during his 1868 Presidential campaign that he had issued the order without prejudice against Jews as a way to address a problem that "certain Jews had caused".

Historical negationism

Historical negationism or denialism is an illegitimate distortion of the historical record. It is often imprecisely or intentionally incorrectly referred to as historical revisionism, but that term also denotes a legitimate academic pursuit of re-interpretation of the historical record and questioning the accepted views.In attempting to revise the past, illegitimate historical revisionism may use techniques inadmissible in proper historical discourse, such as presenting known forged documents as genuine, inventing ingenious but implausible reasons for distrusting genuine documents, attributing conclusions to books and sources that report the opposite, manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view, and deliberately mis-translating texts (in languages other than the revisionist's).Some countries, such as Germany, have criminalised the negationist revision of certain historical events, while others take a more cautious position for various reasons, such as protection of free speech; still others mandate negationist views.

Notable examples of negationism include Holocaust denial, Armenian Genocide denial, the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, Japanese war crime denial and the denial of Soviet crimes.

In literature, the consequences of historical negationism have been imaginatively depicted in some works of fiction, such as Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell. In modern times, negationism may spread via new media, such as the Internet.

Library of America

The Library of America (LOA) is a nonprofit publisher of classic American literature. Founded in 1979 with seed money from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation, the LOA has published over 300 volumes by a wide range of authors from Mark Twain to Philip Roth, Nathaniel Hawthorne to Saul Bellow, including the selected writings of several U.S. presidents.

Little Round Top

Little Round Top is the smaller of two rocky hills south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—the companion to the adjacent, taller hill named Big Round Top. It was the site of an unsuccessful assault by Confederate troops against the Union left flank on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Little Round Top was arguably the decisive terrain in the Battle of Gettysburg as it’s capture by the Confederates would have allowed Lee to enfilade the Union lines with cannon fire leading to their likely defeat.

Confederate victory at Gettysburg would have opened the way to Washington for the Confederate Army and potential victory in the Civil War.

Little Round Top was defended successfully by the brigade of Col. Strong Vincent.

The 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, fought the most famous engagement there, culminating in a dramatic downhill bayonet charge that is one of the most well-known actions at Gettysburg and in the American Civil War.

Mark Grimsley

Mark Grimsley (born October 8, 1959, Ahoskie, North Carolina, United States) is an American professor of History at Ohio State University. His 1995 book, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians 1861-1865, earned second place in the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize category.

National Union Party (United States)

The National Union Party was the temporary name used by the Republican Party for the national ticket in the 1864 presidential election which was held during the Civil War. For the most part, state Republican parties did not change their name. The temporary name was used to attract War Democrats and border states, Unconditional Unionists and Unionist Party members who would not vote for the Republican Party. The party nominated incumbent President Abraham Lincoln and for Vice President Democrat Andrew Johnson, who were elected in an electoral landslide.


Neo-Confederates or Southern nationalists are the various groups and individuals who use historical negationism to portray the Confederate States of America and its actions in the American Civil War in a positive light.

North Carolina in the American Civil War

North Carolina had joined the Confederacy with some reluctance, mainly because neighbouring Virginia had done so, and it remained a divided state throughout the war, with the western mountain people retaining much Union sentiment. Yet it contributed more troops to the Confederacy than any other state (though it also raised Union regiments), and channelled many vital supplies through the major port of Wilmington, in defiance of the Union blockade.

Fighting occurred sporadically in the state from September 1861, when Union Major General Ambrose Burnside set about capturing key ports and cities, notably Roanoke Island and New Bern. In 1864, the Confederates assumed the offensive, temporarily reconquering Plymouth, while the Union army launched several attempts to seize Fort Fisher. Troops from North Carolina played a major role in dozens of battles, including Gettysburg, where Tar Heels were prominent in Pickett's Charge. One of the last remaining major Confederate armies, under Joseph E. Johnston, surrendered near Bennett Place to Sherman. Troops also played a major role for the Union, with the 3rd North Carolina Cavalry taking part in the Battle of Bull's Gap, Battle of Red Banks and Stoneman's 1864 and 1865 raid in western North Carolina, southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee. The Department of North Carolina, established in 1862, seized Wilmington in 1865, then the state's largest city. The North Carolina-based XVIII Corps was also among the largest in the Union Army.

Radical Republican

The Radical Republicans were a faction of American politicians within the Republican Party of the United States from around 1854 (before the American Civil War) until the end of Reconstruction in 1877. They called themselves "Radicals" with a sense of a complete permanent eradication of slavery and secessionism, without compromise. They were opposed during the War by the moderate Republicans (led by United States President Abraham Lincoln), by the conservative Republicans, and by the pro-slavery and anti-Reconstruction Democratic Party as well as by conservatives in the South and liberals in the North during Reconstruction. Radicals led efforts after the war to establish civil rights for former slaves and fully implement emancipation. After weaker measures in 1866 resulted in violence against former slaves in the rebel states, Radicals pushed the Fourteenth Amendment and statutory protections through Congress. They disfavored allowing ex-Confederates officers to retake political power in the South, and emphasized equality, civil rights and voting rights for the "freedpeople", i.e. people who had been enslaved by state slavery laws within the United States.During the war, Radical Republicans opposed Lincoln's initial selection of General George B. McClellan for top command of the major eastern Army of the Potomac and his efforts to bring seceded Southern states back into the Union as quickly and easily as possible. Lincoln later recognized McClellan's weakness and relieved him of command. The Radicals passed their own reconstruction plan through the Congress in 1864, but Lincoln vetoed it and was putting his own presidential policies in effect by virtue as military commander-in-chief when he was assassinated in April 1865. Radicals pushed for the uncompensated abolition of slavery, while Lincoln wanted to pay slave owners who were loyal to the Union. After the war, the Radicals demanded civil rights for freed US slaves, including measures ensuring suffrage. They initiated the various Reconstruction Acts as well as the Fourteenth Amendment and limited political and voting rights for ex-Confederate civil officials and military officers. They keenly fought United States President Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner from Tennessee who favored allowing Southern states to decide the rights and status of former slaves. After Johnson vetoed various Congressional acts favoring civil rights for former slaves, they attempted to remove him from office through impeachment, which failed by one vote in 1868.

Theodore Lyman III

Theodore Lyman III (August 23, 1833 – September 9, 1897) was a natural scientist, military staff officer during the American Civil War, and United States Representative from Massachusetts.

William Macready the Elder

William Macready the Elder (1755–1829) was an Irish actor-manager.

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861–65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the scorched earth policies he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States.Sherman was born into a prominent political family. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1840 and was stationed in California. He married Ellen Ewing Sherman and together they raised eight children. Sherman's wife and children were all devout Catholics, while Sherman was originally a member of the faith but later left it. In 1859, he gained a position as superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. Living in the South, Sherman grew to respect Southern culture and sympathize with the practice of Southern slavery, although he opposed secession.

Sherman began his Civil War career serving with distinction in the First Battle of Bull Run before being transferred to the Western Theater. He served in Kentucky in 1861, where he acted overly paranoid, exaggerating the presence of spies in the region and providing what seemed to be alarmingly high estimates of the number of troops needed to pacify Kentucky. He was granted leave, and fell into depression. Sherman returned to serve under General Ulysses S. Grant in the winter of 1862 during the battles of forts Henry and Donelson. Before the Battle of Shiloh, Sherman commanded a division. Failing to make proper preparations for a Confederate offensive, his men were surprised and overrun. He later rallied his division and helped drive the Confederates back. Sherman later served in the Siege of Corinth and commanded the XV Corps during the Vicksburg Campaign, which led to the fall of the critical Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River. After Grant was promoted to command of all Western armies, Sherman took over the Army of the Tennessee and led it during the Chattanooga Campaign, which culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee.

In 1864, Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the western theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of Abraham Lincoln. Sherman's subsequent march through Georgia and the Carolinas further undermined the Confederacy's ability to continue fighting by destroying large amounts of supplies and demoralizing the Southern people. The tactics that he used during this march, though effective, remain a subject of controversy. He accepted the surrender of all the Confederate armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida in April 1865, after having been present at most major military engagements in the West. When Grant assumed the U.S. presidency in 1869, Sherman succeeded him as Commanding General of the Army, in which capacity he served from 1869 until 1883. As such, he was responsible for the U.S. Army's engagement in the Indian Wars over the next 15 years. Sherman advocated total war against hostile Indians to force them back onto their reservations. He was skeptical of the Reconstruction era policies of the federal government in the South. Sherman steadfastly refused to be drawn into politics and in 1875 published his Memoirs, one of the best-known first-hand accounts of the Civil War. British military historian B. H. Liddell Hart declared that Sherman was "the first modern general".

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