Gregory J. W. Urwin


GREGORY J. W. URWIN (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame),  Professor of History.

Research and Teaching Interests:  U.S. Military History, War of Independence, Civil War, Indian Wars, World War II, U.S. Marine Corps

Office Hours (Fall 2005):  10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., Monday; 11:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M., 2:00-3:00 P.M., Wednesday

Personal Statement:  I am a military historian with an interest in the armed forces of the United States and Great Britain.  My research has emphasized the American Revolution, American Civil War, America's Indian Wars, and World War II in the Pacific.  My earlier work consisted of traditional "drum and bugle" military history -- battles, campaigns, and military biography.  Since the late 1980s, however, I have taken more of an interest in the "New Military History," which focuses on the political, sociological, institutional, and cultural aspects of war.  This has led me to look more closely at the experiences of  ordinary soldiers and the history of African Americans in uniform.  I am currently working on a book about the defenders of Wake Island as prisoners of war during World War II.  The Wake Islanders enjoyed one of the highest survival rates of any group of Caucasian troops taken by the Japanese, and I will try to identify and explain the reasons for their good fortune.  After that, I plan to go back in time and tackle research projects relating to the American Civil War and War of Independence.

(Left) Professor Urwin commanding the 1st Battalion, Frontier Brigade, at the Battle of Shiloh Reenactment, near the original Shiloh battlefield in western Tennessee, April 1997.  (Photo courtesy James Neel)  (Below) Urwin on the set of Glory. (Photo courtesy Civil War News)

Representative Publications:

Editor, Black Flag over Dixie:  Racial Atrocities and Reprisals in the Civil War (2004).

"Cornwallis and the Slaves of Virginia:  A New Look at the Yorktown Campaign," in John A. Lynn, ed., ACTA, International Commission of Military History, XXVIII Congress:  Coming to the Americas (2003).

"Poison Spring and Jenkins' Ferry:  Racial Atrocities during the Camden Expedition," in Mark K. Christ, ed., "All Cut to Pieces and Gone to Hell":  The Civil War, Race Relations, and the Battle of Poison Spring (2003).

"The Army of the Constitution:  The Historical Context," in Max G. Manwaring, ed., ". . . To Insure Domestic Tranquilty, Provide for the Common Defense . . .":  Papers from the Conference on Homeland Protection (2000).

Co-Editor (with Cathy Kunzinger Urwin), History of the 33d Iowa Infantry Volunteer Regiment, 1863-6, by A. F. Sperry (1999).

Facing Fearful Odds:  The Siege of Wake Island (1997).

"'We Cannot Treat Negroes . . . as Prisoners of War':  Racial Atrocities and Reprisals in Civil War Arkansas," Civil War History (1996).

Wake Island in World War II:  An Annotated Bibliography (1996).

"'The Lord Has Not Forsaken Me and I Won't Forsake Him':  Religion in Frederick Steele's Union Army," Arkansas Historical Quarterly (1993).

"Custer:  The Civil War Years," in  Paul A. Hutton, ed., The Custer Reader (1992).

"The Defenders of Wake Island and Their Two Wars, 1941-1945," Prologue:  Quarterly of the National Archives (1991).

The United States Infantry:  An Illustrated History, 1775-1918 (1988).

Editor, Custer and His Times:  Book Three (1987).

The United States Cavalry:  An Illustrated History (1983).

Custer Victorious:  The Civil War Battles of General George Armstrong Custer (1983).

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