Peter S. Carmichael

Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies




Campus Box 0435


Civil War Institute

300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


PhD The Pennsylvania State University, 1996
MA The Pennsylvania State University, 1992
BA Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, 1988

Academic Focus

19th Century United States history, Civil War and Reconstruction, Southern history, Public history, Cultural history

Peter S. Carmichael received his Ph.D. in History from Penn State University in 1996. His academic interests include 19th-century US history, Civil War and Reconstruction, southern history, public history and cultural history. Carmichael’s most recent book, The War for the Common Soldier, was published by University of North Carolina Press in November 2018 as part of the Littlefield History of the Civil War Era series. The culmination of nearly ten years' work, this cultural history of soldiering in Civil War armies explores how soldiers endured the brutal and unpredictable existence of army life during the war years, drawing heavily on close examination of the letters and records left behind by individual soldiers from both the North and the South.

His previous books include The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (UNC, 2005) and Lee's Young Artillerist: William R. J. Pegram (Virginia, 1995). In addition to his books, he has also published a number of articles for both scholarly and popular journals, and he speaks frequently to general and scholarly audiences. Carmichael has recently appeared on the PBS Robert E. Lee documentary for the American Experience series and on the popular TV show “Who Do You Think You Are.” View Professor Carmichael's talks on C-SPAN.

After completing his doctorate at Penn State University under Dr. Gary W. Gallagher, Professor Carmichael went on to teach at Western Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and West Virginia University, before coming to Gettysburg College. 

In addition to holding seasonal interpretive positions at several National Park Service sites, Carmichael served as Gettysburg National Military Park’s first Scholar-in-Residence in 1999, and has developed a lasting relationship with the NPS. In addition to overseeing multiple interpretive workshops for National Park Service staff, he directed a 2010 seminar at Gettysburg NMP to discuss new interpretive approaches to the Civil War sesquicentennial and co-directed (with Jill Ogline Titus) the joint GC/GNMP conference, The Future of Civil War History: Looking Beyond the 150th in 2013.

Courses Taught