Sunday, April 16, 2017

Founders Award

Recently, I learned that my book has been awarded the Founders Award! The news was a great surprise to me, and the following is the press release announcing it as well as the winner of the Jefferson Davis Award. 

The American Civil War Museum enjoys a legacy of 125 years through its predecessors, The Museum of the Confederacy and The American Civil War Center. During that time, the institutions have given and received numerous awards.
Book Awards
The American Civil War Museum is pleased to announce the results of its 2016 (47th annual) literary awards.
The recipient of the 2015-2016 Founders Award is Dr. M. Jane Johansson, professor of history at Rogers State University, for Albert C. Ellithorpe, the First Indian Home Guards, and the Civil War on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier, published by Louisiana State University Press. The judges praised the book both for its coverage of a “relatively unexplored theater of the war” and for Dr. Johansson’s incorporation and annotation of diverse primary sources in one volume.
The judges also named as a finalist for the Founders Award James Robert Hester’s A Yankee Scholar in Coastal South Carolina: William Francis Allen’s Civil War Journals, published by the University of South Carolina Press.
The Founders Award recognizes excellence in the editing of primary source documents related to the origins, life, and legacies of the Confederacy and the Civil War. The 2015-2016 jurors are Dr. David J. Coles of Longwood University (chair), Dr. Carl Moneyhon of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Dr. Peter C. Luebke, historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command.
The recipient of the 2016 Jefferson Davis Award is Dr. Chandra M. Manning, associate professor of history at Georgetown University (currently serving as Special Advisor to the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University 2015-2017), for Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War, published by Alfred A. Knopf. “This work is beautifully written and highlights an area of the war that has needed a floodlight turned upon it for some time: the social history of the refugee, the escaped slave crisis, and the Union Army’s response to it in the Confederacy and around the South,” observed one of the award judges. “In a growing field of Civil War ‘refugee studies,’ Manning’s work should stand out as a seminal study.”
The judges also named as finalist for the award Micki McElya’s The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery, published by Harvard University Press.
The Jefferson Davis Award recognizes outstanding narrative works on the origins, life, and legacies of the Confederacy and the American Civil War. The 2016 jurors are Dr. Barton A. Myers of Washington and Lee University (chair), Dr. Barbara A. Gannon of the University of Central Florida, and Dr. Jonathan W. White of Christopher Newport University.
The Museum awards the annual Jefferson Davis Book Award for distinguished book-length narrative history or monograph and the biennial Founders Award for excellence in the editing of primary source materials. The awards consist of a framed certificate bearing a red wax seal made from the original Great Seal of the Confederacy. Thanks to the generosity of several anonymous donors, the Davis Award also carries a modest cash prize. The winners are chosen by independent panels of leading scholars, many of whom are past recipients of the awards. The Great Seal and the peer review have made the Jefferson Davis and Founders Awards among the most prestigious and desirable awards for Civil War scholars.
Founders Award Winners

2016: M. Jane Johansson, Albert C. Ellithorpe, the First Indian Home Guards, and the Civil War on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier
2014: Graham T. Dozier, A Gunner in Lee’s Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter
2012: Donald C. Pfanz, The Letters of General Richard S. Ewell: Stonewall’s Successor 
2010: George Burkhardt, Double Duty in the Civil War: The Letters of Sailor and Soldier Edward W. Bacon
2008: Charles W. Mitchell, Maryland Voices of the Civil War
2006: Kimberly Harrison, A Maryland Bride in the Deep South: The Civil War Diary of Priscilla Bond
2004:  Lynda L. Crist, et. al., The Papers of Jefferson Davis, vol. 11 
2002: Michael B. Chesson and Leslie J. Roberts, Exile in Richmond
2000: Charles F. Bryan, Jr. and Nelson D. Lankford, Eye of the Storm: A Civil War Odyssey
1998: Ward W. Briggs, Jr., Soldier and Scholar: Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve and the Civil War
1996: Lynda L. Crist, et. al., The Papers of Jefferson Davis, vol. 8
1994: Ira Berlin, et. al., Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, series I, vol. II 
1992: Russell Duncan, Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw
1990: Gary W. Gallagher, Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander
1988: Carol Bleser, Secret and Sacred: The Diaries of James Henry Hammond
and John Rozier, The Granite Farm Letters: The Civil War Correspondence of Edgeworth and Sallie Bird 
1986: Richard Harwell and Philip N. Racine, The Fiery Trail: A Union Officer’s Account of Sherman’s Last Campaigns
1985: Ira Berlin, et. al., Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, series I, vol. I
1984: Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark,  No Chariot Let Down 
1983: LeRoy P. Graf and Ralph W. Haskins, The Papers of Andrew Johnson, vol. VI
1982: John Y. Simon, The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, vols. IX and X 
1981: Charles C. McLaughlin and Charles E. Beveridge, The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, vol. II 
1980: James I. Robertson, Jr., An Index-Guide to the Southern Historical Society Papers
1979: David C. Roller and Robert W. Twyman, The Encyclopedia of Southern History
1978: William A. Frassanito, Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America’s Bloodiest Day
1977: John W. Blassingame, Slave Testimony
1975: Ezra J. Warner and W. Buck Yearns, Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress 
1974: John Hammond Moore, The Juhl Letters to the Charleston Courier
1972: Robert Ranson Myers, Children of Pride
1971: Haskell M. Monroe, The Papers of Jefferson Davis, vol. I.
1970: Warren Ripley, Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War              


  1. Good for you! Congratulations. You should get a sticker or something for the dust jacket, like the ALA awards get - it boosts sales like you wouldn't believe.

  2. Hello Jane

    I wanted to see if you have purchased/read a copy of Theater of A Separate War - Cutrer?

    There was a very critical review on Amazon. Seemed to point to many editing errors. I looked at the title online and it appeared to have only one map and I don't believe any illustrations?

    I was very much looking forward to this title, as I think others in this series are very well done. However, if there is only 1 small map and no illustrations, I would find this very disappointing considering the publisher.


    1. Hi Don, I have had no opportunity to read the book yet, but I did go and read the critical review that you mentioned on Amazon. There is one double-page map in the book and no photographs. Authors of University press books are generally responsible for paying for the maps that go in the book--maps for a single page usually cost around $100, so that can add up pretty quickly for an author. Costs can also be incurred when obtaining photographs for a book. And, as if that's not enough, authors are often responsible for either doing the index for the book or paying for itself themselves. It's not much of a money making proposition! In recent years, I've seen a number of Civil War books with editorial problems--including those from reputable publishers. If "Theater Of A Separate War" has those kinds of issues then it joins a long list of others, unfortunately. Cutrer's book is nearly 600 pages long, and it's to be expected that some problems (hopefully only minor ones) would creep into a book of that length. Ultimately, it's up to a reader to examine his research, his arguments based on his sources, and decide whether those outweigh the editorial problems that are in the book.

  3. Thanks for the congratulations, Peni, and I love your suggestion of a sticker for the book! I'll definitely look into that idea.