U.S. Military History to 1900



Spring 2013

HIUS 2051

U.S. Military History to 1900

Gary W. Gallagher

This course explores military events and developments from the period of the North American colonial wars through the end of the 19th Century. It combines lectures and discussion sections to address such topics as the debate over the role of the military in a free society, the interaction between the military and civilian spheres in American history, and the development of a professional army and navy. Although this is not a course on battles and generals, significant time in class will be devoted to crucial events and leaders in the Revolutionary War, the war with Mexico, the Civil War, and other major conflicts.

The course will be organized into two lecture meetings and one discussion section each week. Grades will be based on two take-home examinations (70%) and contributions to the weekly discussion sections (30%).

Required Readings (some substitutions may be made):

  • Gabor S. Boritt, ed., Why the Confederacy Lost
  • Don Higginbotham, George Washington and the American Military Tradition
  • Paul Andrew Hutton, Phil Sheridan and His Army
  • James M. McPherson, What They Fought For, 1861-1865
  • James Kirby Martin, A Respectable Army
  • Richard Bruce Winders. Mr. Polk's Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War


Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904



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