My research focuses broadly on the nineteenth century American South. Presently I am looking at how Union gunboats fought an irregular war against southern civilians, guerrillas, and soldiers. This project has given me the opportunity to think about using GIS to track the points of conflict between Union gunboats and southern civilians, guerrillas, and soldiers and I've recently had an article accepted for publication.
I argue for the importance of steamboats to the Southern and, by extension, American economy and society in Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom (LSU Press, 2011). My A Troublesome Commerce: The Transformation of the Interstate Slave Trade (LSU Press, 2003) examines the changing nature of forced migration in the Early Republic. I've also published an article on a baseball team and the memory of the Civil War in the New South and the connection between football and the promotion of patriotic values.
My undergraduate courses include the first half of the American survey, the Civil War Era, Southern History, American Military Experience, and the capstone course as American Sports History. For graduate students I teach a readings seminar and a research seminar. In my Civil War Era course, students often do a Reacting to the Past project in order to learn more about the secession crisis and I incorporate a number of active learning assignments into my classes.