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Sat, Jan 15


Online Event

HISTORYtalks: Strategic-level Reasons for Confederate Defeat: a Reappraisal by Dr. Christian B. Keller

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HISTORYtalks: Strategic-level Reasons for Confederate Defeat: a Reappraisal by Dr. Christian B. Keller

Time & Location

Jan 15, 2022, 7:00 PM EST

Online Event


About the Event

Please join us for a Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours Lecture Series! Our next lecture will be: Strategic-level Reasons for Confederate Defeat: a Reappraisal by Dr. Christian B. Keller. Cost is $6 per person. Zoom Login details will be sent with your email registration confirmation. The talk will be recorded and sent to participants to view about a week after the live talk.


Why the Confederacy failed in its bid for independence has been a topic of debate since 1865. Generations of historians have argued about lapses in political and military leadership, defeat in key campaigns, the erosion of home front support, and other factors, but few have examined the phenomenon of rebel disaster in its totality at the strategic level of war.  Utilizing classical and modern strategic theory as interpretative lenses, Dr. Keller will evaluate the critical diplomatic, informational, military, and economic mistakes that, when coupled with the Union's better strategic acumen and plain old fashioned luck, resulted in the historical outcome. This presentation is largely based on the conclusions he and his contributors arrived at in his most recent book, Southern Strategies: Why the Confederacy Failed.


Since 2011, Dr. Christian B. Keller has been Professor of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College, Carlisle, PA, where he teaches courses for senior leaders on the theory of war and strategy, national security policy and strategy, and the American Civil War. In 2017 he was named the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security and in 2019 became the Director of the Military History Program for the school.

Previously, he served as Professor of Military History for five and a half years at the Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Belvoir, VA, and has also taught at numerous civilian institutions, including Shippensburg University, Gettysburg College, Dickinson College, and Washington and Lee University. In 2001-2002, after completing his Ph.D, Dr. Keller was a Fulbright Professor of American History at the University of Jena, Germany.

Along with many scholarly articles focusing on strategic, operational, and ethnic topics in the Civil War, he is author of The Great Partnership: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the Fate of the Confederacy (Pegasus, 2019); author of  Chancellorsville and the Germans: Nativism, Ethnicity, and Civil War Memory (Fordham, 2007); co-author of Damn Dutch: Pennsylvania Germans at Gettysburg (Stackpole/Rowman-Littlefield, 2004); co-author of The Civil War: A Visual History (Dorling-Kindersley/Smithsonian Institution, 2011); and co-author of Pennsylvania: A Military History (Westholme, 2016). His newest book, Southern Strategies: Why the Confederacy Failed was published by the University Press of Kansas in June 2021.

Dr. Keller’s next project, a new narrative of the Army of Northern Virginia based on dozens of previously unpublished wartime letters written by generals and staff officers, is currently in the final research phases with a prospective publication date in early 2024.

A native of Carlisle, Dr. Keller lives with his wife, Kelley, in an antebellum house that witnessed the occupation of Carlisle Barracks by Confederate troops at the end of June 1863.





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