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Adam Domby

Assistant Professor

Address: Maybank Hall 312
Office Hours: TR 1-2:30 and by appointment
Phone: 843.953.8029

Dr. Adam Domby is a historian of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the American South. He is currently working on multiple research projects.

His book manuscript, The False Cause: Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory (under review), examines the role of lies and exaggeration in the creation of Lost Cause narratives of the war, as well as their connections to white supremacy. Looking at pension fraud, Confederate monument dedications, and Confederate myths reveals that much of our understanding of the Civil War remains influenced by falsehoods. 

He also researches southerners fighting their neighbors during the American Civil War and examines the legacy of those local fights that civil wars inevitably create. His book project At War with Itself, centers on the role these conflicts played in three divided southern communities during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Close examination of the social dynamics of these southern communities reveals new insights into why the Confederacy lost, why Reconstruction failed, and the distinctiveness of southern society, culture, and politics.

He also currently is researching a microhistory with Dr. Shari Rabin about the story of a nineteenth century Rabbi con-man, Simon Gerstmann. Through the misadventures of one man, Gerstmann Gone will examine various aspects of the second half of the nineteen-century ranging from political culture and corruption, Unionism, and the founding of Reform Judaism. 


PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015

MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011

BA, Yale University, 2006

Research Interests

Civil War and Reconstruction, Historical Memory, Historical Geography and HGIS, Social Network Analysis, Digital Humanities, Southern History, and Military History.  

Courses Taught

Civil Wars, Insurgency and Terrorism in Modern History

United States History to 1865

Historian’s Craft

Civil War and Reconstruction

American Historical Memory

Writing Reconstruction (Graduate Seminar)


Selected Recent Publications Recent Peer Reviewed:

“Captives of Memory: The Contested Legacy of Race and Atrocity at Andersonville National Historic  Site,” Civil War History, September 2017. Link

 “American Warlord? Reconsidering “Guerrilla” Leader John Gatewood” in The Guerrilla Hunters: Exploring the Civil War’s Irregular Conflicts, edited by Barton Myers and Brian McKnight, LSU Press, 2017 Link.

 Works In Progress:

The False Cause: Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory (under review).

“Loyal Deserters and The Veterans Who Weren’t: Pension Fraud in Lost Cause Memory” Enduring Wars: New Perspectives on Civil War Veteranhood. Edited by Brian Jordan, Under contract with LSU 2018. (Under Review)  

At War with Itself: The South’s Internal Conflict During the Civil War Era, book manuscript, (in preparation).

Gerstmann Gone: A Tale of Religion, Fraud, and Politics (working title), co-authored with Shari Rabin, (currently researching).

 Selected Non-Peer Reviewed Publications:

“SC monument to black soldiers would be a whitewash” The State, October 17, 2017, Link

“Defenders Of Confederate Monuments Keep Trying To Erase History” Huffington Post September 15, 2017, Link

“Letter: Be Accurate” Post and Courier, August 23, 2017, Link

“Where was the History in Trump’s ‘Historic’ Inauguration?” Huffington Post, January 20, 2017, Link

“Teaching History in Trump’s America” Huffington Post, November 18, 2016, Link

 “Deplorable In Chief: How Trump Provoked The Establishment,” Huffington Post, October 27, 2016, Link

“Why Donald Trump Scares Military Historians So Much,” Huffington Post, October 20, 2016, Link

“A Historian’s View: The Past Has A Lot To Say About Trump’s Campaign Strategy,” Huffington Post, October 18, 2016, Link

“Free State of Jones Depicts Realties of Reconstruction,” Charleston Post and Courier, July 3, 2016, Link

“Revisiting Robert Penn Warren’s Legacy of the Civil War,” in "Roundtable on Civil War Memory," Traces, April 2013.

“The Cost of a Democratic Memory: Financing North Carolina’s Commemorative Landscape,” Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, UNC, CDLA, 2012, LINK

 “Evolution of Landscape: Changing Conceptions of Commemoration at Guilford Courthouse Battleground,” with W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, UNC, CDLA, 2012, Link

“Why Silent Sam was built: A historian’s perspective,” Daily Tar Heel, January 20, 2011.  Link

 “Keeping up with the Joneses: A Missing Diary Discovered,” Duke University Libraries, Volume 24 no. 1, Fall 2010, Link

Selected Recent Media Appearances

“Debates, protests increase over universities’ slavery ties” Interview with Jonathan Drew, Associated Press, October 7, 2017, Link

 “Five Historians Revisit Topic of Confederate Monuments” interview with Adam Parker, Post and Courier, August 26, 2017, Link

 “What a white supremacist told me After Donald Trump Was Elected” interview with Charles Bethea, August 17, 2017, Link

“Charleston mayor supports more context, not removing Confederate. slave owner statues” interview with Bill Burr, Channel 4 News, August 17, 2017, Link

 “Charleston’s Unknown History: Castle Pinckney and Grimke House” TV interview with Mayci McLeod on WCBD News 2, May 11 and 12, 2017 Link

“Teaching Southern and Black History Under Trump” interview with Charles Bethea, February 2, 2017, Link