Adam Domby

Assistant Professor

Address: Maybank Hall 312
Office Hours: Virtual. Email to set up appointment.
Phone: 843.953.1420
Personal Website:

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

His book, The False Cause: Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory, 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 studies 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 is also currently researching with Dr. Shari Rabin a biography of the nineteenth century rabbi conman. Through the misadventures of one man, the project will examine various aspects of the second half of the nineteenth century including political culture and corruption, Unionism, and American 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)

History in the News (Freshman Seminar)


The False Cause: Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory, UVA Press, 2020. Link

Recent Publications:

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

Winner of the John. T. Hubbell Prize.

 “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.

Forthcoming Publications:

“Loyal Deserters and The Veterans Who Weren’t: Pension Fraud in Lost Cause Memory,” in The War Went On: Reconsidering the Lives of Civil War Veterans. Edited by Brian Jordan, LSU Press, 2020, Link

With Christopher Barr, “Prisoners of the Public: The National Park Service Interprets the POW Experience” in From Colonial Encounters to the Iraq War: POWs and their Place in American History edited by Lorien Foote and Daniel Krebs, under contract with University Press of Kansas.

With Simon Lewis (eds.): Freedoms Gained And Lost: Reconstruction and Its Meanings 150 Years Later, submitted for review with Fordham University Press.

 “Lessons from ‘Redemption’: Memories of Reconstruction Violence in Colonial Policy” in Freedoms Gained And Lost: Reconstruction and Its Meanings 150 Years Later, edited by Adam H. Domby and Simon Lewis, submitted for review with Fordham University Press.

Selected Online Articles:

“Beyond Romantic Advertisements:, Genealogy, and White Supremacy,” Black Perspectives, May 10, 2019, Link

“Let's be Honest about the Roots of Confederate Monuments,” Charleston City Paper, April 3, 2019, Link

“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:

“UNC the latest college to grapple with the felling of a Confederate statue amid fears of rising tension” interviews with Frances Stead Sellers and Susan Svrluga Washington Post,August 31, 2018, Link

“Duke history professors ask to rename building honoring white supremacist who dedicated ‘Silent Sam’ statue” interview with Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, August 27, 2018, Link

“Behind ‘Silent Sam’s’ toppling at UNC, a lesson for South Carolina, historians say” interview with Robert Behre, Post and Courier, August 26, 2018, Link

“The unfinished story of Silent Sam, from ‘Soldier Boy’ to fallen symbol of a painful past” interview with Jane Stancill,News and Observer, August 25, 2018, Link

“‘Silent Sam’: A racist Jim Crow-era speech inspired UNC students to topple a Confederate monument on campus” interview with Antonia Noori Farzan, Washington Post, August 21, 2018, Link[a4] 

“For Historians, the Business of Studying Monuments Like UNC’s Silent Sam Takes a Toll” interview with Emma Pettit, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 21, 2018, Link

“Memorial Day ceremonies rooted in Charleston tradition” interview with Alex Heaton, ABC4News, May 28, 2018, Link

“New historic marker about Reconstruction to be unveiled in Charleston” interview with Adam Parker, Post and Courier,March 15, 2018, Link

“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