Greetings from the New Editor

Greetings from the New Editor

Greetings JCWE community,


I am Robert Bland and I am excited to be joining this robust online community around Muster as the Journal’s incoming associate editor for digital content. As a prior contributor and longtime reader of Muster, I deeply value the digital world that has been curated by the past editors of the Journal of the Civil War Era. Here, I want to thank and acknowledge and thank Hilary Green for the tremendous amount of labor she has done to shape the most recent iteration of Muster.


By way of introduction, I am an assistant professor of history and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A historian of the emancipation and Reconstruction, I am currently completing a monograph that examines the legacy of the political generation of teachers, Freedmen’s Bureau agents, and aspiring officeholders who travelled to the Lowcountry during the Civil War, established South Carolina’s postbellum Republican Party, and connected this new political world to a nascent, national Black public sphere. The site of a “long Reconstruction” that persisted into the first decade of the twentieth century, the Lowcountry anchored the production a generational countermemory that not only confronted the myths of the Lost Cause but also guided the archival practice of the scholars that built the modern field of African American history.


My passion for Civil War-era history emerged from a long, personal journey with the nineteenth century past. Growing up in Virginia Beach, I lived in the shadow of Fort Monroe and Hampton University. During my childhood, I heard countless stories of the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack. I was one of the last cohorts of high-school aged students in Virginia to experience the bizarre Lee-Jackson-King holiday. Before graduate school, where I trained with scholars who helped shape the modern story of emancipation, I taught high school social studies at one of the handful of schools in the United States named after a nineteenth-century Black officeholder.


In my role as incoming digital editor, I seek to continue the mission of making Muster the premier site for discussion of the Civil War era. Like my predecessors, I want to ensure that Muster remains a place where readers can encounter cutting-edge and original writing, author interviews, and reflections of the meaning of the long Civil War in our current moment. I seek to amplify a wide-range of voices and will try to make Muster a place where both established and early-career scholars can find their footing. Most importantly, I want this to be a place of community and decency where a large online public can gather and discuss important issues with intensity, good faith, and a sense of commonweal.


I look forward to beginning this journey with you. If you ever want to offer feedback or have an idea that you would like to pitch to Muster, you can reach me at


Onward and upward,


Robert Bland

Robert D. Bland is an Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

2 Replies to “Greetings from the New Editor”

  1. Congratulations, Robert! Kudos on your accomplishment, sir! I am honored to know you, and look forward to reading your work!

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