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Dr. Michael Thomas Smith of McNeese State University to deliver Civil War Speaker Series lecture April 20

By University Communications

BOONE, N.C.—Dr. Michael Thomas Smith, an associate professor of history at McNeese State University, will present “General Benjamin Butler, Politics, Warfare and Masculinity in the Civil War North” on April 20 as part of the Civil War Speaker Series at Appalachian State University.

View larger imageDr. Michael Thomas Smith, an associate professor of history at McNeese State University, will lecture April 20 at Appalachian State University. Photo courtesy of McNeese State’s public relations office

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 6 p.m. in Room 114 of Belk Library and Information Commons on the university campus.

“Michael Thomas Smith is one of the most sophisticated interpreters of Civil War politics,” said Dr. Judkin Browning, an assistant professor in Appalachian’s Department of History. “His examination of the controversial Benjamin Butler is a fascinating example of how he merges social, cultural and military history to illuminate the complex politics of the era.”

Butler served the Union army as a major general during the Civil War. Visit to learn more about him.

Smith, who earned a Ph.D. in American history from Pennsylvania State University, has written and edited several books about the Civil War. His lecture at Appalachian derives from a chapter in his book “The Enemy Within: Fears of Corruption in the Civil War North” (University of Virginia Press, 2011), which the Journal of American History called a “thought-provoking study.”

About the Department of History

Part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History at Appalachian State University offers a broad curriculum in local, national, regional and world history at both the undergraduate and graduate level, which encourages history majors to develop a comparative approach to human problems. The study of history is an essential part of a liberal arts education and offers valuable preparation for many careers, such as law, journalism, public history, public service and business, as well as in teaching and the advanced discipline of history. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, three stand-alone programs, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities, social sciences, and the mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university’s strengths, traditions and unique location. Our values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of our students as global citizens. There are approximately 5,850 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges.

About Appalachian

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.