Kathryn Shively Meier, PhD

Meier, Katy photo

Associate Professor, American Civil War, Environmental History
(804) 828-9714

Ph.D., 2010, University of Virginia


  • American Civil War
  • 19th century United States
  • Early American Military History
  • Environmental History
  • American mental and physical health in the 19th century



I am an environmental and military historian of the American Civil War. My research and teaching interests involve the evolution of America’s armed forces from the 1600s through the late nineteenth century, with a particular focus on the interactions of soldiers with their “natural” environments and soldiers’ mental and physical health. To this end, my first book, Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia, winner of the 2014 Wiley-Silver Prize for best first book on the Civil War, explores how enlisted soldiers adapted to the mental and physical challenges of their wartime environments by adopting self-care techniques, from eradicating mosquitoes to boiling water, and informal networks of health care, including African Americans, women, and, of course, each other. I am currently working on a biography of the ornery Confederate general and Lost Cause architect Jubal A. Early.

Previously, I was assistant professor of history at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and before that a schoolteacher in the Bay Area of California.