Department News

LSU Press publishes book of former History professor

Dr. James Alex Baggett, former University Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Union University and now professor emeritus, has just had his book The Scalawags:  Southern Dissenters in the Civil War and Reconstruction published by The Louisiana State University Press, which has a reputation for publishing scholarly books of high quality on the American Civil War.  In addition, the History Book Club has selected the work as one of its new book offerings.

Dr. Baggett’s study challenges the stereotypically dark view of scalawags – white southerners (or longtime residents) who supported Congressional Reconstruction and the Republican Party – through the use of a collective biography approach of close to 750 scalawags.  It describes scalawags before the war, particularly their community status, their political affiliation and experience, and their secession stand.  This is followed by the story of their lives during the war years, especially their relationship with the Confederacy, and their role in the creation of the Republican Party.

Dr. Baggett, who now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, was a member of the Department of History and Political Science from 1977 until his retirement in 1998; he also served as college dean from 1989 to 1998.

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