Robert Gudmestad

Contact Information

Phone: 970.491.6050


Office: Clark B353

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 - 11:50

Role: Faculty

Position: Associate Professor

  • Nineteenth Century American South; Civil War


My research focuses broadly on the nineteenth century American South. Presently I am looking at the use of ironclads and other naval technology to control access to the western rivers system during the Civil War. This project has given me the opportunity to think about using GIS to track the points of conflict between Union gunboats and southern civilians, guerrillas, and soldiers.

I argue for the importance of steamboats to the Southern and, by extension, American economy and society in Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom (LSU Press, 2011). You can read two pieces related to steamboats on the Echoes Blog: one is about how river improvements stimulated commerce while the other is about explosions and the beginnings of federal regulation. My A Troublesome Commerce: The Transformation of the Interstate Slave Trade (LSU Press, 2003) examines the changing nature of forced migration in the Early Republic. I've also published an article on a baseball team and the memory of the Civil War in the New South and written a blog post about militarism and American football. My longer piece of scholarship on the subject is part of the "Scrimmage: Football in American Art from the Civil War to the Present" exhibit at CSU's University Art Museum.

I am currently developing a travel course about the D-Day campaign. It will begin in London, cross the English Channel, tour sites in Normandy, and in Paris. It should be available for the first summer session in 2016. My undergraduate courses include the first half of the American survey, the Civil War Era, Southern History, American Military History, and the capstone course as American Sports History. For graduate students I teach a readings seminar and a research seminar. I also teach the Civil War as an online course.


PhD Louisiana State University


HIST 357: American Military History

My Military History course will plunge into the realm of differentiated learning this fall. For those of you not familiar with educational buzzwords, the bottom line is that we will have a variety of activities besides the usual papers and lectures that promote learning. They include discussions, group projects, playing a board game in class, a Capture the Flag competition, playing a video game, guest speakers (veterans of the Vietnam War), and some documentaries.