Christopher Taylor

Mentor: Dr. William Link
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"Conducting history research has an impeccable power to make people seem reasonable. It’s exciting to trace the roots of ideas and beliefs that we take for granted today, and try to figure out how people in another world understood the same things."

Major

History & Political Science

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • U.S. Civil War
  • Southern Culture
  • Racial Interactions

Academic Awards

  • Dean’s List (2013, 2014)
  • 2015-2016 University Scholars

Organizations

  • Model United Nations

Volunteer

  • Gallery Guide – Harn Museum of Art
  • Science for Life Preview Presenter

Hobbies and Interests

  • Hiking
  • Kung Fu
  • Being a hedgehog parent

Research Description

Making Soldiers of Slaves and Slaves of Soldiers: The Civil War’s Impact on Southern Masculine Culture
In the last month of the American Civil War, the Confederate States Congress passed a bill that allowed their army to enlist slaves and free blacks. Although this represented a landmark and lasting change in Southern ideology, the decision was the culmination of a number of developments that quietly and gradually broke down the institution of southern slavery even before the war ended at Appomattox Court House. Any number of sources from the first half of the 19th century will make it clear that to be a solider in the American South was to hold a particular rank in society, and demand a particular amount of respect and honor. I aim to understand the forces that eroded barriers between slave and soldier. More importantly, I want to know what it meant to be a white southerner living in a society that no longer clearly stated that slaves were black, soldiers were white, and a slave could no more easily become a warrior than he could change the color of his skin.