Dr. Jack Trammell, Associate Professor of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Human Services and Guy Terrell together published a book in April 2021 called “Civil War Richmond: The Last Citadel.” This book is Trammell’s latest book out of approximately two dozen publications.
Dr. Peter A. Dorsey, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, remarked, “Faculty publishing takes place every year as many [faculty] are publishing or working on books.” Trammell echoed the same sentiments when he stated, “I have been at the Mount for four years and I have seen a diversity of writing. I try to read as much as I can. It’s great.”
On Oct. 27 in the O’Hara Dining Room in Patriot Hall, Trammell held a talk about his new book about the social history of Richmond, Va., during the Civil War. In “Civil War Richmond: The Last Citadel,” Trammell and Terrell sought a comprehensive look at how the war impacted the people in and around the city at the time: men, women, children, the disabled, free people and those enslaved.
When speaking with the Echo, Trammell said that he looked at a bunch of books about Richmond during the Civil War and the latest ones were over 50 to 100 years old. He wanted to interpret the war differently from a modern perspective. Trammell was interested in studying the Civil War due to his proximity to Richmond and the fact that Richmond was a capital city during the Revolutionary War, a capital of almost a foreign nation (the Confederacy during the Civil War) and a state capital. Richmond is a unique city in American history.
“This time my publisher from History Press and the coauthor, Guy Terrell, had come to me saying that I should write a book with him. This was instead of me going to the publisher saying that I wrote a book” stated Trammell.
Trammell’s longtime passion is social history as it combines history and sociology. He stated, “This book came about in desire to hear voices from the past that I was unable to hear.” Trammell highlighted several of the voices heard throughout the book. For example, he said that children in the war were often neglected (fathers away at war; almost all mothers outside of elite circles had to work), uneducated (many schools simply shut down) and exploited for cheap labor.
When writing “Civil War Richmond: The Last Citadel,” Trammell remarked that he encountered anxiety. He eventually was able to overcome it through the completion of the book. Just like the people living in Richmond during the Civil War were tired of worrying about the war and waiting to see if their relatives were listed in the newspaper as wounded or deceased, society, too, has felt a similar anxiety about the coronavirus.
One of the biggest takeaways from Trammell’s talk is that, “Human diversity is nothing new-the city of Richmond was filled with incredible diversity, from Irish immigrants to free blacks to French diplomats.” For those who could not attend in person or virtually, Trammell’s talk can still be viewed at https://livestream.com/accounts/594954/events/9902283.