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Amy Murrell Taylor

Research Interests:
19th Century U.S. South
Civil War and Reconstruction
slavery and emancipation
Race and Gender
Public History

A.B., Duke University
M.A., University of Virginia
Ph.D., University of Virginia

Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on the social and cultural history of the U.S. South in the 19th century, with special attention to the Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. She is currently working on several projects related to the history of everyday life in Reconstruction, including a study of a free town in Virginia, and a GIS-based genealogy of Emancipation Day commemorations.

Her latest book, Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War's Slave Refugee Camps (UNC Press, 2018), received multiple national awards including the Frederick Douglass Book Prize given by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition, and Resistance at Yale University and the Merle Curti Social History Award from the Organization of American Historians. Embattled Freedom is a study of the many thousands of men, women, and children who fled slavery and sought refuge behind the lines of the Union army during the American Civil War. It explores what their day-to-day experiences in military-supervised camps reveals about the way Emancipation unfolded in the United States. She previously examined families divided by national loyalties in The Divided Family in Civil War America (UNC Press, 2005). Taylor is the co-editor, with Stephen Berry, of the "UnCivil Wars" series with the University of Georgia Press, as well as an editorial advisory board member of the Civil War Monitor magazine and a past member of the board of editors of the Journal of Southern History. She is also involved in a variety of public history and historic preservation projects in central Kentucky.

Taylor has been honored as a University Research Professor and as the 2020-2021 Distinguished Professor of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky.

Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War's Slave Refugee Camps (UNC Press, 2018)

Co-editor, with Michael Perman, Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction, 3rd ed. (Cengage, 2010)

The Divided Family in Civil War America (UNC Press, 2005)

Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition, and Resistance, Yale University, 2019
OAH Merle Curti Award for best book in American social history, 2019
OAH Avery O. Craven Award for most original book on the Civil War & Reconstruction, 2019
John Nau Book Prize, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History, University of Virginia, 2019
Tom Watson Brown Book Award, Society of Civil War Historians, 2019
Governor's Book Award, Kentucky Historical Society & Office of the Governor, 2019
Theodore A. Hallam Book Award, University of Kentucky Department of History, 2019
Short list, Stone Book Award, Museum of African American History, 2019
Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2019
Provost's Award for Outstanding Teaching, University of Kentucky, 2019
Faculty Mentor of the Week, University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research, April 2018
Great Teacher Award, University of Kentucky Alumni Association, 2016 (Profile)
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2009-2010
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2008-2009