Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Robert I. Girardi  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History

Born: 1960 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Robert I. Girardi on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Girardi was born in Chicago and has lived within the city his entire life. He is a graduate of Rosary College (now Dominican University) with a major in History and Business Administration, and earned his Master's Degree in Public History from Loyola University of Chicago. Three of his eight published books deal with Illinoisans. He has edited the memoirs of general John Pope, General William Passmore Carlin, and Sgt. Lyman S. Widney, 34th Illinois Infantry. He was the guest editor of the 2011 and 2012 Sesquicentennial of the Civil War issues of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.

Biographical and Professional Information

Robert I. Girardi is a Chicago War historian, author, editor, speaker and consultant on the American Civil War to audiences of all ages. He has addressed historical societies, libraries, and Civil War groups all over the United States. A well known authority on the subject in the Chicago area, he has been interviewed on radio, television and in The Chicago Tribune.A past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago, Girardi belongs to three other Civil War round tables in the Chicago area. He is a fellow of the Company of Military Historians and is an associate member of the Sons of Union Veterans. He is on the Board of Directors of the Camp Douglas Restoration Society and the Illinois State Historical Society. He is also on the editorial review board of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, for which he edited 2011-2014 Sesquicentennial of the Civil War Issues. He has consulted for the Chicago Historical Society on its Civil War exhibits, and lectured at its teachers and docents seminars. He is the 2010 recipient of the Chicago Civil War Round Table's Nevins-Freeman Award for scholarship and service. In 2013 he was awarded a research grant by the Friends of Andersonville, for his work on the experience and memory of Illinois soldiers at Andersonville prison. In 2014 he was awarded the Milwaukee Civil War Round Table's Iron Brigade Association for Civil War scholarship.Girardi lives in Chicago and is a homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Soldiers' General: Major General Gouverneur K. Warren and the Civil War
ISBN: 1611212065

Savas Beatie. 0

The Civil War Generals: Comrades, Peers, Rivals-In Their Own Words
ISBN: 0760345163

Zenith Press. 2013

The Civil War Generals offers an unvarnished and largely unknown window into what military generals wrote and said about each other during the Civil War era. Drawing on more than 170 sources—including the letters, diaries, and memoirs of the general officers of the Union and Confederate armies, as well as their staff officers and other prominent figures—Civil War historian Robert Girardi has compiled a valuable record of who these generals were and how they were perceived by their peers. The quotations within paint revealing pictures of the private subjects at hand and, just as often, the people writing about them—a fascinating look at the many diverse personalities of Civil War leadership.
More than just a collection of quotations, The Civil War Generals is also a valuable research tool, moving beyond the best-known figures to provide contemporary character descriptions of more than 400 Civil War generals. The quotes range in nature from praise to indictment, and differing opinions of each individual give a balanced view, making the book both entertaining and informative. A truly one-of-a-kind compilation illustrated with approximately 100 historical photographs, The Civil War Generals will find a home not only with the casual reader and history buff, but also with the serious historian and researcher.

Gettysburg in Art and Artifacts

Crimson Books. 2011

Product Description:
Gettysburg in Art and Artifacts is more than just an overview of the battle, it is also a treasure trove of art from famed artist Keith Rocco, as well as a pictorial exhibit of many of the artifacts from the battle on display in the Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center. Thus it is a history as well as an exhibit you can take home.

From the Author:
Gettysburg in Art and Artifacts was a labor of love for Keith Rocco and myself. Using his artwork, and my text, we tell the story of the battle. Additionally, the book is profusely illustrated with artifacts we were able to take from the collection and displays, and photos we took as we walked the battlefield together. We produced a book we believe is of use to people at all levels of interest on the subject.

About the Author:
Robert earned his master's degree in public history at Loyola University of Chicago in 1991. He is a past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago, a fellow of the Company of Military Historians, and an associate member of the Sons of Union Veterans. He is on the board of directors of the Illinois State Historical Society, as well as the editorial review board of its journal, and has consulted for the Chicago Historical Society on its Civil War exhibits. He was the 2010 recipient of the Chicago CWRT's Nevins-Freeman Award.

Robert is the author or editor of eight books: Gettysburg in Art and Artifacts The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco Campaigning with Uncle Billy: The Civil War Memoirs of Sgt. Lyman S. Widney, 34th Illinois Volunteer Infantry The Soldier's View: The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco The New Annals of the Civil War The Memoirs of Brigadier General William Passmore Carlin, U.S.A. The Military Memoirs of General John Pope and Captain H. W. Chester's Recollections of the War of the Rebellion.

The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco (General Military)
ISBN: 1849084351

Non Basic Stock Line. 2010

From camp to battlefield, Keith Rocco's brilliant paintings evoke the drama, emotion and action of the Civil War. Twenty four full color paintings and many additional color vignettes, including some published here for the first time, tell the story of the war from the perspective of the soldiers who fought it.

Campaigning with Uncle Billy: The Civil War Memoirs of Sgt. Lyman S. Widney, 34th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
ISBN: 1425178871

Trafford Publishing. 2008

Campaigning with Uncle Billy is the memoir of the service of Sgt. Lyman S. Widney of Illinois who served throughout the Civil War with the 34th Illinois Infantry. Widney's account of his wartime service is based on the diary he kept during the conflict. As a regimental clerk, he was in a position to meet many prominent people and to know the plans and thinking of the command staff. Widney's narrative is personal, highly detailed, vividly descriptive and accurate. He writes with emotion and humor. He details the life of the volunteer soldiers as they enlist, adapt to military life and learn the trade of soldiering. His descriptions of the horrors of the battlefield, its grisly aftermath and the toll that sickness exacted on the rank and file is highly personal. Through Widney's eyes we explore the countryside, tour Mammoth Cave, learn firsthand about combat and sickness and endure life in the trenches in the relentless fighting of the Atlanta Campaign and the grueling March to the Sea and through the Carolinas. Widney's memoir is a worthy addition to the literature of the Civil War from the point of view of the common soldier.

The Soldier's View: The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco
ISBN: 0974877425

Military History Pr Llc. 2004

Here is a collection of more than 100 paintings and sketches from one of the leading artists working in the Civil War field. The text features carefully selected eye-witness accounts that accompany the paintings, and the result is a moving ensemble of images and words that pays homage to the common soldier.

Rocco's oils are reproduced here on acid-free, heavy art paper and placed in a finely sewn binding.

The Memoirs of Brigadier General William Passmore Carlin, U.S.A: "Fighting Billy": Sherman's Warrior in the West
ISBN: 1572335327

Robert Girardi. 2005

William Passmore Carlin (1829-1903) was a native of Illinois who graduated from West Point in 1850 and served on frontier duty and in Utah before the Civil War. Carlin began his Civil War career as colonel of the 38th Illinois Infantry and served in the early battles in Missouri and Mississippi. He commanded troops in the important battles of Perryville, Stones River, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard Roost, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, the siege of Atlanta, Jonesboro, and Bentonville. A successful brigade and division commander from Perryville to Sherman's March to the Sea and march through the Carolinas until the end of the war, Carlin retired in 1893 as a brigadier general.

The writings of Carlin offer the reader a rare opportunity to share the career of a professional, but quite human, army officer from the 1850s through Reconstruction and beyond.

Robert I. Girardi is past president of the Chicago Civil War Round Table and has edited five books, including The Military Memoirs of General John Pope.

Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr., is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including Brigadier General Tyree H. Bell, C.S.A.: Forrest's Fighting Lieutenant The Pride of the Confederate Artillery: The Washington Artillery in the Army of Tennessee and Jefferson Davis in Blue: The Life of Sherman's Relentless Warrior.

The Military Memoirs of General John Pope (Civil War America)
ISBN: 0807824445

The University of North Carolina Press. 1998

Union general John Pope was among the most controversial and
misunderstood figures to hold major command during the Civil War.
Before being called east in June 1862 to lead the Army of Virginia against General Robert E. Lee, he compiled an enviable record in Missouri and as commander of the Army of the Mississippi. After his ignominious defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run, he was sent to the frontier. Over the next twenty-four years Pope held important department commands on the western plains and was recognized as one of the army's leading authorities on Indian affairs, but he never again commanded troops in battle.
In 1886, Pope was engaged by the National Tribune, a
weekly newspaper published in Washington, D.C., to write a series
of articles on his wartime experiences. Over the next five years, in twenty-nine installments, he wrote about the war as he had lived it. Collected here for the first time, Pope's "war reminiscences" join a select roster of memoirs written by Civil War army commanders.
Pope presents a detailed review of the campaigns in which he
participated and offers vivid character sketches of such illustrious figures as Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Clearly written and balanced in tone, his memoirs are a dramatic and important addition to the literature on the Civil War.

Originally published in 1998.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

The author can be contacted directly by phone, email, or through his website. He speaks on multiple aspects of the Civil War to audiences of all ages and levels of expertise. He also presents to historical societies, Civil War Round Tables, libraries and literary societies and schools at all levels. He is willing to travel and charges a modest $150.00 fee plus expenses for lodging etc.

The Civil War Generals Comrades, Peers, Rivals in Their Own Words Program

The leaders of the Civil War armies came from all walks of life, amateur as well as professional. Many rivalries and jealousies were born of ambition or from personal animosities. The generals were not shy in voicing their opinions of one another both during and after the war. An award-winning author and historian, Girardi examines the incisive and insightful comments that Civil War generals wrote about each other. (All ages; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

The Murder of Major General William Nelson Program

Award-winning historian and author Robert I. Girardi presents a fascinating Civil War murder case. On September 29, 1862, in the lobby of Louisvilles Galt House Hotel, Brigadier Gen. Jefferson C. Davis murdered Major Gen. William Nelson. Davis was arrested, but never brought to trial. A combination of political intrigue, cronyism, and military emergency brought this about. Girardi discusses the case from his perspective as a Chicago homicide detective. (All ages; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)