While I have taught many subjects in the past, I currently teach classes on Texas and nineteenth-century United States military history. My primary interest is in addressing the myths of our past and finding the truth that lies within, as well as explaining the not-so-true elements that develop. I am an author or editor for eighteen books and the director for more than a dozen UNT doctoral graduates, several of whom have also published books. Seven of my books have won awards, and my biography of Robert E. Lee was also nominated for a Pulitzer. In addition, I have written more than two dozen book chapters and journal articles on subjects related to what I teach. I am currently working on three books: biographies of sculptor Pompeo Coppini and Texas Ranger William L. Wright, and a study of the Trans-Mississippi in the Civil War. I maintain an active public speaking schedule, which allows me to travel and learn more about Texas and the United States.
Sutherland Springs, Texas: Saratoga on the Cibolo (University of North Texas, 2017).
Washington-on-the-Brazos: Cradle of the Texas Republic (Texas State Historical Association, 2016).
Fighting Stock: John S. "Rip" Ford of Texas (Texas Christian University, 2011).
At the Heart of Texas: One Hundred Years of the Texas State Historical Association, 1897-1997 (Texas State Historical Association, 2007).
Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Tennessee in the Civil War (University of Arkansas, 2007).
The Last Stronghold: The Campaign for Fort Fisher (McWhiney Foundation, 2003).
Lee in the Shadow of Washington (Louisiana State University, 2001).
Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of North Carolina in the Civil War (University of Arkansas, 1997).
Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, October 1862 (Louisiana State University, 1994 [paperback edition, 1997; electronic edition, 2000]).
Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of South Carolina in the Civil War (University of Arkansas, 1994).
San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award (Sutherland Springs)
Pate Award, Fort Worth Civil War Round Table (Fighting Stock)
Bates Award, Texas State Historical Association (Fighting Stock)
Award of Merit, Texas Philosophical Society (At the Heart of Texas)
Douglas Southall Freeman Award, Military Order of Stars and Bars (POC: TN)
Slatten Award, Virginia Historical Society (Lee in the Shadow of Washington)
Laney Prize, Austin Civil War Round Table (Lee in the Shadow of Washington)
Tullis Award, Texas State Historical Association (Tainted Breeze)
Commendation, American Association for State and Local History (Tainted Breeze)
Award of Merit for Series, American Association for State and Local History (POC: SC)
Myrick Distinguished Service Award, North Louisiana Civil War Round Table (2016)
Pate Distinguished Service Award, Fort Worth Civil War Round Table (2014)
Admiral, Texas Navy (appointed by governor, 2012)
Grady McWhiney Award of Merit, Civil War Round Table of Dallas (2009)
Fellow, Texas State Historical Association (elected 2006)