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Robert I. Girardi,

Historian, Author, Speaker

                                                                                                 Robert I. Girardi has had a lifelong fascination with the Civil War.                                                                                                  He has studied all aspects of the war, and has tramped over                                                                                                        many of the battlefields and related sites. He has collected                                                                                                          artifacts and memorabilia and has read through thousands of                                                                                                      documents, letters, and diaries written by participants, thereby                                                                                                    developing an understanding of the important issues of the war                                                                                                  and a sense of what the soldiers experienced.

                                                                                                 Robert earned his M.A. in Public History at Loyola University of                                                                                                    Chicago in 1991. He is a past president of the Civil War Round                                                                                                      Table of Chicago and a past vice president  and newsletter                                                                                                          editor of the Salt Creek Civil War Round Table. He belongs to                                                                                                      two 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 editorial                                                                                                      review board of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical                                                                                                              Society and was the guest editor of the 2011-2014 Civil War         Sesquicentennial issues. He was the winner of the 2010 Chicago Civil War Round Table's prestigious Nevins-Freeman Award. In 2012 he was named to the board of directors of the Illinois State Historical Society, and sat on the board of directors of the Camp Douglas Restoration Society  2013-2018. In 2014 he was awarded the Milwaukee Civil War Round Table's Iron Brigade Association Award for Civil War scholarship. He was an extra in the movie, Andersonville.

Robert created a Civil War exhibit for the Bureau County Historical Society in Princeton, Illinois, and has consulted for the Chicago History Museum (Chicago Historical Society), and has collaborated with his good friend, historical artist Keith Rocco,  and historian/authors Peter Cozzens, Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr., Theodore J. Karamanski, A. Wilson Greene,  and others.

He has spoken to historical societies, libraries, schools at all levels, and Civil War groups all over the United States. He is a well-known authority on the subject in the Chicago area where he has been interviewed on radio, television, and in the newspaper on all aspects of the Civil War.


Robert is a popular speaker and consultant on the American Civil War to audiences of all ages, at schools at all levels, museums, libraries, historical societies, Civil War Round Tables, and other organizations.

Robert has spoken at Loyola University, Xavier College, Dominican University, Harper College and Lewis University. He is a frequent presenter at the annual Illinois History Conference and the Illinois State History Symposium in Springfield, Illinois, and the Midwest Civil War Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He has spoken to Civil War Round Tables and historical societies all over Illinois, and in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin


Robert I. Girardi lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.


"Reconsidering Major General Gouverneur K. Warren," North & South Magazine, Series II, Vol. 1, No. 6, July 2020

"Phantom of Discontent: Illinois Regiments Rebel against the Emancipation Proclamation?" North & South Magazine       

     Series II, Vol. 1, Number 2, Sep-Oct 2019

"Remembering the Grand Army of the Republic," Chicago History Magazine, 2015

“’Prince John’ Magruder in Texas,” in Confederate Generals in the Trans-Mississippi, vol. 2,


The Civil War Generals: Comrades, Peers, Rivals, in Their Own Words, 2013

The  U.S. Army at the Outbreak of the Civil War, in Desperta Ferro, 2013

The First Battle of Bull Run, in Desperta Ferro, 2013

“Leonidas Polk and the Fate of Kentucky in 1861,” in Confederate Generals in the Western

     Theater, vol. 3, 2011

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Sesquicentennial of the Civil War Issues,


Gettysburg in Art and Artifacts, 2010

The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco, 2009

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

     Volunteer Infantry, 2008

"Brig. Gen. Roger Weightman Hanson," in Kentuckians in Gray, 2008

The Soldier’s View, 2004

The New Annals of the Civil War, 2004

The Memoirs of Brigadier General William Passmore Carlin, U.S.A., 1999

The Military Memoirs of General John Pope, 1998

Captain H.W. Chester, Recollections of the War of the Rebellion, A Story of the 2nd Ohio

     Volunteer Cavalry, 1996


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