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, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin
Robert I. Girardi lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
"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