Dr. Joseph L. Harsh Scholarship

A Scholarship in Honor of Dr. Joseph L. Harsh

In 2011, the Board of Directors (BOD) of Save Historic Antietam Foundation Inc. (SHAF) established an award for scholarly research regarding the Maryland Campaign of 1862, especially the Battle of Antietam. The award is named in honor of Dr. Joseph L. Harsh, longtime professor at George Mason University, and author of a prize-winning trilogy on the Maryland Campaign. Through the generosity of the family and friends of Dr. Harsh, SHAF is able to provide an annual stipend of up to $2,500 for the successful applicant to undertake a research project to enhance understanding of the campaign and battle. The stipend will be offered annually and will be awarded based on review of the applicant’s proposal by a stipend committee composed of three members of the SHAF Board of Directors, the Harsh family and Antietam National Battlefield (ANB). The committee will also oversee the project. The criteria used to choose an awardee shall be determined by the stipend committee. Unsuccessful applicants may re-apply as often as they like.

SHAF hopes this funding will promote research on unresolved issues concerning the campaign, including the experience of the common soldier and civilians, the Maryland Campaign in the larger context of the Civil War, and the remembrance of the campaign and its aftermath. If a scholar does not have a topic in mind, suggestions can be provided by SHAF.

Application Procedures & Timeline

  • The award will be presented to a successful applicant who produces a scholarly paper based on solid, original research with proper citations using the Chicago Manual of Style on some aspect of the Maryland Campaign of 1862. The final paper should be approximately 10,000 words in double-spaced format. Photographic illustrations, maps, and charts are encouraged. It is imperative that the completed project reflect the highest standards of scholarship and research.
  • The award shall be worth up to $2,500. An advance of $1,000 will be paid when the project is approved, the balance upon successful completion of the project.
  • Applicants must submit a 200-word abstract stating the thesis for the research project, a research methodology, and relevance of the topic to furthering understanding of the Maryland Campaign of 1862. They will also provide a brief résumé emphasizing their historical and research credentials.
  • Topics must be approved by the stipend committee. Applications can be submitted to SHAF no later than February 15, 2019, and the award will be announced by March 1, 2019. Research must be completed by September 1, 2019. The guidelines and more details are available at the SHAF website, www.shaf.org
  • Applications should be submitted by mail to SHAF, P.O. Box 550, Sharpsburg, MD 21782 or by email.
  • Eligibility for the award is open to all persons, except members of the SHAF Board of Directors. Applicants need not be enrolled in any school but must provide evidence of their ability to perform the research required for completion of the project.
  • Monthly progress reports shall be sent to SHAF from the time of selection until the final paper is submitted.
  • The successful applicant shall make a public presentation of his or her findings at the annual battle anniversary commemoration. The full research material, with the presentation and notes, will be submitted to SHAF by December 15, 2019, and will be posted on their website and included in their Annual Report. A copy of all material produced by the recipient shall also be deposited in the ANB Library.
  • The recipient shall also submit a scholarly paper derived from their research to a Civil War or military magazine for publication. SHAF will own the article and receive any publication payment, but the author’s name will be used in the publication.

The papers of previous award recipients can be downloaded below:

2012: Daniel J. Vermilya, “Perceptions, Not Realities…”: The Army of the Potomac in the Maryland Campaign

2013: Jamesina Thatcher, Best War Map Ever Made

2019: Matt Borders, The Loudoun Valley Campaign of 1862