March 19, 2024

Food and Hunger During the Civil War – Prof. Anne Rubin

March 19, 2024

“Food and Hunger in the Civil War South” explores what ordinary people ate as the war disrupted the Confederate food supply.  Elite Confederates became known for their substitutes for coffee, sugar and other staples, but this project also takes on the problem of hunger from the bottom up, prioritizing the struggles of ordinary people, both black and white. Too, it carries the story of wartime starvation into the challenging early years of Reconstruction, through the so-called Famine of 1867.   Food came to symbolize patriotism and resistance, self-reliance and dependence, and gives us a powerful window into a tumultuous period.

Anne Sarah Rubin is a Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she was the 2016-2017 Lipitz Professor of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.  She was also the Associate Director of the Imaging Research Center from 2017-2020. Dr. Rubin received her AB from Princeton University and her MA and PhD from the University of Virginia. Her most recent book is the co-edited memoir, The Perfect Scout:  A Soldier’s Memoir of the Great March to the Sea and the Campaign of the Carolinas (University of Alabama Press, 2018). Her study of the place of Sherman’s March in American culture and history, entitled Through the Heart of Dixie:  Sherman’s March in American Memory was published in September 2014 by UNC Press.  The project also has a multimedia component, which can be found at  She is currently working on a project called Confederate Hunger: Food and Famine in the Civil War South, 1860-1868.

Dr. Rubin’s first book, A Shattered Nation:  The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy (UNC, 2005), received the 2006 Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians, for the most original book on the Civil War era.  She was a co-author of the award-winning Valley of the Shadow, an interactive history of the Civil War in two communities.  She has also published numerous essays and journal articles.

Dr. Rubin was President of the Southern Association of Woman Historians 2022 and has been a member of their Executive Council from 2014-2016 and 2020-2023. She served as President of the Society of Civil War Historians from 2012-2014 and was a member of its Advisory Board from 2014-2016.  She has served on the Maryland State Archives Legacy of Slavery Project Advisory Board and the Editorial Board of Civil War History.  She is also an OAH Distinguished Lecturer.

Her personal website can be found at