Champ Ferguson: Tennessee’s Perfect Guerilla at April’s Round Table

On Sunday, April 15th at 3 P.M., the Franklin Civil War Round Table will present author and historian Dr. Brian McKnight, who will speak on Champ Ferguson and other guerillas active in Tennessee during the Civil War.

Depending on one’s historical perspective, Confederate guerilla Champ Ferguson was either a ruthless murderer or a legitimate solider doing his duty for the Confederacy.  There seems to be little in between in these stories of partisan behind-the-lines actions that are still being debated by scholars today.

Dr. McKnight is an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia and has written extensively about the borderlands. His first book, Contested Borderland: The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia, won the prestigious James I. Robertson Literary Prize for Confederate History.

His 2011 release, Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia, has been described as “an impeccably researched biography” about the complex life of this legendary figure.  Ferguson spent much of the war in the Cumberland Plateau area.

McKnight completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia-Wise, his master’s degree at East Tennessee State and his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University.  He currently teaches American Military History and courses about the Civil War.  He was one of the featured speakers at the Tennessee Sesquicentennial series event held in Cookeville last fall.