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Charles Pierce Roland (born 8 April 1918) is an American historian and professor emeritus of the University of Kentucky who is known for his research field of the American South and the U.S. Civil War. Roland was a Captain in the United States Army and a World War II veteran. He has served as the elected president of the Southern Historical Association and contributed to several other historical societies. He turned 100 in April 2018.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Born in the western Tennessee town Maury City[1] on 8 April 1918, Roland grew up as the son and grandson of a family of teachers[2][3] in Henderson.[1] As a child in the American South, he heard numerous primary accounts of the Civil war through veterans, saying in an interview "There were quite a number of veterans of the Civil War living in that area".[3]

First graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1938,[1] he had studied under poet John Crowe Ransom and played tennis with classmate actress and singer Dinah Shore during his college years.[2] He became a high-school history teacher for two years in Alamo, Tennessee before moving to Washington, DC to start work as a historical aide for the National Park Service. Roland would continue in this role until middle of January in 1942 when he was inducted into the United States Armed Forces.[1]

During World War II, he would serve as a Captain in the 99th Infantry Division in the European theatre and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star over the course of his deployment.[3] He later received his master's degree from George Washington University and then his doctoral degree at Louisiana State University after the war.[2][3]

Academic career[edit | edit source]

Roland has served in several academic capacities throughout his career and has authored a considerable amount of published works on the American Civil War.[4] Around 1959–1960, he was awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.[2][5] In 1981,[6][7] he was elected president of the Southern Historical Association.[2][4]

Starting in 1970,[1] following his employment by Tulane University, he became a professor of history emeritus at the University of Kentucky; a position he would hold until he retired in 1988.[1][3] That same year, the University of Kentucky established the Charles P. Roland Fellowship to support university students, according to the institution, pursuing research "...in American history, especially the history of the Civil War, race relations and the American South."[3]

Additionally, he has served as the elected president of the Louisiana Historical Association, the Harold Keith Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the United States Army Military History Institute and Army War College, an executive committee member of the Kentucky Historical Society, and the chairman of the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee.[4] At various times throughout his career, he also taught and lectured at West Point.[2][4]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Roland was married to Allie Lee Roland until the latter's death on 26 April 2018,[8][9] shortly after Charles Roland's 100th birthday.[10] The two had been married since 23 January 1948 for 70 years and had three children together.[9]

As of 2018, he currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.[2][9]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

Articles[edit | edit source]

Interviews[edit | edit source]

  • Harris, James Russell (Autumn 1991). "On War and History: Charles P. Roland Discusses "An American Iliad"" (in en). pp. 362–376. ISSN 0023-0243. JSTOR 23381931. 
  • Williams, Kenneth H.; Cooper, William J.; Roland, Charles P. (2003). "Slavery, the Civil War, and Jefferson Davis: An Interview with William J. Cooper Jr. and Charles P. Roland" (in en). pp. 400–456. ISSN 0023-0243. JSTOR 23387081. 

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Williams (2003), p. 75.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Eblen, Tom (8 April 2018). "Civil War historian turns 100. His first lessons were from battlefield veterans" (in en). https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/tom-eblen/article208298324.html. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Piercy, Lindsey (11 April 2018). "Retired UK Professor and Civil War Historian Celebrates 100th Birthday" (in en). Lexington, KY. https://uknow.uky.edu/campus-news/retired-uk-professor-and-civil-war-historian-celebrates-100th-birthday. Retrieved 7 September 2019. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Harris (1991), p. 1.
  5. "Charles P. Roland" (in en). https://www.gf.org/fellows/all-fellows/charles-p-roland/. Retrieved 23 November 2019. 
  6. Holdzkom, Roslyn; Sellars, Linda; Howard, Dawne E.; Canada, Rachel; Fasig, Danielle; Seifert, Julie; Abernathy, Gergana (April 2019). "Southern Historical Association Records, 1935-2009" (in en). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. E. Pictures.. https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/04030/#d1e12831. Retrieved 23 November 2019. 
  7. Higginbotham (1982), p. 3.
  8. "Allie Lee Roland" (in en). Lexington Herald-Leader. Nicholasville, KY. 6 May 2018. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kentucky/obituary.aspx?n=allie-lee-roland&pid=188937005&fhid=8238. Retrieved 23 November 2019. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Obituary for Allie Lee Roland" (in en). Nicholasville, KY. 2018. https://www.clarklegacycenter.com/obituaries/Allie-Lee-Roland?obId=3073660#/obituaryInfo. Retrieved 23 November 2019. 
  10. Hollingsworth, Randolph (4 May 2018). "Charles Roland" (in en). https://kath-online.org/2018/05/04/charles-roland/. Retrieved 23 November 2019. 

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