Emerging Civil War has announced Sylvia Frank Rodrigue as the recipient of this year’s Thomas Greeley Stevenson Award.
Rodrigue is an acquisitions editor for Southern Illinois University Press (SIUP), where she worked with Emerging Civil War to establish the new “Engaging the Civil War” books series. The first book in the series, Turning Points of the American Civil War, will be released this fall. The second book, Where Valor Proudly Sleeps: The Story of Fredericksburg National Cemetery by Donald C. Pfanz, will be released next spring.
The Thomas Greeley Stevenson Award is given by Emerging Civil War to a person or organization that has made a significant contribution to Emerging Civil War’s success.
“To collaborate with an academic press in a way that lets us further our public history mission has been a wonderful opportunity that would not have been possible without the confidence Sylvia has shown in ECW,” said ECW Editor-in-Chief Chris Mackowski. “She has a forward-thinking editorial vision and a keen editorial eye—not to mention deep wells of patience—which make her an exciting partner for developing books.”
Mackowski added that Rodrigue has helped develop Southern Illinois University Press into one of the premier venues for publishing Civil War history. “The Press has a catalogue that’s interesting and absolutely first-rate,” he said. “ECW is proud to be part of it.”
She began her book-publishing career through a college internship at Stackpole Books in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where she worked as an assistant editor to William C. Davis and was instrumental to the publication of a number of Civil War books there, including Reflections on Lee: A Historian’s Assessment by Charles P. Roland.
After five years at Stackpole, Rodrigue moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to acquire history and political science books for Louisiana State University Press. Her subject areas at LSU Press included the American Civil War, Southern history, Louisiana history, political science, memoir, literary studies, and poetry. She acquired more than 180 books, including more than 120 related to the Civil War and Southern history. She has worked with such well-known authors as Robert K. Krick, Francis A. O’Reilly, Gordon Rhea, and ECW’s Eric Wittenberg.
In 2004, Rodrigue launched Sylverlining, her freelance editorial consulting service, and began to acquire books for SIUP.
Aside from the “Engaging the Civil War” Series, Rodrigue has developed several other book series for SIUP: “The World of Ulysses S. Grant,” edited by John F. Marszalek and Timothy Smith; The Concise Lincoln Library, which Rodrigue co-edits with Richard Etulain; the “Looking for Lincoln” series, which Rodrigue coordinates with Sarah Watson; and the “Civil War in the Heartlands” Series, edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles Grear, focusing on campaigns in the Western Theater.
“Both SIU Press and I are so proud of our association with ECW,” Rodrigue said. “I’m pleased to work with people who are excited about furthering interest among the general public about the Civil War—people who are patient and collaborative, and excellent at working with authors.”
Rodrigue is also the author of two books of her own. With coauthor Faye Phillips, she wrote Historic Baton Rouge for the Foundation for Historical Louisiana. The two collaborated again on Images of America: Baton Rouge for Arcadia Publishing.
Rodrigue volunteers at and is secretary for the board of the Easton (MA) Food Pantry. She also supports the Worldwide Fistula Fund and Women for Women International. She also volunteers for the Friends of the Ames Free Library in Easton.
Emerging Civil War’s Thomas Greeley Stevenson Award is named after Brig. Gen. Thomas Greeley Stevenson, a Union IX Corps division commander killed at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864. Emerging Civil War holds its annual Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, located on the battlefield in the area where Stevenson was killed.