Michael J. McCarthy graduated from LeMoyne College in 1969 with a BA in history and obtained his Masters in American history two years later. He pursued a career in government and received MPA degrees in public finance from the University at Albany, and in public management from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During his long career with New York state, however, he never lost his love of Civil War history. As he approached retirement, Mike returned to school and received his Ph.D. in American history from the University at Albany in 2010. Confederate Waterloo is a revised and updated version of his dissertation.