Robert I. Girardi earned his M.A. in Public History from Loyola University of Chicago. He is a lifelong student of the Civil War and the author or editor of nine books and numerous essays and book reviews. He is a past president of the Chicago Civil War Round Table and is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society and the Camp Douglas Restoration Society. Rob was awarded the 2010 Nevins-Freeman award for service and scholarship by the Chicago CWRT and was presented with The Iron Brigade Association Award for scholarship by the Milwaukee CWRT in 2014. He was awarded a research grant in 2013 by the Friends of Andersonville for his work on the experience of Illinois soldiers imprisoned there.