Associate Professor of History

Aaron Astor, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of History at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. He has written numerous articles, conference papers and book chapters on the Civil War era, focusing especially on the Upper and Border South.  He is the author of the recently released Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, 1860-1872 (2012)The Civil War Along Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau (2015), and has recently edited a volume of historiographic essays on American slavery.  His current book project explores the 1860 Presidential election as a grassroots phenomenon from the perspective of four distinct American communities.  He has also written eleven articles for the award winning New York Times Disunion series, addressing such topics as guerrilla warfare, battles and campaigns in the Western Theater, popular politics, emancipation and race, and regional identity in the Appalachian South.  Astor also serves as Series Editor for the War in the Heartland book series with Indiana University Press. 

Dr. Astor teaches a wide range of topics in American history from the Colonial era to the present.  He contributes to several Civil War preservation and public education organizations in Tennessee, and regularly speaks about the Civil War and regional identity in the Upper South.   

Dr. Astor graduated from Hamilton College in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. After working at the Corporate Executive Board in Washington, DC, Astor entered Northwestern University where he earned his Masters Degree in 2001 and Ph.D. in History in 2006.

Courses Taught:

  • Early American History (HIS131)
  • Modern American History (HIS132)
  • Nineteenth Century US History (HIS112)
  • Twentieth Century US History (HIS203)
  • The Civil War, Emancipation and Reconstruction (HIS149)
  • The Long 1960s (HIS149)
  • The History of Maryville College (HIS149)
  • Appalachian Cultural and Social History (HIS248)
  • African American History (HIS305)
  • History of the US South (HIS307)
  • A Global History of Tennessee (HIS371)
  • Modern Western Civilization (WCV190)
  • Guerrilla Conflict in Comparative Perspective (SRS480)


Curriculum Vitae



 The Civil War Along Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau (2015)

“A Stampede for Freedom,” July 15, 2014

“The Liberation of Knoxville,” September 4, 2013

“When Andrew Johnson Freed His Slaves,” August 9, 2013

Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, 1860-1872

New York Times Disunion Series

Bluegrass Blues and Grays

East Tennessee: The Switzerland of America

The Party Spirit on Trial

Conspiracy at Lick Creek

The Fog of War

'Unconditional Surrender'

Andrew Johnson's Difficult Task

How the South Lost the Bluegrass State