Angela Riotto


University of Akron


Dr. Lesley Gordon

Academic Interests:

American Civil War Era


Beyond “the scrawl’d, worn slips of paper”: Union and Confederate Ex-Prisoners of War and their Postwar Memories

Bio Note:

Angela Riotto is a native of Pottsville, PA and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at The University of Akron. She received her B.A. in 2010 from Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA, in history, politics, and geology and she received her M.A. in American History with a minor field in War and Society from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS in 2012. Her M.A. thesis, “Furnish the Balance: The 1863 Roots of Hard War Strategy in the American Civil War,” analyzed U.S. Major Generals Grant and Sherman’s use of hard war strategy in Jackson, Mississippi during their push to Vicksburg, MS. She argued that hard war’s successful execution in Mississippi was the precursor for the Union’s implementation of the strategy in 1864. For her dissertation, she examines ex-prisoners of war and their memories in the postwar period. Focusing on both Union and Confederate ex-POWs’ postwar accounts, which commonly took the form of memoirs, autobiographies, newspaper articles, and later-published wartime diaries, Angela traces the ways in which both Union and Confederate ex-prisoners of war discussed their prison experiences between 1863 and 1890. By combining gender analysis and memory studies, her dissertation explores the postwar worlds of the men who spent the last years of the war in captivity and who shared their experiences with family, friends, their communities, and with other ex-prisoners of war.

Updated February 2016