College of Arts and Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)


David Jonathan White


Civil War, Just War Theory, Jus in Bello, Gettysburg Campaign, Valley Campaign, Lee, Sheridan




Just War Theory distinguishes between two levels of war, including jus ad bellum, or the just reasons for which the war is waged, and jus in bello, or just actions within the conduct of the war. This research paper focuses on jus in bello aspects of war, including non-combatant immunity, military necessity, and proportionality, in application to an understanding of history, that of the American Civil War. A significant question in this regard is how did commanders and their armies lead and conduct themselves in concern and adherence to the rules of warfare during campaigns in enemy territory? While the Battle of Gettysburg has certainly wielded an abundance of studies, the Gettysburg Campaign is less studied, especially in regard to the conduct of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia towards Pennsylvania civilians, particularly important as the northward movement of Confederate forces in the late spring and early summer of 1863 was the only major Confederate advance into Northern territory. To fully understand Confederate actions within Pennsylvania during Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign, it is necessary to conduct a comparative study with a campaign waged by a Federal army in the South. Major General Philip H. Sheridan’s Valley Campaign in the late summer and autumn of 1864, is suitable for such a comparison, due to a number of observable similarities and differences, related to jus in bello principles and the conduct of the Army of the Valley towards Virginia civilians.

Available for download on Friday, May 24, 2024

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