Born in Mobile, Alabama, and educated at the University of Tennessee and the College of William & Mary, Charles Allen (Chase) Wallace is a writer, musician, and historian who teaches history at Gettysburg College.
Wallace has held appointments as George Washington Fellow of the General Society of Colonial Wars in William & Mary's Lyon Gardiner Tyler Department of History (2012-2013) and Barra Dissertation Fellow/ Research Associate in the University of Pennsylvania's McNeil Center for Early American Studies (2013-2014). In 2014 Wallace will receive his Ph.D. in American History from William & Mary, advised by Legum Professor of History, Scott Reynolds Nelson.
Wallace's dissertation is a revisionist history of the antebellum South that utilizes Irish historian R. F. Foster's (Wallace's outside dissertation reader) approach to historiography: "My own belief is that the most illuminating history is often written to show how people acted in the expectation of a future that never happened." Foster writes that this belief is inspired by the twentieth-century British historian, Lewis Namier:
"Namier . . . described how we predicate our expectations about what will happen on what we think we know about what has happened: 'One would expect people to remember the past and imagine the future. But in fact, when discoursing or writing about history, they imagine it in terms of their own experience, and when trying to gauge the future they cite supposed analogies from the past: till, by a double process of repetition, they imagine the past and remember the future.'"*
Thus, Wallace illumines the ways a Tennessee judge and historian, John Haywood (1762 - 1826), created a southern cult of antiquity and--with the help of influential southern lawyers, politicians, soldiers, and planters--used ancient southern history to create the central Cotton Belt states (TN, MS, and AL), prophesying a sinister future, the world that hordes of Confederates would soon find themselves warring to actualize.
Wallace lives with his wife, Nedja, and Boykin Spaniel, Suttree, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
*Robert Fitzroy Foster, The Irish Story (New York: Penguin Press, 2001), 33, 34, 54. (Foster is quoting from Namier's 1941 essay, "Symmetry and Repetition," in Namier, Conflicts: Studies in Contemporary History [London: Macmillan, 1942].)