Joseph Harsh, associate professor emeritus of history, passed away on Monday, Sept. 13. He chaired Mason's History Department from 1973 to 1983.
As the founding president of the Northern Virginia Association of Historians, Harsh also served as editor of the Association newsletter, Courier of Historical Events, from 1980 to 1990. His articles appeared in Civil War History and Military Affairs, as well as other respected journals. A prolific author, his works include "On the McClellan-Go-Round," "Battlesword and Rapier: Jomini, Clausewitz and the American Civil War," "Lincoln's Tarnished Brass," "Confederate Tide Rising: Robert E. Lee and the Making of Southern Strategy," "Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategies in the Maryland Campaign," and "Sounding the Shallows: A Confederate Companion for the Maryland Campaign of 1862."
In addition to his leadership and scholarship, Harsh was a brilliant and popular teacher. He was justly famous for his battlefield tours, especially at Antietam, which he had come to know well, growing up in nearby Hagerstown, Md. Harsh directed many of the master's theses written in the department and had a tremendous following in the community. He was a superb lecturer and a sensational extemporaneous speaker. Joe leaves his wife of 46 years, Trudy, sons Greg and Drew and his grandchildren. His daughter, Laura, predeceased him some years ago.
September 20, 2010