Gilbert R. Tredway

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Gilbert Riley Tredway​

(Historian at Campbellsville University in Kentucky) ​

Born October 11, 1922​
Dubois County, Indiana

Resident of French Lick, Indiana

Died January 14, 2019 (aged 96)

Resting place:
Cuzco Cemetery, Dubois County​, Indiana

Political Party Democrat
Spouse Mary Antonnette Canzoneri Tredway (died 1978)

Sarah Pearl Tredway Bault-Stomps (deceased)
​ George Rodney Tredway​
George R. and Pearl C. Tredway Alma mater:
Indiana University

Religion Baptist

Gilbert Riley Tredway (born October 11, 1922 – January 14, 2019)[1] was a historian from Indiana and Kentucky, who has authored two books relating to the American Civil War.​


​ Tredway was born in Dubois County in southern Indiana to George Riley Tredway (1883–1958) and Pearl C. Tredway (1886–1979)[2] and reared there in Cuzco. He served in the United States Army in World War II,[1] having been stationed first in the Panama Canal Zone and Ecuador[3] before he volunteered for action in the Pacific theatre of World War II. An aircraft gunner on a B-17,[1] Tredway was wounded while protecting a convoy in New Guinea and received the Purple Heart. After the war, he received all three of his degrees from Indiana University in Bloomington. Thereafter he taught for a total of eight years at Mitchell (Indiana) High School in Lawrence County]], also in southern Indiana, and in Cincinnati, Ohio.[3]​ ​

Studies of the American Civil War

​ Tredway taught history and geography at Baptist-affiliated Campbellsville University in Campbellsville in Taylor County in central Kentucky, when that institution was still known as Campbellsville College. His colleagues included Bobby R. Himes and William E. Bennett in history and political science, respectively. He was on the faculty of Campbellsville College from 1959 to 1963, when he accepted a position at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Two years later in 1966, he returned to Campbellsville, where he remained until his retirement in the spring of 1984.[3]

His Democratic Opposition to the Lincoln Administration in Indiana, published in 1973,[4] stems from his Ph.D. dissertation, which he completed eleven years earlier in 1962 from Indiana University. The work is a study of the northern Democrats, some of whom were Copperheads demanding a negotiated settlement of the war or an immediate ending of hostilities.[1]​ Tredway found that the judge advocate general in some of the cases against Democrats accused of undermining the war effort had "protected prosecution witnesses, browbeat defense witnesses, practiced brazen partisanship, and even accepted third-hand testimony."[5]

Tredway's research reveals that the large majority of Indiana Democrats were not Copperheads, the best known of which was U.S. Representative Clement Vallandigham of Ohio, but were loyal to the Union and desired national restoration. A Princeton University thesis from 2005 finds that secession had been painful to most people in Indiana, whose agricultural economy depended heavily on southern commerce and on the Mississippi River, at least before the rise of railroads, as a way to bring commerce to market. "Formation of the Confederacy and the commencement of hostilities thus threatened both the livelihood and the identity of many in Indiana," writes Elisheva R. Coleman in her study entitled Call It Peace or Call It Treason.[6] Tredway reveals too that Democratic congressional districts in Indiana often outperformed Republican strongholds in recruiting soldiers into the Union Army even though Republicans had claimed that northern Democrats were not pulling their weight in troop commitments for the war.[7]

In 1981, Tredway wrote a book review in the Indiana Magazine of History of a work similar to his own, Civil War Iowa and the Copperhead Movement by Hubert H. Wubben.[8]

In 1994, Tredway penned a 601-page historical novel, The Way It Was: A Novel of the Civil War, the story of a Union soldier from Dubois County who is promoted to officer.[9]

Death and family

Tredway and his wife, the former Mary Antonnette Canzoneri (1919–1978), had a daughter, Sarah Pearl "Pat" Tredway Bault-Stomps, who died in 1999 as a result of an automobile accident.[10] Their son is George Rodney Tredway (born ca. 1951) of Lewisport in Hancock County in northwestern Kentucky.[3] who was previously married to the former Janice Marie Slusser. Tredway had two brothers, W. C. Tredway (1911–1942), and Paul W. Tredway, who died in infancy in 1920.[1]

After leaving Campbellsville, Kentucky, Tredway resided in Jasper and then French Lick in Dubois County, Indiana, where he died at the age of ninety-six. He was a Baptist.[3] In 1995, Tredway was the subject of an oral interview at the Center for the Study of History and Memory at the Herman B. Wells Library at Indiana University.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Gilbert Riley Tredway. Retrieved on February 13, 2020.
  2. Pearl C. Tredway. Retrieved on February 13, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Statement of Gilbert R. Tredway, Jasper, Indiana, March 1, 2011.
  4. Gilbert R. Tredway (1973). Democratic Opposition to the Lincoln Administration in Indiana. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Bureau. Retrieved on February 14, 2020. 
  5. Michal R. Belknap. American Political Trials. Praeger Publishers, 116. Retrieved on February 14, 2020. 
  6. Elisheva R. Coleman (2005). Call It Peace Or Call It Treason: The Milligan Case and the Meaning of Loyalty in the Civil War. Princeton University thesis. Retrieved on March 2, 2011; no longer on-line. 
  7. Thomas E. Rodgers, University of Southern Indiana, "Republicans and Drifters: Political Affiliation and Union Army Volunteers in West-Central Indiana," Indiana Magazine of History Vol. XCII (December 1996), pp. 321-345.
  8. Gilbert R. Tredway, Review of Hubert H. Wubben, Civil War Iowa and the Copperhead Movement, Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 77, No. 1 (March 1981), pp. 94-95.
  9. (1994) The Way It Was: A Novel of the Civil War. Vantage Press. ISBN 0-533-10733-4. Retrieved on February 14, 2020. 
  10. Sarah Pearl "Pat" Tredway Bault-Stomps. Retrieved on February 13, 2020.

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