Megan Kate Nelson grew up in Littleton, Colorado, and is now a writer and historian living in Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has written about the Civil War, U.S. western history, academia, and American culture for the New York Times, Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Preservation Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Civil War Times. She also writes a regular column on Civil War popular culture, “Stereoscope,” for Civil War Monitor.

Her current book project, Path of the Dead Man: How the West was Won – and Lost – during the American Civil War, is the recipient of a 2017 NEH Public Scholar Award. It will be published by Scribner in spring 2020.

Nelson earned her BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and her PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa, and has taught at Texas Tech University, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard, and Brown.

She has published two previous books—Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (2012) and Trembling Earth: A Cultural History of the Okefenokee Swamp (2005).