Civil War historian James Robertson is retiring after more than four decades at Virginia Tech.

The 80-year-old Robertson will leave his job June 1. He founded the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech in 1999 and has served as its director.

Along with a 44-year career at Virginia Tech, Robertson has appeared as an expert in scores of documentaries, and was the chief historical consultant on the film "Gods and Generals."

Virginia Tech officials tell The Roanoke Times that they hope to raise $1.5 million to endow a Civil War studies professorship. That professor would teach the Civil War course and direct the center.