ECW Welcomes Jon-Erik Gilot

Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome Jon-Erik Gilot as a new member and author! In the coming months, he will helping with some special projects behind-the-scenes in the ECW digital archives and, of course, sharing his research and blog posts.

Jon-Erik has been an ECW fan since its beginnings, carefully following the blog and eventually writing guest posts for a few years. His interest in the Civil War goes back to childhood, growing up in a small historic town in eastern Ohio steeped in Civil War history. The local historical society encouraged him from an early age, sparking an interest in working hands-on with historical records and artifacts.

He studied History as an undergraduate at Bethany College and for the past twelve years has made a career in the field of archives, earning a Masters at Kent State in 2011. Jon-Erik currently serves as Director of Archives & Records for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, managing the records for the Catholic Church in the state of West Virginia.

Jon-Erik also works closely with local and regional history organizations. A longtime interest in historic buildings preservation led to a role as a Historic Landmarks Commissioner for the city of Wheeling, West Virginia, and a board member position for the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation, an organization instrumental in the restoration of the original custom house in Wheeling.

He says, “I know enough to be dangerous on any number of battles or campaigns but my general area of interest would be the military backwaters of the war – if any general regretted being assigned there, I’m hooked. Additional areas of interest include the early days of the war; experiences of the common soldier; the GAR and veterans in postwar years; and anything relating to the Civil War years in the tristate area around Harper’s Ferry.” Jon-Erik brings local history advice and expertise to Emerging Civil War, helping to expand the focus to soldiers lives, experiences on the homefronts, and history “off the beaten paths.”

Jon-Erik lives in West Virginia with his wife and two beautiful daughters. Together, they are restoring a ca. 1901 house in a national historic district.

4 Responses to ECW Welcomes Jon-Erik Gilot

  1. Mr. Gilot, I just listened to your lecture on Philippi. You are wrong on so many issues I don’t really know where to start. First, most of West Virginia’s delegates to the Richmond convention signed the ordinance of secession, 29 of the 49 delegates signed the ordinance, five more defected and abandoned the Wheeling government, leaving only a baker’s dozen who supported Wheeling. Half of West Virginia’s soldiers were Confederate, and half of the counties. West Virginians had a fairer say in Virginia’s secession than in the creation of the state of West Virginia, according to the Lt. Gov. of the Reorganized Government, Daniel Polsley on Aug. 18, 1861 “If they proceeded now to direct a division of the State before a free expression of the people could be had, they would do a more despotic act than any ever done by the Richmond [Secession] Convention itself”.

    Grafton was populated by a large number of Irish railroad workers, they were the ones to oppose Porterfield, not West Virginians That’s why Pierpont used the term “bhoys” when referring to the incident. Wheeling is not West Virginia, their ties to the north were not representative of the state as a whole, but even then Wheeling’s trade with the south was important, the first steamer to leave Wheeling went to New Orleans, it didn’t go north. The “Virginia” troops with McClellan were mostly Ohio and Pennsylvania volunteers, as McClellan told Winfield Scott.

    You are really doing a disservice in spreading old misinformation in your writing and speaking on West Virginia history.

    1. Hi Bob,

      Thanks (?) for the interesting feedback. If I’m reading between the lines right I’m thinking that you’d take issue with anything I’d say unless I gave a talk on the great Confederate victory at Gettysburg or Grant’s surrender at Appomattox.

      To anyone else I’d recommend Savas Beatie’s forthcoming “Seceding from Secession: The Civil War, Politics, and the Creation of West Virginia” by my good friends Eric Wittenberg and Ed Sargus. I had the opportunity to review the book prior to publication and I think it’s likely to stand as the modern definitive work on West Virginia statehood…it’s that good. Unfortunately you’ll likely find therein the same ‘old misinformation’ you found in my talk.

      I’d encourage you to consider submitting a few essays as a guest author to counteract my ‘disservice.’ ECW is always looking for submissions!

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