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.