Christopher L. Kolakowski

Kolakowski_Chris

Christopher L. Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany.

Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history from 1775 to the present. He has published two books with the History Press: The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat. The U.S. Army will shortly publish his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. He is a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog, and his study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled Last Stand on Bataan was released by McFarland in late February 2016.

Chris came to Norfolk having served as Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, KY from 2009 to 2013. He became the MacArthur Memorial Director on September 16, 2013.

Publications:

  • Last Stand On Bataan: The Philippine Campaign of 1941-42. McFarland, 2016.
  • The Virginia Campaigns of 1862. U.S. Army, 2015. (at publisher)
  • The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaigns: This Army Does Not Retreat. The History Press, 2011.
  • The Civil War at Perryville: Battling for the Bluegrass. The History Press, 2009.
  • “A Rough Place and a Hard Fight: Thomas Stevenson’s Division on the Brock and Plank Roads, May 6, 1864,” Civil War Regiments, Volume 6 Number 4. Savas Publishing, 1999.
  • “Three Fateful Days: The Battles of Waterloo and Gettysburg.” Napoleonic Wargaming Club Newsletter. December 2000.
  • “Civil War Ancestors,” biweekly column in the Fredericksburg regional newspaper, The Free Lance-Star, March 2001 – September 2002
  • “How Totally Different Our Fatherland Is: Burgoyne’s Germans in North America, 1776-1778.” The Battlements, Volume 15 Issue 2. Summer 2003.
  •  “A Sister’s Journey to the Western Front in 1920.” Journal of the Company of Military Historians, Volume 56 Number 3. Fall 2004.
  • “Sedgwick Saves the Day,” Hallowed Ground, Volume 6 Number 3. Fall 2005.
  • “The Last Hurrah: The 14th Brooklyn in the 1864 Campaign.” New Yorkers in the Civil War, Volume 6. January 2006.
  • “Stars and Stripes on Marye’s Heights: the Second Battle of Fredericksburg.” Civil War Historian, Volume 3 Issue 1. January/February 2007.
  • “A Kentuckian on Bataan.” Kentucky Humanities. October 2007
  • “Magnificent Fighting: John C. Starkweather at Perryville.” New Yorkers in the Civil War, Volume 9. October 2007.
  • “That Brave Filipino General: A Life of Vicente P. Lim.” Journal of the Company of Military Historians, Volume 60 Number 3. Fall 2008.
  • “I Will Die Right Here: The Army of the Cumberland at Stones River.” Hallowed Ground, Volume 13 Number 4. Winter 2012.

10 Responses to Christopher L. Kolakowski

  1. Pingback: Welcome Edward Alexander and Chris Kolakowski | Emerging Civil War

  2. Robert J. Conlan says:

    Just watched you on C-SPAN: “Fall of Richmond and Appomattox
    49 minutes – Christopher Kolakowski talks about the experiences of citizens during the fall of Richmond and the decisions by Confederate leaders that led to the surrender at Appomattox.”

    It was informative, insightful and truly excellent. Thank you

  3. Charles Christian says:

    I understand you are writing a book on the fall of Manila. I have a letter my father wrote to my mother on 7 Dec 1941 from the hotel in San. Fran.where he says they are off loading the troops and munitions for Manila and will not sail for Manila tomorrow. They will on load troops and munitions for Honolulu and will sail in a convoy in a week or so. Dad was Chief Steward of the SS Matsonia., Do you want a copy of this letter?

    Sounds like they wrote off the P.I. immediately after Pearl Harbor. He ship was chartered by the War Dept. for this one trip only.

    Loved your Cspan presentation on the fall of Richmond. 40 year Civil War nut and reenactor.

    Charles Christian
    Redding, CA
    excommo3@gmail.com

  4. Jim sherrard says:

    Chris,

    Just watched your Civil War presentation on CSPAN, but I was far more interested in your comments about Admiral King, fall of Bataan, an Corregidor. My father was a USMC on several Marine landing in the Pacific. I visited Saipan in Aug. but trip was cut short by Typhoon, there is a US Park Service, but not sure if I can research the battle. Where can I go for source about the battle. Your presentation was absolutely the best. I have visited the Melinta Tunnel, and read about his PT boat escape to Aus. Gen Wainright must have felt horrible when he saw his boss and lifeline sail away

    • Chris Kolakowski says:

      Thanks very much – glad you enjoyed it. The national park (War in the Pacific NHP) is on Guam. I’d start with the Army Green Books, there’s a volume on the Marianas Campaign (find them on history.army.mil). The USMC Historical Center in the late 90s put out some very informative histories of USMC campaigns in the Second World War – I’d look there too. Good luck.
      I have visited Malinta myself. Irving Strobing, in the last broadcast before the Rock’s fall, said, “Corregidor used to be a nice place – it’s haunted now.” He’s right.

  5. Denis J. Warta says:

    Truly enjoyed your SHADES OF BLUE AND GRAY that appears in the Winter 2015 edition of CIVIL WAR TRUST. There is one error in the group of photos of the characters involved in your story, however. The photo that you have of SIBLEY, is Henry Hastings Sibley of Minnesota, involved in the 1862 Indian War in Minnesota who later became Governor of Minnesota. The Sibley that you mention is Louisiana-born HENRY HOPKINS SIBLEY and he led the unsuccessful attempt by the Confederacy to add New Mexico to the Confederacy.
    What is truly unbelievable is that both of these Sibleys have middle names that are also names of towns in our State of Minnesota–Hastings and Sibley. The Sibley referred to in your story has a full beard and not just a little hair growth below the nose.
    Keep up the great writings and research, Christopher.

  6. Spottswood Graves says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Outer Banks Civil War Roundtable tonight. I am interested in Perryville. I very much appreciate General Thomas. I presented a program on him at our Roundtable last year. I am driven through the Tullahoma campaign area. I am working in a program on the Reconstruction in North Carolina for August 2016. I am registered for Emerging Civil War (the second year) Can I call on you for advice?

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