Author Archives: Chris Kolakowski

Steve Bartman and the Battle of Chancellorsville

In the past few weeks ESPN has been re-running the Alex Gibney film Catching Hell. The film focuses on Chicago and it’s reaction to Steve Bartman in 2003 after the Cubs lost that year’s National League Championship Series (NLCS). There … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Leadership--Federal, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Not Just Antietam – September 17, 1862 In Perspective

Wednesday, September 17, 1862. is rightly classed as the bloodiest day in American history. In that 24-hour period, more Americans fell killed, wounded, captured, or missing, than in any like 24-hour period before or since. This contention rests almost totally … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Civil War Events, Ties to the War, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Going Forward Again

As the 155th of the Battle of Fredericksburg passes, I cannot help being struck by an aspect often overlooked, one involving the latter waves of attackers against Marye’s Heights. Joseph Galloway wrote once that  it is a supreme test to re-enter … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Historic Harbors

A couple of weeks ago I attended a leadership retreat where a speaker touted the longtime importance of Hampton Roads as a harbor and host to very important events in American history. This got me thinking: what are the most … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Battlefields & Historic Places, Economics, Navies, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

A Son of Farmville, Richmond, and Reflections on Vietnam

I’ve been watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novak’s new Vietnam War documentary and have found it a riveting telling of the story. This afternoon I streamed the last episode (having missed it when it originally aired), and am still processing … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Memory, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Civil War Echoes: A Death in Ireland

Britain’s Prime Minister during the Civil War years was Henry John Temple, the 3d Viscount Palmerston. His grandfather received a grant of land in County Sligo, Ireland on the Mullaghmore Peninsula, which overlooked an inlet that fed into the Atlantic … Continue reading

Posted in Personalities, Politics, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

General Ward and the Ever Victorious Army

North America was not the only place roiled by Civil War in the early 1860s – China was undergoing its own civil war in the eastern provinces around Shanghai, known as the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864). The rebellion climaxed in the … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Arms & Armaments, Battles, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Sieges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

My Favorite Historical Person: George H. Thomas & David G. Farragut

Two Civil War people I’ve admired for a long time are George H. Thomas and David G. Farragut.

Posted in Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Chris Kolakowski: Leadership Makes the Difference on New Year’s Eve 1862

We’re two months away from the Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge (Aug. 4-6). We’ve asked each of our speakers to share with us a story related to the topic they’ll be presenting as part of our … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Symposium | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bivouacs of the Dead

When touring battlefields on my own or leading a group, I always try and stop by the cemeteries that are there – both to meet the men but also to reflect on the events. I try to do this whether … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Common Soldier, Lincoln, Memory, Mexican War, Monuments, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments