Author Archives: Chris Kolakowski

Civil War Echoes: The Greatest Raid of All

One hundred years ago today, construction began on USS Buchanan (DD-131), a destroyer named for Franklin Buchanan, the first superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy and later first admiral in the Confederate States Navy. She later played a role in … Continue reading

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Artillery: Anchoring the Line at Stones River

The Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862 – January 2, 1863) is known as a significant moment for Federal artillery. Most accounts focus on the 57 guns overlooking McFadden’s Ford on January 2, 1863. But a cluster of Federal … Continue reading

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The First Decoration Day

150 years ago today was the first Decoration Day, as proclaimed by John A. Logan and the Grand Army of the Republic. Other communities had started ceremonies of remembrance, but this became the major link in the chain that created … Continue reading

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National Park Records Release

The National Park Service this week released decades of park records for public search and use. Their press release reads as follows: The National Park Service (NPS) today unveils a newly launched public website: pubs.etic.nps.gov that is making more than 32,000 NPS … Continue reading

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Civil War Echoes: Manila Bay 1898

Today in 1898, 120 years ago, the Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey entered Manila Bay seeking to destroy the Spanish flotilla anchored inside near Cavite. Dewey’s ships sailed past Corregidor, an island that would mean much more in U.S. … Continue reading

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The Superlatives of New Orleans 1862

Today at 3 AM, a Federal fleet under Flag Officer David G. Farragut began to run Forts Jackson and St. Philip, located south of New Orleans. He passed the forts with minimal damage, and in a running fight his ships … Continue reading

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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

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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments