Author Archives: Chris Kolakowski

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

The Great Naval Leaders

On May 10 I lectured about the Battle of Midway to Old Dominion University’s Institute of Learning in Retirement. Over the course of a wonderful discussion, I assessed one of the U.S. commanders, Raymond Spruance, as “one of the greatest … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Navies, Personalities, Ties to the War, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

God Save the Union? U.S. Civil War Pensions for Her Majesty’s Subjects, 1883

One of the military history groups I belong to on LinkedIn posted this link this week, showing details about British/United Kingdom deaths in the Civil War and widows who were receiving U.S. pensions in 1883. There were far more of … Continue reading

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

Civil War Echoes: The Fall of Corregidor

75 years ago today, Corregidor and the fortified islands of Manila Bay surrendered to the Japanese. Formal resistance ended throughout the Philippines soon thereafter. The Civil War echoes in these events through Corregidor’s commander, Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainwright IV. … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 2 Comments