Author Archives: Chris Kolakowski

Civil War Echoes: The Keystone Division

  The Pennsylvania National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division is the oldest division in the United States Army. It’s formation was the result of Civil War veterans, and (like many National Guard units) it is an echo of the Civil War.

Posted in Armies, Leadership--Federal, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lessons for 2020 from POWs and Sieges

Being captured in battle can be a dramatic and traumatic experience. Instantly you are cut off from what was familiar and definite, and cast into a situation unfamiliar, out of your control, and with a most indefinite future. The same … Continue reading

Posted in Primary Sources, Sieges, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Cut These Guys Some Slack

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about combat leadership in the Civil War and elsewhere – specifically senior leadership. Sometimes I wonder if we judge commanders, especially early-war and mid-war commanders, too harshly. Looking back through the lens of conflict … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Army Posts Since 1860

The names of U.S. Army posts are in the news of late. In an effort to inform the debate, here is some information about how the names and current situation came about, as expressed in three maps.

Posted in Armies, Memory, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Sheridan and the Franco-Prussian War

150 years ago this month, the Franco-Prussian War broke out. By early September the Prussian/German forces had smashed two French armies, captured Emperor Napoleon III, and were marching to Paris to lay siege to the city. When the war ended … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Leadership--Federal, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Jacob Zeilin, USMC

The American Battlefield Trust Conference this year was to have featured a tour of mine about the Marine Battalion at the First Battle of Manassas. It has been postponed until 2021. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Marines at First Manassas

The American Battlefield Trust Conference this year was to have featured a tour of mine about the Marine Battalion at the First Battle of Manassas. It has been postponed until 2021. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of … Continue reading

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The U.S. Marines of 1861

The American Battlefield Trust Conference this year was to have featured a tour of mine about the Marine Battalion at the First Battle of Manassas. It has been postponed until 2021. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Leadership--Federal, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Civil War Echoes: The Invasion of Okinawa

75 years ago today American forces invaded Okinawa. I blogged about the battle’s significant Civil War connections last year.

Posted in Emerging Civil War | Leave a comment

Fact vs Interpretation at the Bloody Lane

There is a movement afoot to reinterpret key parts of the Maryland Campaign. In some cases, battlefield interpretation is being changed or removed based on new sources and/or new perspectives. I am all for reexamining history based on new or … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles, Leadership--Confederate, National Park Service, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments