Author Archives: Chris Kolakowski

ECW Weekender: The MacArthur Memorial

In the heart of downtown Norfolk stands the former Norfolk City Hall. Opened in 1850, in May 1862 Norfolk’s mayor surrendered to the Union Army on its front steps. Today, it is the resting place of one of America’s most … Continue reading

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Butler’s Decision at Bermuda Hundred

Major General Benjamin Butler’s Bermuda Hundred Campaign in May of 1864 is often dismissed quickly and simply as a failure. Commentators usually invoke Major General U.S. Grant’s quote about a “bottle strongly corked.” It is true that Butler could have … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Federal, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

On Anniversaries and the Timeline of History

The Battle of Gettysburg took place 155 years ago last month. Seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? Seems even further back to the founding of the United States in the 1780s, right? “Dates are the pegs on which we … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Ties to the War, War of 1812 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

McCook and the Czar

100 years ago last night, Czar Nicholas II and his family were killed by the Bolsheviks near Ekaterinburg, Russia. This was the end of the Romanov Dynasty, which had ruled Russia since 1613. The US representative to Nicholas II’s coronation … Continue reading

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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

Posted in National Park Service, Preservation | Tagged | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments