Author Archives: Frank Jastrzembski

About Frank Jastrzembski

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Frank Jastrzembski studied history at John Carroll University (B.A.) and Cleveland State University (M.A.). He is the author of "Valentine Baker’s Heroic Stand At Tashkessen 1877: A Tarnished British Soldier’s Glorious Victory." When he is not writing, he travels with his wife, explores old cemeteries, plays wargames, and hunts for antiques and collectibles.

A Saintly Civil War Veteran: Brother Joseph Dutton

By the age of 40, former Union lieutenant Ira Barnes Dutton felt disgusted with how he had spent most of his twenties and thirties in sin. To atone for these misdeeds, he decided to devote his remaining years to helping … Continue reading

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General Hartsuff’s Nine Lives

With a bullet wound to his left arm and a ball lodged in his chest, 25-year-old Lieutenant George L. Hartsuff submerged himself in a pond of brackish water hoping to evade detection. He did everything in his power to keep … Continue reading

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A “Melancholy Suicide”: The Death of Brigadier General Philip St. George Cocke

On December 26, 1861, Confederate Brigadier General Philip St. George Cocke’s wife, Sallie, reluctantly left her home that Thursday evening to attend a neighbor’s party. The general had not been well since returning home, suffering from a mental breakdown. He … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Generals in Bronze

Dozens of diaries, manuscripts, and newspapers come to mind when I reflect on my favorite American Civil War primary source. William B. Styple’s Generals in Bronze: Interviewing the Commanders of the Civil War (2005) stands out among them.

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Collecting Civil War General CDVs

Ever since elementary school, I’ve been fascinated with studying the American Civil War, particularly its generals. I’m most interested in the generals who died during the course of the war—either from wounds, illnesses, or accidents. I’ve been collecting antique photographs … Continue reading

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The 25th Anniversary Film Screening of Gettysburg

On October 13, 800 Civil War buffs packed into Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater for the 25th anniversary film screening of Gettysburg. Special guests—some of the film’s cast, the writer and director, and the composer—also attended the event. I was five when … Continue reading

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The Rise and Fall of Brig. Gen. James L. Kiernan

Major James Lawlor Kiernan’s swift rise from major to brigadier general in August 1863 was just as remarkable as when Elon J. Farnsworth, George A. Custer, and Wesley Merritt were famously promoted from captains to brigadier generals on the eve … Continue reading

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Q and A with Patrick Gorman (General John B. Hood)

I have been enamored with the film Gettysburg (1993) ever since middle school. I jumped at the chance to have actor Patrick Gorman (who memorably portrayed General John Bell Hood) answer some of my questions by email. He was courteous … Continue reading

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Artillery: General Davis Tillson

Six men who suffered the loss of a limb before the American Civil War—Joseph A. Haskin (U), Philip Kearny (U), William W. Loring (C), James G. Martin (C), Thomas W. Sweeny (U), and Davis Tillson (U)—overcame their handicaps and rose … Continue reading

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Harry Heth Meets Richard Francis Burton

When I think of Confederate General Henry Heth, I can’t help but imagine actor Warren Burton’s portrayal of him in the 1993 film Gettysburg. I can just picture Heth now trying to explain to General Robert E. Lee (Martin Sheen) … Continue reading

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