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's written dozens of articles and two books on Victorian officers. Visit www.frankjastrzembski.com to view a complete list of his publications. When he is not writing, he travels with his wife, explores old cemeteries, plays wargames, and hunts for vintage military and political memorabilia.

What If…Zachary Taylor Was Alive During the Civil War?

On July 9, 1850, the 12th president of the U.S. died only 16 months into his first term. But what if Zachary Taylor lived to see the Civil War? Suppose that war did not come to the U.S. sooner had … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Belmont Perry: The First Civil War Autograph Collector

Autograph collecting in the United States reached its peak during the 1880s. Like the carte de visite craze of the 1860s, Americans collected autographs of their favorite celebrities or heroes. According to historian Lester J. Cappon, the Civil War led … Continue reading

Posted in Memory | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Exchanging a Saber for a Cane: The Case of Colonel Charles Augustus May

In 1861, over 250 U.S. Army officers resigned their commissions. The majority joined the rebellion, while a few remained loyal to the Union. Nineteen officers (seven percent) didn’t serve on either side. The choice was not so simple for these … Continue reading

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Mexican War Hero Alexander W. Doniphan: One of the Civil War’s Great “What Ifs”

Some of the most thought-provoking “what ifs” of the Civil War involve noteworthy individuals that chose not to or could not participate in the war. Instead of taking up arms for one reason or another, they remained on the sidelines … Continue reading

Posted in Mexican War, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Civil War Hero Cuts His Throat”: Suicide Among Union Brevet Brigadier Generals and Colonels

In his pioneering study Shook Over Hell: Post-Traumatic Stress, Vietnam, and the Civil War, Dr. Eric T. Dean, Jr. provides Brevet Brigadier General Newell Gleason as an example of a Union brevet brigadier general who suffered from the psychological consequences … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 4 Comments

“On Whose Head Is This Blood?”: Union Colonels In Insane Asylums, Part 2

Part 1 of this article introduced a Union colonel who ended up being institutionalized after the war. He isn’t the only one who suffered this fate. This is a continuation of where it left off. 

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Medical | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

“On Whose Head Is This Blood?”: Union Colonels In Insane Asylums, Part 1

A blog post published last July explored the mental decline of Thomas W. Egan, a distinguished Union brigadier general who fought in the majority of the Army of the Potomac’s battles. Whether the direct result of war injuries, war trauma, … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Medical | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

The Immortal 17: Civil War Veterans on the Active Army List in 1909, Part 2

Author’s note: This is Part 2 of 2 listing the 17 officers still on the active army list four decades after the Civil War ended. You can find Part 1 here. 

Posted in Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Immortal 17: Civil War Veterans on the Active Army List in 1909, Part 1

While skimming old newspapers online, I discovered a fascinating article published on May 30, 1909, in the New-York Tribune. It was titled, “Memorial Day This Year Finds Sixteen Veterans of The Civil War Still on The Active List of U.S. … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Saga of Lt. General A.P. Hill’s Remains Continues

A few weeks back, I forwarded my ECW blog post on Lt. General A.P. Hill’s remains to several of Richmond’s leading officials involved in the removal of the city’s Confederate monuments: Mayor Levar Stoney, Interim City Attorney Haskell C. Brown … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Monuments | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments