Author Archives: Kevin Pawlak

Saving History Saturday: 22 Acres to Save at Bristoe Station

Bristoe Station battlefield is bordered by development. In fact, a compromise between developers and preservationists are the only reason the park exists. Chances to preserve this battlefield are few and far between and become more difficult frequently. The 22 acres … Continue reading

Posted in Preservation | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Colors Draped in Black

There are some events in our lives that no one can escape. Everyone has a story of “where they were when” for such events. Thankfully, these events do not happen often, but when they do, they leave an unmistakable impression … Continue reading

Posted in Lincoln, Memory, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thinking Big on a Battlefield

After the bloody fighting ended around Pittsburg Landing on April 6, 1862, Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, recently appointed commander of the Army of the Mississippi following Albert Sidney Johnston’s death earlier that day, took stock of his army’s hard … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Confederate, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

On The Eve of War: Buffalo, New York

The morning sunrise on February 16, 1861, slowly turned the blanket of snow that covered Buffalo, New York, overnight into mud. Though the mud would only worsen by street walkers, horses’ hooves, and carriage wheels, Buffalo’s citizens knew they had … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Deep Cut Burns

A couple of weeks ago, Manassas National Battlefield held a controlled burn in the area of the Deep Cut. Here, on August 30, 1862, thousands of Union soldiers led by Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter attacked Confederate troops positioned along … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, National Park Service, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Legacy of Freedom: Nimrod Burke Provides a Link Between Two Emancipations

Robert Carter III’s 1791 Deed of Gift, which gradually freed 452 of his enslaved laborers, was the largest private emancipation of slaves until the American Civil War. Some of the descendants of the enslaved men, women, and children freed by … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Slavery, USCT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Bridge for Whiskey: The 51st Pennsylvania and Its Famous Request Examined

It is one of Antietam’s most memorable stories. After two unsuccessful tries to seize the Lower Bridge, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside turned to one of his 9th Corps brigade commanders Col. Edward Ferrero and—through an orderly—told him to “take the … Continue reading

Posted in Battles | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Book Review: “A Volunteer in the Regulars: The Civil War Journal and Memoir of Gilbert Thompson, US Engineer Battalion”

Published soldiers’ letters and diaries are nothing new to Civil War bookshelves. But editor Mark A. Smith’s latest addition to The University of Tennessee Press’ Voices of the Civil War series stands out among thousands of enlisted men’s published letters, … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Observing the Hanging Hour: John Brown’s Death 161 Years Ago Today

When John Brown’s body dropped through the gallows’ trap door in a field outside Charlestown, Virginia, at approximately 11 a.m. on December 2, 1859, only about 1,500 Virginia militia, Virginia Military Institute Cadets, and a handful of United States soldiers … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Personalities | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Christie, Cox, Crook, Confusion, and the Burnside Bridge

Sometimes, going down rabbit holes of research will lead you to unexpected places. Occasionally, they lead nowhere. But every once in a while, you get rewarded. Hence, the case of Lt. Samuel L. Christie of Jacob Cox’s staff during the … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Personalities | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments