Author Archives: Kevin Pawlak

An Eagle Cake on the Fourth of July

John S. Mosby It has been a few years since I posted the story below but it still resonates every year with me because of the incredible feat the women of Point of Rocks, Maryland, accomplished: creating a 25 foot … Continue reading

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Book Review: A Fire in the Wilderness

A Fire in the Wilderness: The First Battle Between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee By John Reeves Pegasus Books, 2021, $28.95 hardcover Reviewed by Kevin Pawlak Of all the awful places created by the American Civil War, the … Continue reading

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Book Review: Fighting Means Killing: Civil War Soldiers and the Nature of Combat

Fighting Means Killing: Civil War Soldiers and the Nature of Combat By Jonathan M. Steplyk University Press of Kansas, 2018, $22.95, paperback. Reviewed by Kevin Pawlak The American Civil War is America’s deadliest war. While two-thirds of the war’s approximately … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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