Author Archives: Kevin Pawlak

When Their Countries Called

West Point’s Class of 1846 is its most famous of the pre-Civil War era. Perhaps a close second could be the Class of 1854, which included 46 graduates. Of those 46, 37 fought in the Civil War: 23 for the … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A “Dexteritous” Climb to the Top of the Capitol’s Unfinished Dome

It towered over Abraham Lincoln during his inauguration on March 4, 1861 as a fitting symbol for the task ahead of the new president and the state of the country. Unfinished but a work in progress, the construction of the … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Lincoln, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: To Hazard All

I have always enjoyed tour guides. They’re a useful tool for Civil War historians. I can read it from the comfort of my home and use it later when visiting the sites of a Civil War battle and/or campaign. It … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Emerging Civil War Series | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Commencement of the Army of the Potomac’s Third Campaign

Engineers laid two pontoon bridges across the Potomac River at Berlin, Maryland in late October 1862 (modern-day Brunswick, Maryland). After six weeks of reorganization, refitting, and resupplying, the Army of the Potomac was again on the move. Federal soldiers and … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Antietam: A Tactical Union Victory

The Battle of Antietam was a key turning point in the American Civil War and American history. In short, it turned back Robert E. Lee’s first campaign north of the Potomac River and led to the issuance of the Preliminary—and … Continue reading

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Antietam: On the Eve of Battle

The evening of September 16 always draws my mind to the Antietam battlefield. 159 years ago tonight, Union and Confederate soldiers settled down for a tense night around Sharpsburg, Maryland. In some cases, they lay within earshot of one another. … Continue reading

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The Unlucky Lost Order

Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., historian of the 27th Indiana Infantry, claimed that the regiment’s discovery of a lost copy of Special Orders No. 191 in a field outside of Frederick, Maryland, 159 years ago today “is the capstone story of … Continue reading

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“Straggling is a crime which cannot be to strongly reprehended nor too severely punished”: The Sixth Corps’ Orders Against Straggling in the Maryland Campaign

Recently, I was sorting through what I found on a past trip to the National Archives, where I spent the day looking through the records of William B. Franklin’s Sixth Corps in the Maryland Campaign. In one of the bound … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Campaigns | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

A Chronology of the Confederacy’s 1862 Counterstrokes

Several months ago, I crossed an item off my Civil War bucket list: visiting the Perryville battlefield. While at the visitor center, I watched a video which put the Confederate invasion of Kentucky into the larger context of the war. … Continue reading

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

Fallen Leaders: Lewis Addison Armistead and the Armistead Family Cemetery

This post rides off the research and coattails of Tom McMillan’s newest book, Armistead and Hancock: Behind the Gettysburg Legend of Two Friends at the Turning Point of the Civil War. Tom’s book, which I picked up in Gettysburg during … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments