Author Archives: Kristen Pawlak

“But with blood” – John Brown, Violence, and Abolition in Kansas

On a cold December morning in 1859 in a jail cell in Charles Town, Virginia, John Brown reflected on his role in the desperate fight for abolition. Less than two months prior, he had led a small army of 21 … Continue reading

Posted in Personalities, Slavery | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Surviving Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence

August 21 marked the 156th anniversary of Missouri guerrilla chieftain William C. Quantrill’s infamous Raid on Lawrence, Kansas – one of the bloodiest and most significant irregular attacks against civilians during the American Civil War. A center of abolition and … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Saving History Saturday: Trust Launches Campaign to Save 128 Acres at Perryville

If you take a look at a modern map of the Perryville battlefield and overlay it with the troop movements from the battle in 1862, you will see a gaping hole at the center. That hole – 128 acres in … Continue reading

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Giving No Quarter – How the 39th Missouri Lost the Highest Percentage of Men Killed in a Single Engagement of the Civil War

Ever since the guns went silent in 1865, there has always been a debate about casualty rates for Civil War units and battles among historians and enthusiasts alike. The regiments who sustained these enormous casualty rates have been immortalized in … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Memory, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

From West to East – John Pope and Counter-Insurgency, Part II

(Part II in a series) In June 1862, John Pope assumed command of the Eastern Theater’s newest army made up of disparate forces – the Army of Virginia. Unfortunately, Pope’s strong ego and dislike for the Army of the Potomac’s … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

From West to East – John Pope and Counter-Insurgency, Part I

“I have come to you from the West,” declared Major General John Pope, as he addressed his new Army of Virginia. The new commander continued, “we have always seen the backs of our enemies; from an army whose business it … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The 25th Missouri Infantry at Shiloh

“After mature deliberation [Colonel Everett Peabody] decided to do as above stated – attack, and thus give the alarm to those in our rear, so that they could turn out and make some resistance to the overwhelming force, and not … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Western Theater | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

“I Crave the Privilege of Doing It” – Being a Female Military Historian

In March 1862, Clara Barton – undoubtedly the war’s most well-known nurse – requested to go to the front and serve. “Though it is little that one woman can do, still I crave the privilege of doing it,” she wrote. … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Personalities | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Remember Poison Spring!

If you have seen the 2012 film Lincoln, you may remember the first two scenes: a gruesome hand-to-hand fight between white Confederate troops and African-American Federal soldiers, and two USCTs speaking with their commander-in-chief. Besides the overarching themes of race, … Continue reading

Posted in Trans-Mississippi, USCT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Good Cheer Prevailed” – Celebration and Reflection for a Confederate Surgeon in 1863 Arkansas

Christmas of 1863 was one of relief for the five-thousand men of the Confederate District of Arkansas. They had been settled in their winter encampment just west of Camden, Arkansas after months of battlefield defeats at Prairie Grove, Helena, and … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Medical, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment