Author Archives: Kristen Pawlak

This Place Mattered – St. Bridget of Erin in St. Louis

In early 2016, demolition crews rolled up to one of St. Louis’ oldest churches, St. Bridget of Erin. Demolition crews ploughed their way into her beautiful front brick façade and soon enough, this 19th-century church was just a pile of … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Emerging Civil War, Preservation | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

“He is the last of seven sons” – One Sanitary Agent Witnesses the Tragedy of War in St. Louis

In her first assignment as an agent with the Chicago branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Jane Hoge witnessed the true tragedy, devastation, and sacrifices that the Civil War brought upon Americans. At age 50 and the mother of two … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Emerging Civil War, Medical, Primary Sources, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Iowa Soldier’s First Combat Experience at Wilson’s Creek

Today marks the 159th anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, fought on August 10, 1861 along the banks of the Wilson Creek, a mere twelve miles to the southwest of Springfield, Missouri. One of the first major battles of … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Primary Sources, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

“It is inhuman, to treat our soldiers as such” – An Iowa Newspaper Criticizes the Federal Hospital System

On January 23, 1863, the Cedar Falls Gazette of Cedar Falls, Iowa wrote an article about their visit to the general hospital complex at Jefferson Barracks Military Post. Located just south of St. Louis, the hospital at Jefferson Barracks was one of … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 3 Comments

Sacred Duty – Sherman Honors Thomas E.G. Ransom

In June of 1884, General William T. Sherman stood before the members of St. Louis’ newest Grand Army of the Republic post. Just having retired from the U.S. Army and residing in the Gateway City, Sherman “was invited by several … Continue reading

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Visiting Grant Sites in St. Louis

While watching the premiere episode of History’s Grant miniseries, I could not help but smile as I saw the various places President and General Ulysses Grant visited or lived in my hometown of St. Louis. As I grew up, Grant was … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, National Park Service, On Location, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Among the Casualties of Shiloh at Jefferson Barracks

As the largest burial ground of Civil War soldiers in the state of Missouri, Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (just minutes south of St. Louis) is the final resting place of approximately 16,000 Union and Confederate soldiers. Forever under the sod … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Memory, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

John S. Bowen’s Brigade and the First Day at Shiloh

In the early afternoon of April 6, 1862, General Albert Sidney Johnston raised the tin cup he had grabbed from a Union camp earlier that day and tapped the line of bayonets of his Rebel troops to rally them forward. … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“A Power for Good” – The St. Louis Ladies’ Union Aid Society

In the midst of the chaotic fall of 1861 in Missouri, one woman in St. Louis took time to write to her sister back home in Brooklyn, New York. “I feel it my duty to present the claims of the … Continue reading

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A Member of the 8th Missouri Infantry Reflects on Why He Enlisted

One of the most thorough and remarkable diaries I have come across from a Missouri soldier is from a non-commissioned officer in the 8th Missouri Infantry. A German immigrant and Peoria, Illinois resident, Phillip A. Smith joined the “American Zouaves” … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Primary Sources, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments