Author Archives: Kristen Pawlak

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 , , , | 2 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

The Conundrum of Missouri Guerrilla Flicks

Gettysburg, Gone with the Wind, Lincoln, Shenandoah, and Glory are some of the quintessential flicks we tend to think of when picturing famous Civil War films. We see the large-scale, bloody engagements that we learn about in history class, witness … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Union Warriors of the Trans-Mississippi West – The Indian Brigade

Particularly in the Trans-Mississippi West, Native American loyalty and animosity was quite a complex issue. Frustrations with white settlers had simmered for approximately two centuries by the time of the Civil War and Native Americans in the west were forced … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment