Christopher L. Kolakowski was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. He received his BA in History and Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College, and his MA in Public History from the State University of New York at Albany.
Chris has spent his career interpreting and preserving American military history with the National Park Service, New York State government, the Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Kentucky State Parks, and the U.S. Army. He has written and spoken on various aspects of military history from 1775 to the present. He has published two books with the History Press: The Civil War at Perryville: Battling For the Bluegrass and The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaign: This Army Does Not Retreat. The U.S. Army will shortly publish his volume on the 1862 Virginia Campaigns as part of its sesquicentennial series on the Civil War. He is a contributor to the Emerging Civil War Blog, and his study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled Last Stand on Bataan was released by McFarland in late February 2016.
Chris came to Norfolk having served as Director of the General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, KY from 2009 to 2013. He became the MacArthur Memorial Director on September 16, 2013.
- Last Stand On Bataan: The Philippine Campaign of 1941-42. McFarland, 2016.
- The Virginia Campaigns of 1862. U.S. Army, 2015. (at publisher)
- The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaigns: This Army Does Not Retreat. The History Press, 2011.
- The Civil War at Perryville: Battling for the Bluegrass. The History Press, 2009.
- “A Rough Place and a Hard Fight: Thomas Stevenson’s Division on the Brock and Plank Roads, May 6, 1864,” Civil War Regiments, Volume 6 Number 4. Savas Publishing, 1999.
- “Three Fateful Days: The Battles of Waterloo and Gettysburg.” Napoleonic Wargaming Club Newsletter. December 2000.
- “Civil War Ancestors,” biweekly column in the Fredericksburg regional newspaper, The Free Lance-Star, March 2001 – September 2002
- “How Totally Different Our Fatherland Is: Burgoyne’s Germans in North America, 1776-1778.” The Battlements, Volume 15 Issue 2. Summer 2003.
- “A Sister’s Journey to the Western Front in 1920.” Journal of the Company of Military Historians, Volume 56 Number 3. Fall 2004.
- “Sedgwick Saves the Day,” Hallowed Ground, Volume 6 Number 3. Fall 2005.
- “The Last Hurrah: The 14th Brooklyn in the 1864 Campaign.” New Yorkers in the Civil War, Volume 6. January 2006.
- “Stars and Stripes on Marye’s Heights: the Second Battle of Fredericksburg.” Civil War Historian, Volume 3 Issue 1. January/February 2007.
- “A Kentuckian on Bataan.” Kentucky Humanities. October 2007
- “Magnificent Fighting: John C. Starkweather at Perryville.” New Yorkers in the Civil War, Volume 9. October 2007.
- “That Brave Filipino General: A Life of Vicente P. Lim.” Journal of the Company of Military Historians, Volume 60 Number 3. Fall 2008.
- “I Will Die Right Here: The Army of the Cumberland at Stones River.” Hallowed Ground, Volume 13 Number 4. Winter 2012.