news pamplin park to explore john browns raid with emerging civil war author

Pamplin Park to explore John Brown’s Raid with emerging Civil War author

pamplin historical parkPamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier welcomes author Kevin Pawlak on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.

Pawlak will take part in the Petersburg Civil War Roundtable which meets on the first Thursday of each month at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier.

He will explore a pivotal event in American history with a presentation titled “John Brown’s Raid: Harpers Ferry and the Coming of the Civil War.”

About the Raid: On the evening of Oct. 16, 1859, a group of 18 raiders fell upon Harpers Ferry with the intention of inciting a slave insurrection. They were led by abolitionist John Brown who managed to seize the federal arsenal and take hostages before seeking shelter in a fire engine house. There they barricaded themselves until U.S. Marines forced themselves in and routed or captured the raiders on two days later. Those who were captured soon found themselves tried, convicted and executed. This event is seen as a catalyst for the bloody Civil War that was to follow.

Pawlak is a historic site manager for the Prince William County historic preservation division and works as a licensed battlefield guide at Antietam National Battlefield.

He also sits on the board of directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.

Previously, Pawlak has worked or completed internships at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the Mosby Heritage Area Association.

Pawlak is the author of Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital, published by The History Press in 2015 and the co-author of To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign.

He has also authored The Heaviest Blow Yet Given the Confederacy: The Emancipation Proclamation Changes the Civil War in Turning Points of the Civil War, part of the emerging Civil War’s Engaging the Civil War Series with Southern Illinois University Press.

The Petersburg Civil War Roundtable has an annual membership of $40. Individuals who are already members of Pamplin Historical Park may become members of PCWRT for $20. Non-members may attend for $5 each meeting.

Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a 424-acre Civil War campus located in Dinwiddie County, offering a combination of high-tech museums and hands-on experiences.

For more information on the Roundtable, call (804) 861-2408 or visit or visit

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.