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. In September 2016 the U.S. Army published 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 a reviewer and contributor to the Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Studies. His study of the 1941-42 Philippine Campaign titled Last Stand on Bataan was released in late February 2016. He is currently working on a book about the 1944 India-Burma battles.
On January 6, 2020, Chris became Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, after serving as MacArthur Memorial Director from September 16, 2013, to December 6, 2019.
“I graduated from Emory & Henry with a certain GPA, but the college gave me a 4.0 in life. I continually draw upon the experiences I had in and out of the classroom from my time at E&H. There is also a tremendous sense of community among Emory people, which has lasted well past graduation, and has resulted in lifelong friendships.”