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Meet Brian Kowell from Hinckley, Ohio

An interview with a Color Bearer member

"I hope future generations can understand that the people who fought across these battlefields during the Civil War were just like us... [They] sacrificed their lives to make this country a better place and that they forever changed the land they see."

Brian Kowell, Color Bearer

Color Bearer Brian Kowell

American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?

Brian: I have been a long-time student of the American Civil War (60 years) and have enjoyed visiting battlefields since my first visit to Gettysburg and Antietam. I have been a member of the Cleveland Civil War Round Table for the past 47 years and have served a term as president and newsletter editor. I first donated for battlefield preservation shortly after the APCWS was formed. I was on a Round Table field trip to Chancellorsville/Fredericksburg that had Robert K. Krick as our guide. Bob told us about this new organization and how important it was to save these battlefields from becoming developed for housing or commercial use so the history would not be lost forever. I really enjoy seeing the land and tramping the battlefields. 

What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?

The thing I enjoy most about being a Color Bearer is seeing the results of saving historic land and knowing that I have contributed something towards that goal. I am also proud to be a member of a group of history-minded individuals that are dedicated to doing good things for Civil War history. 

What is your favorite battlefield?

My favorite battlefield is probably Brandy Station. I have an avid interest in the cavalry and there were four cavalry battles waged over Brandy Station during the war. It is also close to Kelly's Ford, Rappahannock Station and the various river crossings that were battled over and crossed by the armies. The area was also where the Army of the Potomac had its winter quarters in 1863-64. There is lots to explore and the Trust has saved a lot of this land. 

What would you like to pass on to future generations?  

I hope future generations can understand that the people who fought across these battlefields during the Civil War were just like us. That they can visualize what happened here and see how the land dictated how the soldiers fought. That the soldiers sacrificed their lives to make this country a better place and that they forever changed the land they see. It just isn't another farmer's field. 

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?

I have an interest in the cavalry and I would most like to meet and talk with the controversial Union cavalry General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick." Kill-Cavalry" was notorious, rakish, ambitious and fought in both the eastern and western theaters of war. He left very few letters or papers behind. I'd have a lot of questions about the Buckland Races, the Richmond Raid and his march through Georgia and the Carolinas. 

Anything else you want to share?

Thanks for being such good stewards of the land. The Federal government could not do this alone.