Faculty Chair in Memory of Brian Pohanka

I missed this one. In October of last year a Faculty Chair in American Civil War History was created at Dickinson College in memory of Brian Pohanka. Pohanka studied history at the school and graduated in 1977. Matthew Pinsker is the first incumbent of the chair. Here is what he had to say:

“Brian was a legend in my field. He brought a richer, more accurate understanding of the Civil War to millions. I am honored by the prospect of trying to continue his important work both inside and outside the classroom.”

I can’t think of a better way to honor Pohanka’s scholarship and love for American history. Click here to read more from the article.

2 comments… add one
  • Carla Pal May 15, 2009 @ 10:20

    Whether you will read, or consider entering my comments, well, remains to be seen. You see, I am just an ordinary woman, who is so very ashamed to admitt, I only recently found out about the death of this great human being. I hang my head in shame. But, until this past year, I really never looked at a computer. And, oh, how sorry I am.
    I am only one millions who watched (and still watch), listened and learned from this great man. And, alway, I was in total awe. “How does this man do this”? I would ask myself, he looks so very young? But, first, always first, I listened, and tried to learn as much as I could, or even more than “I thought Icould”. My years of following him are probably much shorter than others. But, when I finally “won the war,” and the History Channel was forever in our home, it was as if a new gate opened up. And, what flooded in was something that cannot be put into words. As I listened, and watched this man, I thought, how I wish I could take notes fast enough! Then, if only I knew 1/3 of what he did, I would be someone pretty knowledgeable, (in my eyes at least). But, I never would have. And, the fact remains, he helped me learn, and understand as much as I did. As, I know he did those who watched, came into contact with him, or knew him.
    I will end with, the first book I ever recieved on the Civil War was in 1968, when I was 14 years old. The book, ” The American Heritage Picture History of The Civil War”, by Bruce Catton. The inscription inside, from my mother, “On your 14th birthday our darling daughter. Read, Read, Read, and Learn. Next year Gettysbury will be your gift.” And it was. And I still remember it like it was yesterday. But, we grow up, our lives change, we are pulled into different directions. But, now at 54, since the death of my husband in 2005, I am pulled back to my love of the Civil War, and want to visit Gettysbury so badly. I need to, and I will. But, It will not end there, if God is willing. And this is because of one man. Mr. Pohanka.
    Thank you Mr. Pohanka. You took me, through your brilliance, from that 14 year old girl who read, and read the book that opened my eyes to “The Civil War”, to the Battlefields of Gettysburg, to who I am today. And through each and every “Civil War Journal”, you reminded me, how time has passed, and how starved I am to conintue my journey into the Civil War. The tears I am now shedding, are that you are that you are no longer here to guide not only myself, but many, many others along thru the battles, and battlefields themselves, and bring this most important part of history to life and into view for us. Thank you, and God Bless you. Your work will live on forever.

    • Kevin Levin May 15, 2009 @ 10:26


      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about Brian Pohanka. Brian was an important part of our Civil War community and a dear friend to many. I do hope you make to Gettysburg. Take care.

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