Kraig McNutt is hard to classify when it comes to his Civil War interests and areas of specialties. He’s been one of the top Civil War bloggers in the United States since 1995. Tens of thousands read his blogs every month. He self-publishes his works and studies. Writes Civil War poetry. Has over 30,000 Civil War related pictures he has taken. Speaks to school groups, Civil War Round Tables and conferences. Is involved with local, regional and national Civil War preservation. He gives private-custom tours of the Franklin battlefield for groups of one-to-many. He collects John Paul Strain paintings, Civil War documents, letters and diaries. Maintains the single largest Facebook group dedicated to a single Civil War battle (sorry Gettysburg) at Facebook.com/Franklin1864. He’s consulted for documentaries, museums and historical organizations. His personal Civil War library is over 10,000+ volumes including numerous signed modern first-editions. He’s not a professional historian or traditional author, so he just calls himself a blog-historian – a term he admits he just made up. What he is though . . . is passionate about whatever he’s studying or researching. Some of his research-subjects were started ten years ago and still going.
McNutt is the Director of The Center for the Study of the American Civil War (CSACW), which houses his extensive personal Civil War collection. The CSACW was founded in 1995. McNutt has been a serious student of the American Civil War since the early 1980s and has been publishing Civil War related content on the Web since 1995. He publishes two major Civil War blogs; combined they respectively receive tens of thousands of views a month. McNutt uses ScribD to self-publish most of his publicly accessible studies.
The Civil War Gazette is a blog of a more general nature, though it tends to focus on the so-called Western Theater of the Civil War. He also maintains and produces the most comprehensive and most visited blog on the Battle of Franklin (www.BattleofFranklin.net). Both of these web sites result in many inquiries each month from his blog readers who are looking for more information on Civil War ancestors, relatives, and research questions on the Civil War.
McNutt is related to several Union (Kentucky) Civil War veterans. His children (and wife) are direct descendants of a Union veteran of Franklin. His wife is also related to more than 50 Civil War veterans from both sides, including five Confederate Generals.
Kraig is active in historic preservation in his community (Williamson County, TN) and is proud to be a member of the Civil War Trust. He has lived in Franklin, Tennessee with his family since 2000. His degrees are from Indiana University, the University of Kentucky, and Grace Theological Seminary.
Mr. McNutt is available for speaking at schools, Civil War round-tables, charitable events, conferences, programs, symposiums, etc. To contact him email him at tellinghistory[at]yahoo.com
His more recent presentations (last 2-5 years) and talks have been:
- The 1864 Civil War Diary of Morris Cooper Foote (92nd NYV) and His Experience in Five Confederate Prisons in Eight Months
- The 58th Indiana at Stone’s River
- The Amazing True-life Escape and Story of Robert Smalls, May 13, 1862
- Tennesseans Buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery
- Civil War Medal of Honor Winners (in Tennessee actions)
- Who Built Fort Granger?
- Indiana Regiments at Franklin
Newest presentations (hot off the press):
- The Wounding of W.F. Gibson, 8th Arkasas at Franklin and His Convalescence in Franklin
- The 1862/63 Civil War Diary of Henry Steckel, Middle Tennessee Events & Stone’s River
- The Civil War Career and Service of Addison Lee Ewing, 63rd Indiana Infantry: Hood’s Middle Tennessee Campaign
- The Irish Songster Barney Williams : Bob Hope to the Union
- The Civil War Service of the 58th Indiana : a Western Theatre Regiment
- The James L. Rogers, 98th Ohio Infantry, June 4th, 1863 Letter
Recommendations on behalf of Mr. McNutt
Long forgotten and seldom understood, the breathtaking events which swirled around Franklin, Tennessee in late 1864 are regaining their appropriate place in history. Many claim to be interested in telling and preserving this vital American story, but few do it with the passion of Kraig McNutt. His knowledge and integrity may only be exceeded by his energy, all of which make a respected member of the Civil War community in Middle Tennessee. My earnest hope is that his contributions last for many years to come.
Eric Jacobson, author and historian
Kraig McNutt, a lifelong student of the Civil War, has quickly become one of the pre-eminent Civil War bloggers on the web. His various offerings, many focused on the Civil War in Tennessee, are filled with great stories, historical insights, and modern-day Civil War developments. In a world of ever expanding content offerings, Kraig’s blogs remain as a must read for anyone interested in the American Civil War.
Rob Shenk, Civil War Preservation Trust, Director of Internet Strategy and Development
Kraig McNutt is exactly the kind of voice America needs to carry on the story of its darkest hours. He is educated, knowledgeable, unbiased, and above all, PASSIONATE about a subject that should resonate with every American of this generation and all generations to follow.
Brian Speciale, filmmaker
Kraig McNutt is a dedicated student of the American Civil War who shares his knowledge of the Civil War and his passion for keeping alive the memory of those who served in this horrific conflict through his interesting websites as well as in his engaging presentations. He is also an active historic preservationist who lends his expertise to a number of Battle of Franklin preservation groups. This area is fortunate to have Kraig McNutt as a member of its community of Civil War scholars.
Sam C. Gant, Ph.D.
Professor of History, emeritus
Nashville State Community College
Kraig McNutt is a scholar and storyteller of such passion that he can do what very few can. Mr. McNutt can breathe life into stories almost forgotten and can make the spirit burn at both the heinous atrocities and heart-breaking courage shown by all who were touched by this unforgettable time in history. It is a joy and honor to hear him speak and read his educated interpretations.
Michelle Place, best-selling author, historian and historical interpreter
Kraig McNutt brings with him not only years of study and understanding, but the necessary passion to make the cold facts of history come alive. Driven by that passion, Kraig has honed his studies into scholarship and his scholarship into understanding. As the Civil War slips further and further into a dim past, we are fortunate to have Kraig breathing life back into the story.
Robert Hicks, best-selling author of The Widow of the South
Kraig McNutt is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and passionate student of the Civil War. He has for a number of years maintained one of the finest websites on the conflict and possesses, along with a wealth of knowledge, a deep inner appreciation of what the war meant for those who lived through it and for us their descendants. I highly recommend him to groups seeking a top-flight Civil War speaker.
Steven E. Woodworth, Professor of History, Texas Christian University
Kraig McNutt is an omnivorous reader, thinker, writer, researcher, advocate, and speaker–not only on the American Civil War, but on a host of other historical and cultural issues. His educational and professional background would indicate that he is qualified to speak on many of these issues–but, we all know folks who are qualified yet they bore us to tears. Not Kraig. His lively and engaging style makes history come alive.
George Grant, Pastor, Parish Presbyterian Church
Founder, King’s Meadow Study Center
Rick Warwick, Historian
The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County
Kraig McNutt presented a wonderful program on Robert Smalls who began life as a slave who later rose to be a member of the United States Congress. In between, Smalls, an accomplished boat pilot around Charleston, SC, escaped, becoming the first black Captain of the US Navy warship. He later bought the home of his former master and lived out his days there. This amazing story was presented with full command of the topic and in the very folksy style of McNutt who brought a display of items related to the story. This was an interesting and informative program and would be a very good event for any CWRT.
The Nashville Civil War Round Table
The CSACW is primarily focused on the Western Theater of the American Civil War.
About the Western Theater Wikipedia writes:
The Western Theater was an area defined by both geography and the sequence of campaigning. It originally represented the area east of the Mississippi River and west of the Appalachian Mountains. It excluded operations against the Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard, but as the war progressed and William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union armies moved southeast from Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1864 and 1865, the definition of the theater expanded to encompass their operations in Georgia and the Carolinas.
The CSACW researches and collects items on the following topics of interest related to the Civil War:
- Sherman’s 1864 campaign, especially his March to the Sea, and his Atlanta action.
- Hood’s Middle Tennessee campaign, particularly the Battles of Franklin and Nashville.
- Regiments the CSACW focuses on include Indiana (11th Cav., and the following infantry units: 44th, 58th, 63rd, 65th, 80th, 120th and 128th; and Kentucky (Union) 6th Cavalry.
- Tennessee actions and battles, including: The Battle of Shiloh, Forts Henry and Donelson, Battle of Stone’s River, the Battle of Thompson’s Station, Hood’s Retreat
- Middle Tennessee locations and related: Franklin, Nashville, Brentwood, Triune, Thompson’s Station, College Grove, Williamson County.
- Battles of Corinth (MS), and Iuka.
- Miscellaneous: Robert Smalls, the Wallace-Taylor boys of Gibson County, Beaufort, S.C., Slavery, Irish songster Barney Williams, Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s Illustrated, and daily Civil War newspapers.
If you have letters, documents or items of related interest you’d like to share with the CSACW please contact us. We’d be delighted to make them more accessible through the CSACW with your permission.
Mr. McNutt is active in Civil War preservation efforts in Williamson County, Tennessee, and is an active member of the Williamson County Historical Society and The Franklin Civil War Roundtable. He holds several; academic degrees, both undergraduate and graduate, with concentrations or majors in history, philosophy, communications, theology, languages, archaeology and information science.