Olive Through the Ages

Acknowledgments and dedication


A number of individuals have contributed to this Web site; their names are referenced on the associated pages, and I thank them all. I especially would like to thank local historians Gordon T. McClelland, Phil Brigandi, Chris Jepsen, Tom Pulley, Susan Berumen, Lizeth Ramirez and the City of Orange Public Library History Center, and Dr. William O. Hendricks and the staff at Sherman Library.


This site is dedicated to the memory of historian, author, and Civil War battlefield preservationist Brian Pohanka, who passed away on June 15, 2005 at the age of 50.

Many people are familiar with Brian Pohanka's name and face from his appearances on the History Channel's "Civil War Journal," and for his work as a consultant and extra in films such as "Cold Mountain" and "Glory." He also could be seen in East Coast Civil War re-enactments as captain of the 5th New York Volunteers Infantry (Duryée's Zouaves), and was a prominent guest speaker at many Civil War roundtable events.

  Brian Pohanka at Fairhaven Cemetery in 2001
photo by DLO
  Brian Pohanka at Fairhaven Cemetery in the City of Santa Ana on November 10, 2001.
I did not have the opportunity to know Brian Pohanka as a celebrity. To me, the Brian I knew was modest and very down to earth; a kind and faithful friend who took time to get to know individuals outside of his circle of well-known and important people, and quietly rooted for the underdog. Genteel and eloquent, Brian was a patient teacher who shared much of his knowledge and gave a lot of his time in the cause of preserving the memory of soldiers from the Civil War and Great War eras, and the Battle of Little Bighorn.

An East Coast native who lived near President George Washington's home in Mount Vernon, Brian was also interested in the preservation of local history sites, and had been to Southern California on a number of occasions. When I mentioned last summer that I was going to build a Web site for the community of Olive, Brian commented in an email message dated September 8, 2004: "[I'm] glad...that you are working on the history of Olive. Many of those sites in California are, as you know, very old, and even some of the newer ones have a rich history."

I am grateful to have known and shared a friendship with Brian. I shall miss him and his encouragement to me. He was an inspiration in my historical writings for my Web site "Life Stories of Civil War Heroes," and he introduced me to many of the poet soldiers of World War I featured at my Web site "Voices from the Fields." This site is dedicated in Brian's memory.

Go to Main menu