About Gene Schmiel

Gene Schmiel is a student of the Civil War whose book, Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era, was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press.  The book, a History Book Club selection, was deemed “best biography of the year” by Civil War Books and Authors.

Schmiel’s second book, Lincoln, Antietam, and a Northern Lost Cause, was published in April, 2019 on Kindle Direct Publishing.  It is a speculative history about the Battle of Antietam and how an overwhelming Union victory there ironically could have resulted in the preservation of slavery.  In the book, Jacob Cox plays a critical role by taking Robert E. Lee prisoner at the Battle of Antietam.

Schmiel’s third book, Ohio Heroes of the Battle of Franklin, published in 2019 via Amazon.com, is a study of three Ohio citizen generals, Jacob Cox, Emerson Opdycke, and Jack Casement and their critical roles in “saving the day” at this important battle.  It imagines that the three men and all the next five presidents from Ohio (Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison, and McKinley) come to Cox’s inauguration as Governor of Ohio in 1868.  The three men then reminisce about the Battle of Franklin, and Schmiel uses their letters, reports, and other information to fill in the narrative.

Schmiel’s fourth book, Civil War Musings and Reflections: Blogging about the “American Iliad,” published in 2020 via amazon.com, is a series of thought-provoking pieces about many aspects of the Civil War, from tactics and strategy to the pets of the common soldier.  It begins with an appeal to the Civil War community for a common sense-based approach to dealing with Confederate monuments.

Early in 2020 Gene began work on a series of books entitled, CIVIL WAR PERSONALITIES, 50 AT A TIME.  Each book highlights 50 people via short essays highlighting their impact on the Civil War era.  Using period photographs and other information from the era, such as political cartoons, the books bring to life these interesting personalities.  Each essay also includes a reading list for further information.  The books are:

Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers

Civil War Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions

Civil War Political Generals in Blue and Grey

Civil War Women: Underestimated and Indispensable


Gene holds a Ph. D. degree from The Ohio State University and was an assistant professor of History at St. Francis University (PA)  before becoming  a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State.  He served in five countries, including as Charge’ d’ Affaires in U.S. embassies in Iceland and Djibouti and Consul General in Mombasa, Kenya.  He resides in Gainesville, Virginia with his wife Bonnie Kathryn.  Together they wrote a book, “Welcome Home: Who Are You; Tales of a Foreign Service Family,” which, along with his book about Cox and the other books noted above, is featured on his amazon.com author’s page:  https://www.amazon.com/Gene-Schmiel

Gene is also featured on the American Foreign Service Association’s web-page for entrepreneurs:  https://www.afsa.org/fs-and-efm-owned-businesses

See the page “Writings” for Schmiel’s other publications.



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