From early childhood, Kurt Holman’s Grandmother told him stories about her own grandfather’s service in the Civil War, and how he was wounded in the battle of Second Manassas on August 30, 1862. When he came to Kentucky from Iowa in the spring of 1981 to work for his father in Danville, Kentucky, he could not stay from the Perryville Battlefield. Given his life-long interest in the Civil War, he was drawn to this battlefield. There were no Civil War battles in Iowa. Kurt attended the University of Iowa and finished his BA degree at Centre College in Danville with a Major in History. He then went to work for the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort and, in the summer of 1989, became the Manager of the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. He started the study of the Battle of Perryville almost a decade before.
When he became the manager, he brought with him a small box of files containing copies of primary sources from the battle. This resource has since grown to fill a five-drawer filing cabinet. The park consisted of 98 acres, and aside from the museum, had virtually no interpretation of the battle. The park now encompasses 745 acres, has over ten miles of interpretive trails, and over 50 interpretive signs. Since he has been here, the Museum has been renovated and updated three times.
Always focused on the sacrifice of the men who fought and died here, he has compiled a database of 5,660 names of the approximately 7,600 casualties of the Battle of Perryville and continues to add to it as more names are located.
He had assembled and transcribed all of the surviving after-action reports of the battle and, where appropriate, attached relevant testimony from the “Buell Court of Inquiry”. He has also compiled a database of the original owners of the battlefield land.
His current project is transcribing all of the primary source data into electronic, editable text to better facilitate an understanding of the original terrain features as well as make the information better available to future generations.
Kurt is married with one teenaged son. His hobbies include the study of 19th century Infantry tactics, the subject of which he has had a few published articles, Historic firearms, general military history, and genealogy.