Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

Picket Line

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Never Mind the Helmet, Here Comes the Cavalry!

The riding helmet was small for me, so it looked like black puffball mushroom on my head. It was good enough for my purposes, though. I would be taking a couple horseback laps around an indoor ring, going only at … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Cavalry, Common Soldier, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Sign-O-the-Times at Brandy Station

I spent some time earlier this weekend at the Brandy Station battlefield, where I saw this sign:

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From the Wilderness, the Blue Ridge in the Distance

Just beyond its cross-the-T intersection with Brock Road, Route 3 west begins a gentle mile-long descent toward Wilderness Run. There, it crosses the creek and then jumps the border between Spotsylvania and Orange counties before pushing upward and westward again. … Continue reading

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Emory Upton in Upstate New York

Batavia, New York, sits midway between Buffalo and Rochester along the busy New York State Thruway. Western New Yorkers know it best for its racetrack, Batavia Downs, a half-mile track that features live harness racing July through December. But I … Continue reading

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“Never forget”: Remembering Antietam on 9/11

It has become my custom on 9/11 to think back to a different day during a different September when America suffered an even more catastrophic loss of life. As I explained two years ago, the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 17, … Continue reading

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Support Battlefield Preservation at Chancellorsville

An open letter to the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors, who will consider tomorrow evening a proposal to preserve a portion of the Chancellorsville battlefield in exchange for zoning concessions Dear Supervisors: It might seem hyperbolic to say that Spotsylvania … Continue reading

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Visiting Headquarters

Perhaps the gray day made headquarters seem quieter than normal. Situated along Route 30 on the northwest corner of Gettysburg, General Lee’s HQ usually has the feel of a place where something’s going on. It was certainly like that on … Continue reading

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Shaping Chancellorsville: Conclusion

The final installment in a series In 2010, the update to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP) map denoted for the first time the location of the Day One battlefield even though it lies outside the park boundary. In its … Continue reading

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Escape from Hellmira!

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Confederate prisoners being held in Elmira Prison in upstate New York started construction on a tunnel that would allow ten men to burrow their way to freedom. It was the only one of … Continue reading

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