Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

Shots Heard Round the World

This past weekend marked the 240th anniversary of “the Shot Heard ‘Round the World”—the opening engagement, in Concord, Massachusetts, of what became the American Revolution. There at the North Bridge, on April 19, 1775, colonial militiamen fired on British soldiers … Continue reading

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Ready in a Minute

Remember Concord, Massachusetts—April 19, 1775 “The shot heard ’round the world”

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John Wilkes Booth and the Legacy of Reconstruction

How sorely we miss Abraham Lincoln—yet I often wonder whether we realize just how much. A shrewd politician, Lincoln successfully navigated the complicated political waters of Washington for more than four years, somehow cobbling together a coalition to maintain support … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Appomattox (part five)

On the night of April 12, as he made his way back to Richmond after leaving the remnants of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee pitched his camp alongside the road. Today, the spot—along modern route 60 midway … Continue reading

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Appomattox (of a sorts) in Massachusetts

One place I was surprised to find to run into Lee and Grant was in Lowell, Massachusetts. There, their meeting at Appomattox is frozen in time in the main room of the city library, courtesy of artist Paul Philippoteaux, the man … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Appomattox (part four)

The doors of Wilmer McLean’s house stand wide open–front and back–and a bevy of Parks Service volunteers stand ready to funnel the throng through. A Park Service ranger stands in the hallway to ensure no one enacts any mischief in the … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Appomattox (part three)

One of the dearly held tenets of the Lost Cause is that Southerners didn’t lose because they were outfought. Rather, Ulysses S. Grant only won because he had more soldiers and so overwhelmed the Confederates. Isn’t that the point?

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Thoughts on Appomattox (part two)

“It’s a sad day in Civil War history,” my friend Frank said to me yesterday. It was April 9. “Depends on whose side you were on,” I said with the hint of a chuckle—but Frank looked like he was ready … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Appomattox (part one)

One of the images that hangs high over Ulysses S. Grant’s sepulcher is an image of a handshake. It’s an idealized painting of Grant and Lee at Appomattox, sealing their deal. A handshake was a man’s word. It’s the way … Continue reading

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A Tattered Welcome

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