Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

These Men I Feel I Know, a Little, at Ox Ford

To the west, the sounds of industry clank and crunch through the forest. The insistent warning of a backing-up truck beep-beep-beeps in discordant competition. The gravel pit, nestled up to the edge of North Anna Battlefield Park, does not rest … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Civil War in Pop Culture, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Fox House at the North Anna River

On May 23, 1864–155 years ago today–Robert E. Lee sat on the porch of Rev. Thomas Fox’s home, drinking a glass of buttermilk, when Federals appeared on the north bank of the North Anna River a half a mile to … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Civilian, Emerging Civil War, Preservation | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

From Spotsylvania’s Eastern Front

155 years ago this evening, Ulysses S. Grant began his withdrawal from Spotsylvania Court House, swinging once more around Lee’s right flank, moving south. To recap the anniversary of the two-week battle, I want to share a project I did … Continue reading

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A Word on Behalf of Myer’s Hill on the 155th Anniversary

Happy “Myer’s Hill Day!” Today, May 14, was the anniversary of action 155 years ago at Spotsylvania Court House on the southeast edge of the battlefield. The highest ground in the area, Myer’s Hill became the scene of back-and-forth fighting. … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Golden Spike National Historic Site

Ulysses S. Grant loved railroads. They helped him win the Civil War, after all. (See ECW’s 2018 series on railroads for more on that.) During his post-presidency, he involved himself in a number of railroad projects (including one that brought … Continue reading

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Black Bess (Re-)Visited

Last week, Steve Davis shared with us the story of “Black Bess,” John Hunt Morgan’s mare that was turned, by a sculptor’s whim, into a stallion. Because of Steve’s post, I decided to seek out the Morgan statue in Lexington, Kentucky, … Continue reading

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U.S. Grant’s Birthplace (Happy Birthday, Gen. Grant!)

Maybe he’s lonely, and that’s why it looks like he’s crying. The green patina on the bronze plaque has streaked with age and rain, creating what looks like tears on Ulysses S. Grant’s right cheek. I’ve known Grant to cry … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places | 12 Comments

Clay and Calhoun and Their Really Tall Columns

As they were rivals in life, so, too, it seems, did senators Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun try to outrival each other in death—or at least their supporters did. In 2014, as part of a post I wrote about … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Monuments, Personalities | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Albert Sidney Johnston Stumped at Shiloh

Imagine your job is to go around an unmarked battlefield and mark the places where significant events happened. Yes, you were there at the time of the fight, but of course, things were a bit confusing at the time and … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Monuments, National Park Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

National Medal of Honor Day

Today is National Medal of Honor Day, and if you haven’t seen the American Battlefield Trust’s latest edition of Hallowed Ground, which focuses on the Congressional Medal of Honor, you need to check it out. Thanks to my longtime partner … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Common Soldier, Memory, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments