Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

Mr. Jefferson’s library: “a necessity of life”

Part three in a four-part series “I cannot live without books,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams in June of 1815. The former president had just packed his personal library—some 6,700 volumes—into a wagon train and shipped it north to … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: The First White House of the Confederacy

While the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond has been swallowed up by Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical complex, the First White House of the Confederacy enjoys a prominent spot on a corner right across from the Alabama State Capitol … Continue reading

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Jefferson: The Man Who Moved Mountains

The second in a four-part series He leveled the top of the mountain with gunpowder. He began the project in 1768, when he was twenty-five. He had his slaves literally sheer off the tip of the mountaintop, peeling away soil … Continue reading

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Question of the Week: June 8, 2014

At Shiloh, Albert Sidney Johnston put himself in harm’s way trying to redeem a reputation bruised by the fall of forts Henry and Donelson two month’s earlier. Because he put himself in a position no general of his rank should … Continue reading

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Grant: “I should change Spotts if I was able, and could improve N. Anna and Cold Harbor.”

Cold Harbor remains a central lynchpin in anti-Grant mythology and a fascinating story in its own right. On June 3, 1864, alone, Grant lost nearly 4,000 men in a half an hour as the result of a single fruitless charge. … Continue reading

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Day Six (sort of): Home Again, Home Again

Postscript to a series The last battlefields we visit on our six-day marathon are our own. The nine-hour trek from Franklin to home has been stretched out by a brief stop at Stones River, then downpours outside of Knoxville, then … Continue reading

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Day Five: Franklin

Part thirteen in a series The losses at Franklin are the stuff of legend: six thousand-plus Confederate casualties, plus six dead Confederate generals. John Bell Hood threw the 30-thousand men of the Army of Tennessee against Federal fortifications, winning the battle … Continue reading

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Day Five: Shiloh

Part twelve in a series The swhrrrr of cicadas rises and falls like the heartbeat of the battlefield. I stand on the edge of Shiloh’s peach orchard, gazing through the trees at nothing in particular in the far distance. There’s … Continue reading

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Day Four: The Stream of American History

Part eleven in a series Because Dan is working on a book about Corinth, for the Emerging Civil War Series, the town is a “must” on our tour. While I’ll help him grab some photos for the book, my main … Continue reading

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Day Four: Corinth

Part ten in a series “What is it you like about Corinth?” I ask Dan. We’re stopping at the little Mississippi town in the northeast corner of the state so Dan can get some pictures. He’s been at work on … Continue reading

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