Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

Copperhead: A Case Study in Bad Marketing

Ron Maxwell has his fans and he has his detractors—but what he really needs is a good marketing department. Case in point: I recently ordered a copy of his movie from Copperhead from Amazon.com. At $5, it was hard to … Continue reading

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Jefferson: Self-governance and “the field of knowledge”

The final part in a four-part series “The field of knowledge,” said Thomas Jefferson, “is the common prosperity of all mankind.” Jefferson’s words are inscribed in big bold letters in the entryway of Monticello’s visitor center. They’re written in architectural … Continue reading

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A Few Notes on Grant’s Last Battle

Part two of two comes from my “author’s note” in Grant’s Last Battle: The Story Behind The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. As kids, my brother and I had a poster of the presidents on the closet door in our … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War Series, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

8:08 a.m.

The clock at Grant Cottage still reads 8:08—the time of Ulysses S. Grant’s death on the morning of July 23, 1885.

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On Writing Grant’s Last Battle

Part one of two In the fall of 2012, I had the opportunity to speak to the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table in Fredericksburg, Virginia, about Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs. Grant’s work to write them was literally a race … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: The Gettysburg Cyclorama

Having worked so much at the Wilderness, I don’t buy into that whole “Gettysburg as the turning point of the Civil War” nonsense. Aside from that premise, though, there’s little negative to say about Chris Brenneman and Sue Boardman’s stunning … Continue reading

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Confederate Culture Wars: On the Lighter Side

The Virginia Department of Nature announced today that the Confederate battle flag will be removed from all trees and bushes in the Commonwealth. The battle flag on a tree could suggest that the tree is descended from a tree planted … Continue reading

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Question of the Day

Should a slave-holding Southerner in rebellion against his country and in support of a government that supports slavery be held up as a model of admiration?

Posted in Memory | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

Confederate Culture Wars at the National Cathedral: Chris Mackowski

In 1953, when the United Daughters of the Confederacy finally had the money to install stained glass windows of Lee and Jackson at the National Cathedral, the cathedral was delighted to take their money.

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Among the Ruins at Jericho Mill

As a volunteer at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, I had the privilege this week  to join an NPS site visit to Jericho Mills on the North Anna battlefield. The property still belongs to the Civil War Trust, although it will eventually be … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Preservation | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments