Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

CW & Pop Culture: Our Last Chapter (for now)

We all have that first movie, that first book, that took us back in time to the 1860s. We’ve all had an earworm carry us back to yesteryear. I bet we all have a Ken Burns story. We all know … Continue reading

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On The March with E. L. Doctorow

Take a look for a moment at the opening sentence of E. L. Doctorow’s The March: At five in the morning, someone banging on the door and shouting, her husband, John, leaping out of bed, grabbing his rifle, and Roscoe … Continue reading

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Jim Lehrer’s Certain Rest

When my twelve-year-old daughter asked Jim Lehrer to sign a copy of his novel No Certain Rest for her, he cast a quick glance at me, then offered her kind smile. “Did you really read it?” he asked. I suspected … Continue reading

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CW & Pop Culture: Superman in the Civil War

On May 22, 1863, Ulysses S. Grant prepared for his second assault against Vicksburg. “I fear that this shall be a long and bloody campaign,” Grant fretted in his diary. Among the troops moving into position, a regiment of Kansas … Continue reading

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BookChat with Thomas Brown, author of Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America

I was pleased to spend some time recently with a new book by historian Thomas J. Brown, professor of history at the University of South Carolina. Brown is the author of Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America, published … Continue reading

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Birthplace of Stonewall Jackson

On this date, January 21, 1824, Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born in what was then Clarksburg, Virginia. Nothing of Jackson’s original home remains except for a plaque on the front of a building that now stands in the home’s former … Continue reading

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Reading and Re-Reading Some Civil War Fiction

I recently reviewed Ralph Peters’ newest Civil War novel, Darkness at Chancellorsville, for Civil War Monitor (you can read that review here). It was an enjoyable read by an author with a gift for capturing the essence of a character … Continue reading

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Cold Furnace

It snowed today in central Virginia, so I took a few minutes away from my desk to enjoy some time on the Chancellorsville battlefield. What a beautiful day!

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Sam Watkins on the Romney Campaign

While Sam Watkins is best known as one of the most readable chroniclers of the war in the Western Theater, most folks forget his unit served with Stonewall Jackson during the last months of 1861 and into 1862. In the … Continue reading

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The New Year, 1863 and 1865

“A new year dawns…” wrote John Haley, a private in the 17th Maine, on January 1, 1865: Hope and fear mingle—hope the war will soon end; fear that however soon it ends, I might not live to see it. These … Continue reading

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