Chris Mackowski: Revisiting the North Anna River


battle-editedSo, I’m speaking at the Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge in August, where we’re focusing on “Great Defenses of the Civil War,” and my topic is the Confederate defense along the North Anna River. I’m supposed to come up with a blog post that somehow relates to my talk as a way to tease it. That, in turn, will hopefully inspire some of our readers to buy their tickets. That’s the theory, anyway.

I’ve been wracking and wracking my brain, trying to come up with something, but you see, I’ve already written quite a bit about the North Anna phase of the Overland Campaign.

(I present this annotated list in chronological order because newer readers might not be familiar with older posts from the ECW archives)

The Trenches of North Anna (Sept. 10, 2012)—photo

No NPS? No Problem!—North Anna Battlefield Park (October 8, 2013)—part of a series ECW ran to feature non-NPS Civil War sites during a government shutdown that closed national parks

The Trenches at North Anna (May 24, 2013)—photo

The Race to North Anna Begins (May 20, 2014)—the beginning of our Sesquicentennial coverage of the North Anna phase of the Overland Campaign

On the Road to Guiney Station (May 21, 2014)—Sesquicentennial coverage

The Race to North Anna, 150 years ago (May 22, 2014)—Sesquicentennial coverage

Lee’s Ill-Timed Rest (May 23, 2014)—Sesquicentennial coverage

Lee’s Inverted-V Salient (May 23, 2014)—Sesquicentennial coverage (Hey! The “great defense” of my upcoming symposium talk!)

A Run Along North Anna (May 24, 2014)—A first-person personal essay about an evening jog along the North Anna park trail

Gordon Rhea’s “To the North Anna River”—History Writing at Its Best (May 24, 2014)—book review of one of the best microtactical studies ever written

Saving Jericho Mills at the North Anna River (June 12, 2014)—news about the Civil War Trust’s major preservation effort at North Anna

Lee’s Curious Order at North Anna (March 17, 2015)—Lee’s position at North Anna hinged on Richard Anderson’s corps–so why did Lee order Anderson to be ready to move on a moment’s notice?

Exploring Jericho Mill (February 10, 2015)—exploring the Civil War Trust’s acquisition at North Anna

Grant: “I should change Spotts if I was able, and could improve N. Anna and Cold Harbor.” (June 5, 2015)—Dying as he wrote his memoirs, Grant admitted he wished he had more time to write about North Anna and Cold Harbor

Among the Ruins at Jericho Mill (July 16, 2015)—exploring the Civil War Trust’s acquisition at North Anna

Thomas Nast from the North Anna River: “On to Richmond” (May 24, 2016)—the story behind the most famous illustration from the North Anna phase of the Overland Campaign (see image, above)

The North Anna River, Today (May 24, 2016)—on the anniversary of the battle

A Word on Behalf of Preservation from the Banks of the North Anna (May 27, 2016)—preservation news

A(nother) Word on Behalf of Preservation from the Banks of the North Anna River (February 11, 2017)—more preservation news

The Turnabout at North Anna (May 24, 2017)—reflecting on the effects of Lee’s defense

*     *     *

Certainly there’s some good stuff in there about Lee’s “Great Defense” along the North Anna, I promise. So, please, take some time and explore this most-overlooked phase of the Overland Campaign. And please, I hope you’ll buy a ticket to the Symposium. It promises to be a fun time with a great line-up of speakers. We’d love to see you there!

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