Chris Mackowski

Mackowski May 2018

Co-Founder of Emerging Civil War Blog

Editor in Chief

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emerging Civil War and the series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, published by Savas Beatie. Chris is a writing professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, where he also serves as associate dean for undergraduate programs. Chris is also historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has worked as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died. Chris has authored or co-authored nearly two dozen books and edited a half-dozen essay collections on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in all the major Civil War magazines. Chris serves as vice president on the board of directors for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, he serves on the advisory board of the Civil War Roundtable Congress and the Brunswick (NC) Civil War Roundtable—the largest in the country—and is a member of the Antietam Institute.


Emerging Civil War Series (author):

Stay and Fight it Out: The Second Day at Gettysburg—Culp’s Hill and the North End of the Battlefield, July 2, 1863. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White and Daniel T. Davis. Savas Beatie. (Spring 2021)

The Great Battle Never Fought: The Mine Run Campaign, Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 1863. Savas Beatie. (November 2018)

Don’t Give an Inch: The Second Day at Gettysburg—from Little Round Top to Cemetery Ridge, July 2, 1863. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White and Daniel T. Davis. Savas Beatie. (May 2016)

Hell Itself: The Battle of the Wilderness, May 4-7, 1864. Savas Beatie. (April 2016)

Grant’s Final Battle: The Story Behind The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. Savas Beatie. (July 2015)

Strike Them a Blow: Battle Along the North Anna River. Savas Beatie. (June 2015)

Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White and Daniel T. Davis. Savas Beatie. (May 2015)

That Furious Struggle: Chancellorsville and the High Tide of the Confederacy, May 1-5, 1863. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. Savas Beatie. (August 2014)

A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, May 8-21, 1864. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. Savas Beatie. (May 2013)

The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson: The Mortal Wounding of the Confederacy’s Greatest Icon—and the Birth of Its Greatest Legend. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. Savas Beatie. (April 2013)

Simply Murder: The Battle of Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. Savas Beatie. (December 2012)

Other Books:

Grant Vs. Lee—Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War. (co-editor) Emerging Civil War 10th Anniversary Series. (Savas Beatie, Spring 2021)

The Great What-Ifs of the American Civil War: Historians Tackle the Conflict’s Most Intriguing Possibilities. (co-editor) (Savas Beatie, January 2022)

Decisions at Fredericksburg: The Fourteen Critical Decisions that Defined the Battle. Command Decisions Series. (University of Tennessee Press, December 2021)

The Summer of ’63: Vicksburg and Tullahoma—Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War. (co-editor) Emerging Civil War 10th Anniversary Series. (Savas Beatie, July 2021)

The Summer of ’63: Gettysburg—Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War. (co-editor) Emerging Civil War 10th Anniversary Series. (Savas Beatie, June 2021).

A Wilderness of Woe: The Battle of the Wilderness. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. (Blue & Gray, September 2020)

Entertaining History: The Civil War in Film, Literature, and Song. (editor) Engaging the Civil War Series. (Southern Illinois University Press, January 2020)

Turning Points of the American Civil War. (co-editor) Engaging the Civil War Series. (Southern Illinois University Press, November 2017)

Seizing Destiny: The Union Army’s “Valley Forge” and the Civil War Winter That Saved America. Co-authored with Albert Z. Conner, Jr. (Savas Beatie, Spring 2016)

Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. (Savas Beatie, May 2013) —finalist for the Army Historical Foundation’s 2013 Distinguished Book Award

Mackowski, Chris. Chancellorsville: Crossroads of Fire. (Thomas Publications, August 2011)—commissioned by the National Park Service

Mackowski, Chris. The Dark, Close Wood: The Wilderness, Ellwood, and the Battle that Redefined Both. (Thomas Publications, March 2010)—commissioned by the National Park Service

The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. (Thomas Publications, July 2009)—commissioned by the National Park Service


“The Vicksburg Question: Why Exactly was Robert E. Lee so Opposed to Sending Help to Mississippi in 1863?” America’s Civil War, September 2021.

“The Ultimate Price: A Common Farmer from Virginia and a Millionaire General from New York Transcended the Horrors of the Wilderness Through Simple Acts of Decency.” Co-authored with Kristopher D. White. America’s Civil War, March 2021.

“The Stonewall Jackson Death Site.” On the Front Line, Winter 2020.

“‘Roadside Attraction’ Jackson: The History of Stonewall Jackson’s Memorialization Around Chancellorsville is Deeply Rooted in Tourism.” Civil War Times, February 2020 (cover story).

“John Griffiths.” (profile of Ulysses S. Grant’s great-great-grandson) On the Front Line, Summer 2019.

“Saving Spotsylvania.” On the Front Line, Winter 2019.

“Certain Death: Day 5.—The battle of the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania.” Hallowed Ground, Winter 2017.

“Stonewall’s Greatest Joy.” Civil War Times, August 2017.

“Explore North Anna: Opportunity Lost.” Civil War Times, April 2017.

“Another Butchery: The Third and Final Union Attack on Spotsylvania’s ‘Bloody Angle’ Accomplished Little Aside from Swelling the Casualty Lists.” Civil War Times, December 2015. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“Burnside’s Bleak Midwinter: The Reluctant General from Rhode Island Nearly Ruined the Army of the Potomac.” America’s Civil War, January 2014 (cover story). Co-authored with Albert Conner, Jr.

“How in the World Did They Shoot Jackson?: It’s difficult now to imagine just what went wrong at Chancellorsville.” America’s Civil War, May 2013 (cover story). Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“Mystery in the Wilderness: The War’s Most Famous Appendage Has a Following All Its Own.” Civil War Times, April 2013 (cover story).

“Before the Slaughter: How the Confederate Delaying Action in the Streets of Fredericksburg Set the Stage for the Bloodbath to Follow.” Hallowed Ground, November 2012. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“Spotsylvania Courthouse, May 13-21, 1864.” Blue & Gray, Spring 2011. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“‘Baptism of Fire’: The First Maine Heavy Artillery at Harris Farm.” Blue & Gray, Spring 2011.

“Second-Guessing Dick Ewell: Why didn’t the Confederate general take Cemetery Hill on July 1, 1863?” Civil War Times, August 2010. (Cover story) Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“The Battle of the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania Courthouse.” Blue & Gray, Summer 2009. (Publication of the article coincided with the 145th anniversary of the battle.) Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“Burnside at Fredericksburg.” Armchair General, Spring 2009. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“Forgotten Casualty: James Longstreet Wounded in the Wilderness.” America’s Civil War, May 2009. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

“The Wilderness Battlefield: A Field Guide.” Civil War Times, April 2009. Co-authored with Kristopher D. White.

Mackowski, Chris and White, Kristopher D. “From Foxcroft to Fredericksburg: Captain Sewell Gray of the 6th Maine Infantry.” Fredericksburg History & Biography, vol.8, Dec. 2008. (refereed)

“War Town.” America in WWII, Oct. 2008. (The article profiles the Eldred, Pa., World War II Museum.)

“Making Music: After twenty seasons, the 2nd South Carolina String Band is still going strong—and still carrying the torch for Civil War campfire jam sessions.” Civil War Historian, Aug. 2008

27 Responses to Chris Mackowski

  1. Mike Assad says:

    Hi Chris,

    I just received the latest edition of “Panther Tracks.” Congratulations on the new book. I would really like to catch up if you are interested.

    Mike Assad

  2. Mike Assad says:

    Sorry, it’s if you didn’t alreay catch the error.

  3. Brian Mackay says:


    I have been anxiously awaiting the release of CHANCELLORSVILLE’S FORGOTTEN FRONT: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church. I saw on Amazon that they are now taking pre-orders for hardback copies. I was wondering if it is possible to purchase an autographed copy directly through you? I have a direct ancestor who fought in the 23rd NJ and was KIA at Salem Church on May 3rd.

    Thanks so much,
    Brian Mackay
    Email: bmackay62 @ (remove spaces)

  4. Dear Chris,
    The Sherman House Museum in Lancaster,Ohio, birthplace of General William T. Sherman is sponsoring a Civil War symposium on September 28 and 29. You have been recommended as a speaker on General Meade. Please, contact me at your earliest opportunity to discuss details.
    Thank you very much!

  5. Steve Usler says:

    Mr. Mackowski,
    You spoke this past week at our Civil War Rountable and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for an outstanding presentation. Your knowlege and enthusiasm made for a wonderful evening.
    Thanks again
    Steve Usler

  6. Barry McGhan says:

    Reviewed your link to photos of flooding in Fredericksburg. They all seemed to have the same description. Were any taken of “Franklin’s Crossing” (aka The Bend)? Can you give me a clue as to who might know the history of flooding at this location?

  7. Steve Powell says:

    I certainly enjoyed your presentation today at Ellwood.

  8. Bob LaPolla says:

    Hoping for emerging civil war books on days 2 and 3 Gettysburg, Wilderness, Dinwiddie Court house and five forks.

  9. Paula Hougen says:

    You made me feel as though I was right there on the battlefield and at the bedside of the dying Stonwall Jackson. Thank you so much.

  10. John Anthony says:

    Hi Chris,
    Just finished “Grant’s Last Battle” following a visit to Mt. McGregor.

    You mention in your excellent account that Grant ultimately received a $20,000 annual pension. It seems, that could not have been calculated in 1885 dollars, which would be nearly $500,000 today. Or was it that much?

    Thank you for hostling my interest in this great man.

    John Anthony, Founder
    Sustainable Freedom Lab

    • His military pension entitled him to $14,500, plus $5,000 for his wife, plus a small pot to take care of his horses, believe it or not. Thanks for the kind words about the book. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m even more glad that you had the chance to visit Mt. McGregor–a truly wonderful spot!

  11. Robert LaPolla says:

    When will “stay and fight it out” and “we gained nothing but glory” be available for purchase?

    I am amazed I always learn something new from these books.

    Have you read RALPH peters fiction ? I really like . I am hoping he writes the final book : five forks to Appomattox . Politically he is ultra right wing wacko

    Bob LaPolla

    • Hi, Bob —

      I saw your comment at the blog and thought I would reach out to you here rather than through the blog itself. I hope you don’t mind.

      We’re currently at work on “Stand and Fight it Out,” with an eye toward a spring release in 2017. We should have “We Gained Nothing but Glory” out sometime during the summer of 2017. At least that’s the plan!

      I’m glad you enjoy the books so much and are looking forward to them. If you haven’t already, please give us a shout-out at Amazon with a review of the books. We’d appreciate it!

      — Chris

      • John Gillette says:

        Hi Chris. Really enjoying your series. The books help greatly with the staff rides that I conduct with Scouts in the local area at Monacacy, Antietam, and Gettysburg. Biggest treat was relaying your history of Robinsons Tavern in the Mine Run campaign to a friend who lived their earlier in her life. Any update in the availability for “We Gained Nothing But Glory?” Looking forward to completing my Gettysburg set.

        John Gillette

  12. Hello there, Chris. This is really a “shot in the dark”, but I have what could be some interesting information for you. I have a newspaper photograph of an ink or pencil drawing of my father’s horse, Sharon’s Highland Rose, sketched sometime in the 1930’s. The artist is R.H. Mackowski. Are you related to him in any way? Who knows, maybe one of your relatives has the original hanging on a wall somewhere. I can’t get the photo on this site but I can send it to you on twitter if you have an account and are related to him… Probably a great, great uncle or grandfather or ???

    • Thanks for the note. Unfortunately, I don’t know of an R. H. Mackowski. I did have a great-uncle who was a commercial artist, Leonard Mackowski, best known for creating “Wooly Willie.” He would’ve been a teenager in the 30s. I do appreciate you thinking of me and reaching out about it, though. If you’d care to still share, you can reach me here through the site at Thanks!

  13. Jim Griffin says:

    are you the Author of a book which included the battles of Fredericksburg, spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor in the Last several years?
    The research librarian was unable to find a book whose titles included those battles.
    The reason for contacting you was after Google search for civil war novels published in the last few years that your site came up and looks the most promising; the other fragment that I could recall was that the last game of the author was Polish.
    If you are the author please let me know what the exact title of your book is so that I can obtain a copy. if you’re not the author do you know who might be and what the correct title is for that book?

  14. Hank J says:

    Great Series – Watched all day 8/5/17 – One mention – a Googul is a 1 with 100 zeros after it not a million

  15. Dr. Mackowski, For my Civil War Capstone class, I’m searching for an essay or article regarding the topic of why America fought a war to end slavery when other western nations accomplished emancipation without war. I’m have begun the course by reviewing many different interpretations of the cause(s) of the war. Thank you.


    • Bob LaPolla says:

      Dear David: that question is rather easy to answer. The economy of the south was completely dependent on cheap (free) labor to subsidize a totally agrarian economy. without slavery , the elite southern aristocracy (plantation owners) could not maintain their property and elite lifestyles. Now you may ask, why did poor whites who did not own slaves support the confederacy and fight for the south at such a tremendous cost to lives and property? I believe they were brain washed by the southern elites who put the subject to them as a matter of states rights. Loyalty to states particularly in the south surpassed loyaty to the union. Robert E. Lee is the classic example. Even though hillbilly crackers from the south did not own slaves or significant property, they feared losing what little they had to Northern occupation and control. Add to that a healthy dose of racism, paranoia, firebreathing secessionist fanatics, particularly in South Carolina the first state to secede, and you have your confederacy. You can see this mindset to this day in red states that vote republican and support Trumpism instead of progressive democratic policies which would be better for them economically.

  16. John Maginn says:

    Hello Chris, sorry I missed you in Geneseo, saw your post on YouTube. We have a condo there, but spend most of our time at our home in Charleston. Nice work on General Wadsworth! A local author, Dr. Wayne Mahood (retired SUNY Geneseo), wrote a delightful book about the General. When I’m in Geneseo, I try to keep the Wadsworth plot from being overgrown. I was very disappointed to see that the General’s monument had been vandalized. Perhaps, someone’s conscience will bother them and return the stolen pieces. I am acquainted with several of the family and have seem some extraordinary family artifacts. The family does not seem to have an overriding interest. Drop me a note if you’re in the area again. I’m a tour guide at the H.L. Hunley here in Charleston, sure is a great place for a Civil War fan!

  17. Bruce Kirchner says:

    I want to thank you for writing “The Great Battle Never Fought”. There just arent that many books that both describe the Mine Run Campaign, as well as provide an excellent driving tour.

  18. Dave Deatherage says:

    Hello Chris,

    I have ancestors who fought with the 50th Virginia Infantry at Saunders Field, Wilderness; they were cousins of my great grandfather. One, Joseph H. Pickle of Co. D, was the regimental color bearer and was killed when the regiment was over run and the flag captured on May 5, 1864. I’m pretty sure that Joseph was buried on the battlefield where he fell – there is no grave for him that I have found.

    The 50th Virginia was deployed on the southern flank of Jones’ Brigade, south of the turnpike when they were overrun and were forced westward – some accounts say as as far as 1/2 mile – before supporting Confederate regiments repelled the Union attackers and returned their line of battle back to their initial position on the western edge of Saunders Field. Memoirs and letters of Confederate veterans of the battle indicate that they were able to recover and bury fellow soldiers who had been killed during the initial attack.

    Most of the area of the initial Confederate retreat is west of the NPS battlefield boundary an is privately owned. I have visited the battlefield twice and have explored the area of the retreat as far as the park boundary. There are period maps that indicate a farm road that existed approximately 100 – 200 yards west of the Confederate battleworks in this area – of course, now any road or trail that may have existed during the battle is pretty well overgrown and consumed within the modern forest. I suspect that Confederate General John M. Jones was killed on or near this road.

    Do you know if there are any archeological surveys or studies of this area, south of the turnpike and west of Saunders field?

  19. Thomas Labayewski says:

    Hello Chris,

    Been a long time fan of the site and your works. For some reason it never clicked with me that you are at St. Bonaventure until I walked around a corner in the Jandoli Center yesterday and came across a display case of your works. It was my daughters third trip to the campus and my first. My wife had to pull me away so we could keep up with the tour.

    After the Scholars dinner we made her deposit for the fall semester to study broadcast journalism at the Jandoli School of Communication.


    Tom Labayewski

  20. Vickie Burns says:

    Today I completed The Dark Close Wood and I was so happy I was given a copy at a recent FOWB event. My ancestors are the Chewnings of Mount View, Widow Tapp of Widow Tapp’s field, and Dempseys who lived and worked at Ellwood. I saw a couple sentences in this book that I am curious about. I would love to trace sources you might have found. I attempted to prove Absolam Chewning worked at the behest of the Confederacy but could never trace proof. You mention him serving 7 days then his job at Catherine’s Furnance. Can you tell me where to look to confirm this? You mentioned a quote from his granddaughter. Was that Mildred Jones? Have you done other books on the Wilderbess, Spotsylvania or Chancellorsville that mention the Chewnings, Dempseys, Ellwood or Widow Tapp? Thank you so much for this book and I hope to hear from you.

  21. Bob Coté says:


    Thank you for your fantastic presentation last night at the Houston Civil War Round Table. Having read a number of your books, watched countless YouTube videos, and listened to hours of podcasts, your in person event definitely tops them all.

    Folks, if you ever have the opportunity to see Chris in person, do not pass it up.

    Thanks again for all you do and hope to see you on the battlefield!

    Bob Coté

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