Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

A Walk Around the Fox House at North Anna

On this date, May 24, in 1864, Ulysses S. Grant rudely interrupted an afternoon glass of buttermilk Robert E. Lee was enjoying on the porch of the Fox house, just south of the North Anna River. By the end of … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Campaigns, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Looking for the Battle of Front Royal

On May 23, 1862, Stonewall Jackson swept down from the Shenandoah Valley’s Massanutten Mountain into the shocked Federal garrison in Front Royal commanded by Col. John Reese Kenly. Jackson, with more than 3,000 men, overwhelmed Kenly, with about 1,000 men, … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Civil War Trails | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Missed Opportunities in the Race to the North Anna

On the evening of May 20, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant sent Winfield Scott Hancock’s II Corps south from Spotsylvania Court House to Massaponnax Church, with orders to march onward toward Bowling Green, Milford Station, and—if Hancock thought he could make … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BookChat with Mark Flotow, editor of In Their Letters, in Their Words

I was pleased to spend some time recently with a new book by historian Mark Flotow. Mr. Flotow is the editor of In Their Letters, in Their Words: Illinois Civil War Soldiers Write Home, a new release from Southern Illinois University … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Capture—and Preservation—of Myer’s Hill

May 14 is the anniversary of the 1864 fight for Myer’s Hill during the battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Ulysses S. Grant planned for a massive assault against the Confederate right flank there, but poor roads delayed the movement of … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Preservation, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Honoring Uncle John

I can’t let today pass without a tip of my hat to “Uncle John” Sedgwick, killed on this day in 1864 at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Memory, Monuments | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Battle of McDowell

I can hardly imagine the boom of cannons echoing off the mountains. Stonewall Jackson had perched atop the peaks southeast of town and dared Federal forces under Robert Milroy to attack him. Milroy, fanned across the valley below, gave it … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Emerging Civil War, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Video Tour of Longstreet’s Wounding

Today, May 6, was the anniversary of James Longstreet’s accidental wounding—at the hands of his own men—during the battle of the Wilderness. I took the time today to walk the ground. Join me in this video tour from the ECW … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Leadership--Confederate, YouTube | 15 Comments

The Battle of Bank’s Ford and a Preview of Gettysburg

May 4, 1863, might have been one of the most frustrating days of the war for Robert E. Lee—no small bar considering some of his other frustrating days. But with the Federal Sixth Corps pinned against the Rappahannock River after … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Video Tour of Jackson’s Flank March

I had initially planned to hike the route of Jackson’s flank march today (May 2) to commemorate its 157th anniversary. I ended up taking my camera instead so that I could–at least virtually–take you on the flank march route with … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, National Park Service, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments