Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

The Evening Smoke and Armchair Generalling After Mine Run

On the evening of December 2, the Army of the Potomac settled back into its camps around Brandy Station and Culpeper, exactly where they’d departed from just a week earlier. The baffling—and frigid—events of the campaign weighed fresh on their … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Emerging Civil War Series | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

From Lee’s Side of Mine Run

The story of Mine Run is generally remembered thus: The Army of the Potomac found themselves facing a strongly fortified Confederate position that was so formidable, George Gordon Meade declined to attack and, instead, retreated back to the far side … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Robinson’s Tavern Today

In 2017, I wrote a post, “The Mine Run Campaign Comes to Locust Grove,” that offered historical and modern views of the former Robinson’s Tavern intersection along modern Route 20. Today, a reader responding to that post expressed disappointment that … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Campaigns | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Deconstructing Meade’s Decision at Mine Run

On the morning of November 30, 1863, Gouverneur K. Warren awoke to a surprise. The evening before, he had positioned nearly half of the Army of the Potomac on the far Confederate right, poised for an attack at 8:00 the … Continue reading

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

Facebook LIVE from Payne’s Farm 155

Today is the 155th anniversary of the battle of Payne’s Farm, the most significant action of the Mine Run Campaign. I had the chance to commemorate the day with the American Battlefield Trust out in the field and on Facebook … Continue reading

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A New Find for New Hope Church

It’s always fun to find new tidbits in the course of research, and while working on my new book about the Mine Run campaign, I found a particularly cool piece that I was excited to share. This image, a watercolor … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Civil War in Pop Culture, Emerging Civil War Series, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

ECW Weekender: Macon County (NC) Historical Museum

When I hear “Macon,” I typically think of Georgia, but there’s a Macon County in the southwestern corner of North Carolina, right along the Georgia border. “It has a rich, well-documented history,” says the Macon County Historical Society, “and unlike … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving 1863: A “vivid contrast” between home and the front

In 1863, Thanksgiving fell on November 26. That morning, as the rest of the country was preparing for roast turkey and fat puddings and homemade pies, the Army of the Potomac, encamped around Brandy Station, Virginia, rumbled to life for … Continue reading

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The Great Battle is Here

I am always excited when a box of new books shows up on my back porch. The UPS deliveryman shows up like Santa Claus and drops off the books. Somehow, he manages to do it without making the dog bark. … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Engaging the Civil War Series | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

A Conversation with Brian Steel Wills about Inglorious Passages (part two)

(part two of two) I’m talking with historian Brian Steel Wills, author of one of my favorite Civil War books from last year, Inglorious Passages: Noncombat Deaths in the American Civil War. Inglorious Passages received the Harwell Award at the … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Civilian, Common Soldier | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments