Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

Let Us Die Like Men Now Available

In the fall of 2013, after finishing up Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, Lee White asked about working on a second book. He had a lifelong fascination with the battle of Franklin, he told me. While … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War Series | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The ORs and the Growth of Bureaucracy

Dan Welch’s post yesterday about the history of the Official Records reminded me of an observation I made a few weeks ago while reshuffling my books. The ORs embody the evolution of record-keeping over the course of the war (or, … Continue reading

Posted in Primary Sources | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Primary Sources: Slavery as the Cause of the Civil War

Last week, I had someone challenge me on Facebook about the cause of the Civil War. Because slavery wasn’t a cause of the war, he said, the point I was trying to make was moot. “It wasn’t *a* cause of … Continue reading

Posted in Primary Sources, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

A Visit with Stonewall Jackson on his Birthday

It’s 21 degrees in Lexington, Virginia—a cold morning for a cemetery visit. It’s Stonewall Jackson‘s birthday, though, and I’m passing through town on my way to St. Louis, Missouri, for a talk later this week. (I’ll pass through Lexington, KY, … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Personalities | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

ECW Hats: The Perfect Stocking Stuffer

It’s common at this time of year to say “Such-and-Such makes the perfect stocking stuffer!” For instance, “A ticket to the Sixth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge makes the perfect stocking stuffer!” You see the phrase everywhere. … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | Tagged , | 3 Comments

A New View of the Battle of Fredericksburg

While most visitors to the Fredericksburg battlefield think of the Stone Wall and Sunken Road, or perhaps more recently of the Slaughter Pen Farm saved by the American Battlefields Trust, there’s another feature on the battlefield that’s nearly as familiar … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, National Park Service | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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