Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

A Visit to the Site of the Final Surrender

To reach the site of the last Confederate surrender, I first have to cross a cemetery. Along the back wall, three brick stairs offer access to a gravel pathway that leads off into the woods and the 35-acre Doaksville archaeological … Continue reading

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The Train to Mt. McGregor

It was a sweltering day 134 years ago on June 16, 1885. The mercury teased the 100-degree mark, and for Ulysses S. Grant, the heat flowing back from the locomotive only made it worse. Add to that the storm of … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Totopotomoy Creek

It’s the 155th anniversary of the fighting along Totopotomoy Creek, which opened the action at Cold Harbor during Grants 1864 Overland Campaign. Richmond National Battlefield has administered the site since 2006, and it is definitely a gem worth visiting. Aside … Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Hodge on Horwitz

“If there’s one book I’ve wished I’d written, it’s Confederates in the Attic,” I said in a 2012 post about the iconic book. It’s not only well written and well researched, but it’s an outstanding example of immersive journalism by a … Continue reading

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These Men I Feel I Know, a Little, at Ox Ford

To the west, the sounds of industry clank and crunch through the forest. The insistent warning of a backing-up truck beep-beep-beeps in discordant competition. The gravel pit, nestled up to the edge of North Anna Battlefield Park, does not rest … Continue reading

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The Fox House at the North Anna River

On May 23, 1864–155 years ago today–Robert E. Lee sat on the porch of Rev. Thomas Fox’s home, drinking a glass of buttermilk, when Federals appeared on the north bank of the North Anna River a half a mile to … Continue reading

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From Spotsylvania’s Eastern Front

155 years ago this evening, Ulysses S. Grant began his withdrawal from Spotsylvania Court House, swinging once more around Lee’s right flank, moving south. To recap the anniversary of the two-week battle, I want to share a project I did … Continue reading

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A Word on Behalf of Myer’s Hill on the 155th Anniversary

Happy “Myer’s Hill Day!” Today, May 14, was the anniversary of action 155 years ago at Spotsylvania Court House on the southeast edge of the battlefield. The highest ground in the area, Myer’s Hill became the scene of back-and-forth fighting. … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Golden Spike National Historic Site

Ulysses S. Grant loved railroads. They helped him win the Civil War, after all. (See ECW’s 2018 series on railroads for more on that.) During his post-presidency, he involved himself in a number of railroad projects (including one that brought … Continue reading

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Black Bess (Re-)Visited

Last week, Steve Davis shared with us the story of “Black Bess,” John Hunt Morgan’s mare that was turned, by a sculptor’s whim, into a stallion. Because of Steve’s post, I decided to seek out the Morgan statue in Lexington, Kentucky, … Continue reading

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