Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

On the Battlefield, Among the Dead and Dying, We Get to Know Each Other Better

Following the May 14, 1863, battle of Jackson, Mississippi, Private Osborn H. Oldroyd of the 20th Ohio had the chance to walk across the battlefield. His unit, part of Maj. Gen. John Logan’s division, did not get into the day’s … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Secession of Mississippi

January 9, 2020, is the 160th anniversary of the secession of Mississippi Named for war hero Andrew Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi, was founded in 1821 at the intersection of the Natchez Trace and the Pearl River. Jackson himself had come through … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Antebellum South, Economics, Politics, Primary Sources, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Confederate Flag and the Assault on the Capitol

How does one process the image of a Confederate battle flag in the United States Capitol? “Trump did what Lee, Jackson, and Davis couldn’t in four years,” a colleague texted me as the first images of insurrectionists started appearing on … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Sieges, Ties to the War, War of 1812 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

BookChat with Timothy B. Smith, author of The Union Assaults on Vicksburg

I was pleased to spend some time recently with the most recent book by historian Timothy B. Smith, The Union Assaults on Vicksburg: Grant Attacks Pemberton, May 17-22, 1863, published by the University Press of Kansas (find out more about … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What We’ve Learned: Pondering Usable History

If but for a missing license plate, state police might not have caught Timothy McVeigh, or at least not soon after the crime. At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Lincoln, Memory, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Loss of the USS Monitor

It was on this date, December 31, 1862, at 1:30 a.m.—in the earliest hours of New Year’s Eve—that the USS Monitor went down in rough seas off Cape Hatteras. Sixteen men aboard lost their lives. Forty-seven men, including Captain John … Continue reading

Posted in Monuments, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“You can do a great deal in eight days”: Ulysses S. Grant’s Forgotten Turning Point (part two)

Part two of two With an escort of twenty cavalrymen, Ulysses S. Grant rode on the evening of May 3, 1863, into the newly captured town Grand Gulf, Mississippi. He passed the now-abandoned Confederate forts, Cobun and Wade, and made … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

“You can do a great deal in eight days”: Ulysses S. Grant’s Forgotten Turning Point (part one)

Part one of two Ulysses S. Grant had envisioned his arrival in Grand Gulf, Mississippi, under other circumstances. A week earlier, he had targeted the landing as the ideal spot to cross his army from the west bank of the … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Deer Discovery Atop Marye’s Heights

Every so often, I am reminded in the most delightful of ways that the battlefields we love are not just historic sites but habitats. The other day, my 3.5-year-old son Maxwell and I were walking along the top of Marye’s … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Preservation “Miracle” at Stones River

It’s been a big week for the American Battlefield Trust. A few days ago, we told you about a major initiative they’re launching to preserve the core of the Gaines’s Mill and Cold Harbor battlefields. They also announced this week … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Preservation, Year in Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments