Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

Meade’s Account of Mine Run

One of my favorite pieces of correspondence from the war is a Dec. 2, 2863, letter that George Gordon Meade wrote to his wife in the wake of the Mine Run campaign. The commander of the Army of the Potomac, … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal, Newspapers, Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A True “Legend” that “Perfectly Describes the Character of the Army of the Potomac”

On the morning of November 30, 1863, as the Army of the Potomac prepared to assault the Confederate position west of Mine Run, the men in the ranks understood the grim task laid before them. “After leaving the wood the … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: The Virginiana Collection at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library

Usually, our ECW Weekenders profile battlefields and historic sites to visit. This weekend, I want to share word about a groovy little spot to do some research. This past week, I had the opportunity to our through some of the … Continue reading

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Meade After Mine Run on Grant After Chattanooga

Just before the Army of the Potomac set out for what would be the Mine Run campaign in late November 1863, word reached the men of the Union victory at Chattanooga. Between Nov. 23-25, the Federal armies of the Tennessee and … Continue reading

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Review: Jeff Shaara’s The Smoke at Dawn

When I originally heard that Jeff Shaara was writing a trilogy of books about the Western Theater, but that he intended to cover only Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Sherman’s March to the Sea, I was a bit put out that he … Continue reading

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The Sutler, the Mainers, and the Pickpockets of the 13th Mass.

On November 23, 1863—the day before Thanksgiving—the members of the 13th Massachusetts Volunteers, encamped near Brandy Station, Virginia, received a much-welcome pre-holiday visitor. “This was a great day,” wrote regimental historian Charles E. Davis, Jr.:

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Happy 100th Birthday, Shelby Foote

Shelby Foote would have been 100 years old today. Born in Greenville, Mississippi, on November 17, 1916, he died on June 28, 2005 at the age of 88 from a heart attack following a pulmonary embolism. Foote was best known … Continue reading

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Swelling the Ranks for Review

In mid-November 16, 1863, with Army of the Potomac commander George Meade in Washington to consultation with the president and War Department, it fell to VI Corps commander Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick to serve as the army’s temporary commander as it … Continue reading

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Shelby Foote as the Angel of Death

I’ve been doing some research lately on Shelby Foote and his work on The Civil War: A Narrative. In his correspondence with his friend and fellow writer Walker Percy, Foote provided ongoing updates about his progress on the work, which … Continue reading

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A Reminder at the Polls

At my polling place in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, this morning, the line stretched long out the door of Wilderness Elementary School, wrapping along the edge of the traffic circle. At 6:45 a.m., the temperature was just rising past thirty degrees. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Ties to the War, USCT | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment