Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

Clay and Calhoun and Their Really Tall Columns

As they were rivals in life, so, too, it seems, did senators Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun try to outrival each other in death—or at least their supporters did. In 2014, as part of a post I wrote about … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Monuments, Personalities | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Albert Sidney Johnston Stumped at Shiloh

Imagine your job is to go around an unmarked battlefield and mark the places where significant events happened. Yes, you were there at the time of the fight, but of course, things were a bit confusing at the time and … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Monuments, National Park Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

National Medal of Honor Day

Today is National Medal of Honor Day, and if you haven’t seen the American Battlefield Trust’s latest edition of Hallowed Ground, which focuses on the Congressional Medal of Honor, you need to check it out. Thanks to my longtime partner … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Common Soldier, Memory, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Battle of Atlanta Opens (the cyclorama, that is)

After a $35.8 million restoration project that spanned four years, the Atlanta History Center unveiled its Battle of Atlanta cyclorama late last month. In 2017, I had the privilege of getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the restoration project from the … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Events, Civil War in Pop Culture | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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