Author Archives: Chris Mackowski

A Conversation with Dave Ruth, Richmond’s Retiring Superintendent (part two)

(part two of five) After a 44-year career with the National Park Service, Dave Ruth, superintendent at Richmond National Battlefield, retired at the beginning of this week. Dave spent the last twenty-six years of his career at Richmond, and during … Continue reading

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A Conversation with Dave Ruth, Richmond’s Retiring Superintendent (part one)

(part one of five) I recently heard Dave Ruth described as “the last of the great, old-guard superintendents.” For more than thirty years, Dave has made Richmond National Battlefield his life’s work, overseeing the park’s growth from 754 acres to … Continue reading

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Boughs of Holly

In May of 1863, thick and prickly holly bushes were just one of a dozen kinds of hostile flora the soldiers had to contend with as they tried to maneuver and fight their way across the Chancellorsville battlefield. Tonight, though, … Continue reading

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The Unexpected Turn

In my conclusion to Turning Points of the American Civil War, I suggest that Lincoln’s assassination was perhaps a turning point of the war rather than just a tragic coda that followed the surrender at Appomattox. In his outstanding book … Continue reading

Posted in Lincoln, Reconstruction, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Last Photos from Fredericksburg’s 155th

Before we get too far away from the anniversary of the battle of Fredericksburg, I just want to pass along a few pictures I took along the way yesterday during ECW’s Facebook LIVE event with the Civil War Trust and … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Civil War Events, Emerging Civil War, National Park Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

At the Heart of North Anna Battlefield

The Civil War Trust announced this week an opportunity to preserve 126 acres of the North Anna Battlefield, including the key site of the historic Fox House. U.S. 1 South descends in a smooth, straight line from the north bank … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Preservation | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Lee and Guerrilla Warfare

Two days before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, a council of officers in what was left of the bedraggled Army of Northern Virginia hashed out three possible options for Robert E. Lee to consider. General John Brown Gordon, who was not … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Question of Hood and the Army of Tennessee: “Far Better” or “Far Better?”

“Punctuation acts as signposts to help your reader understand how to read your writing,” I tell my students. Many of the first-year writers I teach are still coming to grips with just how important good punctuation is—and how subtle and … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Campaigns, Engaging the Civil War Series, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

On the Way to Franklin

A footpath parallels the road that leads to Carnton Plantation on the Franklin Battlefield. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the battle: November 30, 1864.

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Photography | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Mine Run Campaign Comes to Locust Grove

Perhaps it’s because Mine Run was, in the words of one Federal, “the great battle never fought” that so few images exist from the campaign. There was a lot of marching and moving and a fair amount of skirmishing—and participants … Continue reading

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