Dr. Chris Mackowski '91, an author and Civil War historian, will present a program on the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse at 7 p.m. Feb. 23.
The talk, which is being sponsored by the Friends of Hanley Library, will take place in Rice Auditorium in Fisher Hall. It is free and open to the public.
The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse took place in Virginia from May 8-21 in 1864 and was part of Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign. The goal of the Overland Campaign was for the Union armies to come between the armies of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the city of Richmond.
Although the battle ended with no conclusive winner, the number of casualties was staggering, with the two sides fighting in hand-to-hand combat inside Confederate entrenchments. The worst of the bloodshed occurred at an exposed portion of the line Confederates dubbed the “Mule Shoe” and a nearby curve that came to be known as the “Bloody Angle” where bodies piled up five deep in a driving rainstorm.
Mackowski's talk is based on “A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, May 8-21, 1864,” a book he co-authored with Kristopher White.
Mackowski is a professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University. He is the editor-in-chief of Emerging Civil War and managing editor of the Emerging Civil War Series, for which he has co-authored eight books along with editing five more.
He is also historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours of four major battlefields as well as the building where Confederate general Stonewall Jackson died.