The Front Line

  • The Death of Roger B. TaneyRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/13/2014 Author: Jonathan W. White | 

    The death of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a name almost as indelibly tied to the Dred Scott decision as Scott's own, was met with various reactions both North and South when it happened 150 years ago on October 12, 1864.

  • Terry's Texas RangersRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 7/21/2014 Author: Kate Dawson | 

    Terry's Texas Rangers went into the Civil War with a reputation they had not earned, but left it with one that lingers to this day.

  • Sneak Peek | Lincoln ConsideredRead More

    Category: enews Posted: 6/30/2014 Author: Jason Emerson | 

    As a special thank you for being an eNews subscriber, we wanted to give you an exclusive sneak peak into the Spring 2013 issue. In this issue, our feature article is entitled, "Lincoln Considered"---a five-part series on Spielberg's feature film. Below is Jason Emerson's take on the film and Sally Field's portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln.

  • Inside the Photographer's StudioRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 6/30/2014 Author: Jonathan W. White and Hailey House | 

    Historians and students of Civil War photography get only rare glimpses inside the photographer's studio, but a few trial transcripts from the National Archives reveal more than what the camera caught.

  • Sneak Peak | Ron Maxwell QARead More

    Category: enews Posted: 6/26/2014 Author: Ron Maxwell | 

    As a special "thank you" to our eNews subscribers, we offer you this first look at our Q&A with Ron Maxwell, director of Gettysburg. Here, Maxwell tells how Gettysburg almost didn't get made and why he thinks the film is so enduring.

  • Summer Dessert RecipesRead More

    Category: enews Posted: 6/26/2014 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    From the pages of Godey's Lady's Book to your table... recipes for rhubarb fool, salade d'orange, and lemon pie

  • Hunter Davidson and the "Squib"Read More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 6/9/2014 Author: John Grady | 

    As a graduate of and former instructor at the US Naval Academy, Confederate Lieutenant Hunter Davidson understood the Union Navy, as well as how submersible vessels and spar torpedoes could be used to exploit its weaknesses.

  • The First Civil War MonumentRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 5/26/2014 Author: Jonathan W. White | 

    In 1861, the town of Hatboro, Pennsylvania, dedicated a monument to the soldiers of the Revolutionary War while acknowledging the patriotism of Union troops engaged in a new conflict.

  • What Should Historians Make of "Black Confederates?"Read More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 5/5/2014 Author: Glenn Brasher | 

    The stories on which Confederate apologists draw to verify the existence of "Black Confederates" were created by northern emancipationists for a very different goal.

  • The Death of Jim Jackson and the Oxymoron of "Postbellum" Missouri, 1865-1866Read More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 3/24/2014 Author: Matthew C. Hulbert | 

    In June 1865, Jim Jackson - one of Missouri's more notorious Confederate guerrilla commanders - made haste for the Illinois line...

  • Reconsidering the "Myth" of the Black Union SoldierRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 3/17/2014 Author: Kevin Levine | 

    When Confederates massacre black soldiers the latter are engaged in a desperate fight for freedom. But our popular understanding of the Civil War leaves little room to understand the story when the roles are reversed.

  • The Civil War on the Great LakesRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 2/10/2014 Author: John Grady | 

    After the losses at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the Confederacy considered a risky plan to fortify their officer corps by raiding a prison on the shores of Lake Erie and freeing the 2000 men held there.

  • "Destructionist and Capturer"Read More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 12/2/2013 Author: John Grady | 

    The Union authorities who dismissed W.T. Glassell from the U.S. Navy after 15 years of service hardly suspected that they would be fighting against him soon enough.

  • The Wound DresserRead More

    Category: enews Posted: 10/9/2013 Author: Walt Whitman | 

    During the Civil War, renowned poet Walt Whitman served as a nurse. His battlefield medical career began at Fredericksburg where he tended to wounded soldiers?including his brother. Deeply moved by the pain and suffering he witnessed, Whitman sought to convey the horrors of war through verse. "The Wound Dresser" is his elegant recounting of daily life in Civil War-era hospitals.

  • Civil War Medical RemediesRead More

    Category: enews Posted: 10/9/2013 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    While these nineteenth century remedies might not cure what ails you, they make an intriguing read. Check out these Civil War medicines and medical remedies.

  • Civil War Amputation...In Their Own Words.Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 10/9/2013 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Throughout the Civil War, surgeons performed approximately 60,000 amputations---the most common battlefield operation. Such drastic measures were a consequence of the damage caused by Mini? balls which often shattered and splintered soldiers? bones.

  • The Civil War's French AccentRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 9/30/2013 Author: John Grady | 

    In the face of a tightening blockade and difficulties with England, the Confederate Navy sought new rams from shipyards in nearby France.

  • Of Eyes and Teeth: The Trial of George Maddox, the Raid on Lawrence, and the Bloodstained Verdict of the Guerrilla WarRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 8/19/2013 Author: Joseph M. Beilein, Jr | 

    In 1867, George Maddox--a guerrilla who had ridden with Quantrill--stood trial for the murder of John Zane Evans during the infamous raid on Lawrence four years earlier.

  • Williamsburg Battlefield Trust, EmbattledRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 8/12/2013 Author: Glenn Brasher | 

    Virginia's "Historic Triangle" is best known as a setting for the American Revolution. But during the Civil War's Peninsula Campaign the area saw many slaves play an active role in bringing about their liberation and aiding the Union Army.

  • The PursuitRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 7/15/2013 Author: Tom Huntington | 

    Three days after Gettysburg, the people of Frederick, Maryland greeted George Gordon Meade "like a lion," while President Lincoln and General-in-Cheif Henry Halleck felt him cautious and slow.

  • The Day Holt Collier Killed HogzillaRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 7/8/2013 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Holt Collier is famous today for being a Civil War scout, a tracker and a hunting guide. But one of his most amazing adventures is almost forgotten.

  • The Battle in Public: Newspaper Reports from GettysburgRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 7/1/2013 Author: Glenn Brasher | 

    With the assistance of the telegraph, northern and southern newspapers kept readers informed of all the news and speculation from the battlefield at Gettysburg.

  • Oh Lord, Where Art Thou? Civil War Guards, Prisoners, and PunishmentsRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 6/24/2013 Author: Angela M. Zombek | 

    The unglamorous task of guarding Confederate prisoners at Johnson's Island Prison in Ohio tempted many guards to commit crimes that resulted in punishments similar to those administered to their incarcerated wards. A quick perusal of the prison register reveals crimes from drunkenness on duty to desertion and robbery, often resulting in 90 days hard labor for Union guards.

  • A New Battle for Brandy StationRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 6/10/2013 Author: Eric J. Wittenberg | 

    On June 9, 1863 some of the Civil War's most famous personalities met in the largest cavalry battle on American soil with destruction on their minds. Today, the focus on Brandy Station has shifted to preservation.

  • Friends Across the Color LineRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 6/3/2013 Author: Linda Barnickel | 

    In an early twentieth-century memoir, an Illinois artilleryman paid special attention to the friendship he formed with Big Jack Johnson, an escaped slave from the Yazoo district of Mississippi, who died fighting in the battle of Milliken's Bend.

  • Captain Kit Dalton on Guerrilla Memory, Civility, and the Rules of WarRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 5/27/2013 Author: Matthew C. Hulbert | 

    In a 1914 memoir, Confederate guerrilla Kit Dalton agreed with William Tecumseh Sherman that war was hell, but saw little difference between the actions of Confederate guerrilla bands and those of the uniformed men under the Union general.

  • Grant and the Forgotten Court of InquiryRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 5/20/2013 Author: Michael B. Ballard | 

    When Union Colonel Isaac Shepard punished one of his white soldiers with a whipping administered by African American troops at Milliken's Bend, the racially charged incident threatened to derail both his career and Grant's Vicksburg Campaign.

  • "The Most Fatal of All Acute Diseases:" Pneumonia and the Death of Stonewall JacksonRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 5/13/2013 Author: Dr. Matthew Lively  | 

    Four days after his wounding led to the amputation of his arm, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson began to experience chest pain and difficulty breathing. A close examination by the attending physician would reveal the problem--pneumonia in the right lung.

  • An Excerpt from Chancellorsville's Forgotten FrontRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 5/6/2013 Author: Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White | 

    Most visitors to the Fredricksburg battlefield focus on the futile Union charges against the Sunken Road of December 13, 1862. But months later, in May of 1863, Union troops would indeed breach the stone wall at the battle of Chancellorsville.

  • Civil War DessertsRead More

    Category: enews Posted: 4/30/2013 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Looking special treat to break your Lenten fast? Confederate Apple Pie Without The Apples, Lincoln Cake, or Kentucky Sweet Cookies.

  • A Civil War Era Royal WeddingRead More

    Category: enews Posted: 4/30/2013 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Much like the Anglophiles of today, Civil War-era Americans were fascinated by the British royal family. Rather than obsessing over William, Kate, and Harry, nineteenth century Americans celebrated the marriage of Prince William?s great-great-great grandfather, Prince Albert Edward, to Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

  • "The Grandest Charity in the Country:" The Missouri Home For Confederate VeteransRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 4/29/2013 Author: Amy Fluker | 

    Though Missouri never seceded, it hosted some of the most violent partisan warfare of the Civil War. By 1893, however, Union and Confederate sympathizers came together to build a retirement home and monument for Confederate veterans.

  • An 1863 ValentineRead More

    Category: enews Posted: 2/14/2013 Author: Alexander Hays  | 

    Dear Wife: It has this minute struck me that this is St. Valentine's day and this will be my valentine to ?the best woman in the world?

  • 2012 | The Year in ReviewRead More

    Category: News & Events Posted: 1/22/2013 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Another year has come and gone and The Civil War Monitor editorial staff is thankful for a very productive 2012. As we begin to make plans for another exciting year, we cannot help but reflect back on 2012 and all the accomplishments of The Monitor?s first full year.

  • "Not Since the Days of William the Conquerer" - Anti-War Democrats of Ohio in their Own WordsRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 11/26/2012 Author: James Schmidt | 

    James Schmidt reads other people's mail; specifically, letters from an Ohio Copperhead. It is one thing to read about Copperhead sentiment during the war years; it's quite another to hold the letter and sense the anger and venom.

  • Wither Liberia? Civil War Emancipation and Freedmen Resettlement in West AfricaRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 11/11/2012 Author: Phillip W. Magness | 

    In October 1862, Robert J. Walker went to the Treasury Department to convince the Lincoln Administration of the righteousness of colonizing Liberia with the slaves who would soon be freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.

  • The Peace Monument At Appomattox, UDC, and ReconstructionRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/29/2012 Author: Caroline Janney | 

    In May 1932, Mary Davidson Carter, a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) from Upperville, Virginia, learned that the federal government was planning to erect a Peace Monument at the scene of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant; or, as she put it, "the place where Constitutional Government and Lee were crucified in 1865."

  • The Myth of the H.L. Hunley's Blue LanternRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 10/8/2012 Author: Christopher D. Rucker, MD | 

    It has long been said that, after sinking the USS Housatonic on the evening of February 17, 1864, the crew of the Confederate submarine Hunley used a "blue light" to signal their success to shore. In truth, the blue lantern is a modern myth, born of ignorance of a lost technology.

  • The Consequences of Damning the TorpedoesRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 10/1/2012 Author: John Grady | 

    When Lieutenant Commander William H. Gamble reported that he had moved out of the way of an ironclad and was about to drop anchor, "a torpedo exploded under the bow, and the vessel immediately commenced sinking." He reported two sailors were killed in the explosion, was unsure about how many were wounded below deck but confirmed three sailors were wounded on deck. "The wounded were conveyed to the...

  • The Battle For Freedom: Antietam and the Emancipation ProclamationRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 9/17/2012 Author: Louis P. Masur | 

    Abraham Lincoln spent the late summer of 1862 waiting. He had in his mind a plan to issue a proclamation of emancipation, and needed only a Union victory in battle to do so.

  • Bowdoin's Other Civil War SonsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 8/27/2012 Author: David Thomson | 

    Discussions surrounding Bowdoin College and the Civil War invariably return to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the 20th Maine. But another brotherly duo at Bowdoin is even more important to our understanding of the War: Oliver Otis and Charles Howard.

  • Fathering RecruitmentRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 8/24/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Titled, "A Good Way for Fathers of Families to Aid Recruiting," this July 1862 Harper's Weekly cartoon is a playful take on Union recruitment efforts.

  • Hercules of the UnionRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 8/17/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today's Friday Funny is a celebration of Union General Winfield Scott, cast here as the mythical Hercules slaying a secessionist hydra. Aiding Scott in his epic battle is the great club of "Liberty and Union." Each of the hydra's seven heads represent a prominent Southern leader and their major vice or crime.

  • John Sherman and the Would-Be Thirteenth Amendment of 1861Read More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 8/6/2012 Author: Dan Crofts | 

    Four years before Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, Republican John Sherman of Ohio argued the merits of a very different Thirteenth Amendment, one that would do the exact opposite.

  • Munson Monroe Buford's Unfinished Civil WarRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 7/30/2012 Author: James Broomall | 

    Munson Monroe Buford's Civil War did not end at Durham Station, North Carolina, in the spring of 1865 but instead continued, in varied forms, for the remainder of his life.

  • Fantasizing Lee as a Civil Rights PioneerRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 7/23/2012 Author: Andy Hall | 

    There's a tale widely told these days about how Robert E. Lee, soon after the war, reached out in Christian fellowship to a black worshiper at Richmond's St. Paul's Episcopal Church. But that's not what the witness saw at the time.

  • Dark ArtilleryRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 6/29/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Friday! Today's Civil War cartoon is a Frank Leslie drawing entitled "Dark Artillery" or "How to make the contrabands useful."

  • The IntrepidRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 6/26/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    This week marks the sesquicentennial of the Seven Days' Campaign. As such, we thought we would bring you this image of the Intrepid—one of the Union Army Balloon Corps' aerial reconnaissance balloons.

  • The New Orleans PlumRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 6/22/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    A contemporary take on the famous Mother Goose tale, "Little Jack Horner," this illustration casts President Abraham Lincoln as Jack Horner who is seemingly stuck in a corner by the Civil War.

  • The RailsplitterRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 6/22/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter officially hits movies. As such, we thought it fitting to pay tribute to the original Railsplitter?as opposed to the axe wielding vampire killer

  • The CumberlandRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 6/18/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! Today we bring you an 1862 poem by Herman Melville entitled, "The Cumberland." Written in March of 1862, Melville lyrivally referenced the fateful sinking of the USS Cumberland by the CSS Virginia during the Battle of Hampton Roads at Newport News, Virginia on March 8, 1862.

  • Not Up To TimeRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 6/15/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Today's Friday Funny is an 1862 piece from the London weekly magazine, Punch.

  • Elegy for the Native GuardsRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 6/11/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    In honor of Natasha Trethewey being named the next poet laureate, we thought we would share with you one of her Civil War inspired poems.

  • Masterly InactivityRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 6/8/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! This Frank Leslie cartoon parodies the extended military standoff between Union General George B. McClellan’s Army of Potomac and Confederate General P.G.T  Beauregard’s Army of the Shenandoah during the fall and winter of 1861.

  • Sinbad Lincoln and the Old Man of the SeaRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 6/1/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    A clear critique of Gideon Welles, the Union Secretary of the Navy, this 1862 cartoon suggests that the naval department is weighing down Lincoln?s administration and that the Federal navy is sorely lacking; along the horizon the CSS Virginia and CSS Alabama sit unchallenged and unopposed

  • Form follows Function: Changing Audiences Bring Changes to InterpretationsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 5/31/2012 Author: Craig Swain | 

    Visiting the battlefields today, the markers placed fifty even ten years ago look different than the "new" markers today. Why? because we tour the battlefields differently. So what does that say about how we use those resources? What drove the change?

  • Nathan Bedford Forrest, ReconstructedRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 5/27/2012 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Nathan Bedford Forrest is mythologized today as the consummate "unreconstructed rebel," but by the end of his life he fully and publicly embraced North-South reconciliation, and allegiance to the reunited nation.

  • Neutrality or Death?Read More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 5/25/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good Morning! Today's Friday Funny comes to us from the June 29, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly. The caption reads, "Governor Magoffin's neutrality means holding the Cock of the Walk (Uncle Sam) while the Confederate Cat (Jeff Davis) kills off his Chickens."

  • LorenaRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 5/21/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    One of the most popular Civil War songs was Lorena. Reverend Henry D. L. Webster first penned the lyrics in 1856 after his fianc?? Ella Blocksom?ended their engagement. However, in his version, the protagonist was named Bertha. A few years later, J.P. Webster?who was not related to Henry Webster?sought words to a musical piece he was composing.

  • Why Don't You Take It?Read More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 5/18/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! Today's Friday Funny is an 1861 Currier & Ives sketch commenting on the Union's substantial advantage in terms war materiel.

  • John Mackie: The Man and the MemoryRead More

    Category: Iron Men Afloat Posted: 5/15/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    One rarely thinks of the United States Marine Corps and the Civil War in the same thought. Given their small size and limited service, this is not surprising. And yet hidden away in a rarely visited section of the Richmond National Battlefield Park?Drewry?s Bluff?sits an interpretative marker honoring Corporal John F. Mackie

  • The Battle of Drury's BluffRead More

    Category: Iron Men Afloat Posted: 5/15/2012 Author: Dave Kummer | 

    The Monitor remained close to the Galena but the Confederates chose to concentrate their fire on a more vulnerable target after several direct hits merely caromed off the Monitor's heavy armor. That left the Galena alone to take the full brunt of the Rebel onslaught; their salvo ripped through her armored sides. On board the Galena, Corporal John F. Mackie commanded the ship’s...

  • Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One NightRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 5/14/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    The following Walt Whitman poem??Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night??reminds us of the tangible, human costs of war. Whitman often found the wholesale anonymity of the war dead disturbing; therefore poems like "Virgil" were his way to ensure that the battlefield dead found individual recognition.

  • The "Light Guard"Read More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 5/11/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today's Friday Funny is an 1861 Harper's Weekly cartoon. Entitled ?Costume Suggested for the Brave Stay-at-Home Light Guard," this sketch mockingly questions the masculinity of Union men who did not voluntarily enlist into military service.

  • ...And They're Off..Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 5/5/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    In honor of the Kentucky Derby, we bring you this image of Civil War era horse racing courtesy of Frank Leslie.

  • The Blockade on the "Connecticut Plan"Read More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 5/4/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good Morning! To celebrate the end of another long work week, we bring you a "Friday Funny." Today's Civil War era cartoon is an 1862 Currier & Ives sketch entitled, 'The Blockade on the "Connecticut Plan.'"

  • Revising, Refreshing, Evolving Battlefield InterpretationRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 5/1/2012 Author: Craig Swain | 

    Our understanding of the battlefields, and the war itself, is often shaped by the public interpretive resources found at the site of the action. Over the years, historians improve that interpretation, mostly for the better. The refinement often challenges us to reconsider what we know about the battle to reach a more precise understanding of events.

  • The Dying Confederate's Last WordsRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 4/30/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    A poetic tribute to a dying Confederate from Maryland.

  • Bowling with BeauregardRead More

    Category: Friday Funny Posted: 4/27/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Here's a little Friday Funny to celebrate the end of the work week.

  • Was Confederate Conscription an Instrument of Social Justice?Read More

    Category: Sesquicentennials Posted: 4/26/2012 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Should the Confederate Conscription Act of April 1862 be viewed as what we might today describe as an instrument of social justice? Some Confederates at the time thought so.

  • Introducing "Iron Men Afloat" - A New Series on the Civil War NavyRead More

    Category: Front Line Editor's Note Posted: 4/26/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    This ambitious series of cross posts will highlight key battles and topics in Civil War Navy history; for each topic covered, the Monitor will discuss the men (i.e. living component) involved while the CWN 150 blog will focus on the machines and technology used.

  • The Surrender of New Orleans Part 2: The Machines and TechnologyRead More

    Category: Iron Men Afloat Posted: 4/25/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    As you know, today—April 25th—marks the 150th anniversary of the fall of New Orleans. Part 2 of our tribute to the surrender of the Crescent City is located on the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial with "Facing the Forts: The West Gulf Blockading Squadron." We hope you enjoy!

  • The Surrender of New Orleans Part 1: The Men and The SkirmishRead More

    Category: Iron Men Afloat Posted: 4/25/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today marks the sesquicentennial of the fall of New Orleans (April 25, 1862). As such, The Civil War Monitor is commemorating this event with a two-part series on the surrender. Below is Part One which focuses on the men and the skirmishes behind New Orleans' surrender.

  • Did a C.S.S. Alabama Veteran Die in the Titanic Disaster?Read More

    Category: Sesquicentennials Posted: 4/15/2012 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Samuel Beard Risien and his wife, Emma, died aboard the infamous White Star Liner in April 1912. Was he also, as he claimed, a veteran of the famous Confederate sea raider from a half-century before?

  • Voice from the Past: "Another Bloodless Victory"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 4/12/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    In belated honor of the fall of Fort Pulaski (April 11, 1862), we bring you Miss Susan Walker's account of the battle:

  • Voice from the Past: "Those Savage Yells, And The Sight of Thousands of Racing Figures Coming Towards Them"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 4/7/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    We close our Shiloh sesquicentennial celebration with Henry Morton Stanley’s recollection of the battle and the effectiveness of the legendary rebel yell.

  • Voice from the Past: "Victory is Sufficiently Complete...Victory is Lost"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 4/7/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our sesquicentennial celebration of the Battle of Shiloh continues with an excerpt from Confederate Colonel S.H. Lockett's account of the battle printed in Battles and Leaders. It recalls how quickly the tide turned for the southern forces.

  • The Drummer Boy of ShilohRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 4/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    One of the legends of Shiloh was of a young drummer boy who died on the battlefield. Cast as a young lad who had run away from home to seek adventure, the drummer boy was representative of the many young and untrained soldiers who fought in the war. While many men later came forward, claiming to be the drummer boy—despite not dying in the battle—John Clem, "The Drummer Boy of...

  • Voice from the Past: "Terrible Tales of the Scenes in Corinth"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 4/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    In honor of Shiloh's sesquicentennial, we bring you the following voice from the past. Taken from the April 9, 1862 diary of Kate Cumming, it recounts the battle's deadly aftermath.

  • Three Hundred Thousand MoreRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 4/2/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Today we bring you an 1862 song written by John S. Gibbons, to aid Lincoln's call for 300,000 more Union troops. It first appeared in the New York Evening Post.   We are coming, Father Abraham, Three hundred thousand more, ...

  • Song of a Southern Prisoner to the Ladies of BaltimoreRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/30/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Friday! We close Women's History Month with this song, entitled "Southern Prisoner. Gives His Thanks to the Baltimore Ladies." 

  • Then and Now: Pope's Canal to New MadridRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 3/27/2012 Author: Craig Swain | 

    The campaign to capture Island No. 10 played out over swamps, bayous, and river bottom at the corner where Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee meet. Today this land bears little resemblance to its Civil War appearance. But in some ways it is still a battlefield today.

  • Song of the Southern WomenRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/27/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    O ABRAHAM LINCOLN! We call thee to hark To the song we are singing, we Joans of Arc; While our brothers are bleeding we fear not to bleed, We?ll face the Red Horror should there be need

  • Women's WorkRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/26/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is a Harper's Weekly image entitled "Filling Cartidges at the United States Arsenal at Watertown, Massachusetts." It is a reminder that the war dramatically altered gender norms, forcing women to assume uncoventional tasks to help the war effort.

  • A Slave and A SpyRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 3/23/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is of Mary Touvestre.  Touvestre, a former slave, worked for one of the Confederate engineers transforming the USS Merrimack into the CSS Virginia. While at work, Touvestre overheard her...

  • "I will not attempt to hamper you with any minute instructions."Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/21/2012 Author:  | 

    In March 1862, General Henry Halleck granted General John Pope much latitude in operations to reduce Confederate defenses at Island No. 10 along the Mississippi. Halleck's correspondence provides a broad and succinct assessment of Federal operations in the West.

  • The Infamous "Woman Order" of Occupied New OrleansRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/20/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Earlier today, we shared an image of a Baltimore woman flaunting her Confederate sympathies which drew parallels to the actions of the women of Union-occupied New Orleans. Therefore, we thought it fitting to continue our Women's History Month celebration by posting Major General Benjamin Butler's Infamous General Orders No. 28:

  • Southern Belle or Female Rebel?Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/20/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! In honor of Women's History Month we thought we would share this Harper's Weekly image (shown to the left). Along with the front page illustration the authors of Harper's Weekly provided the following commentary:   LIFE AMONG T...

  • Patriotic MailRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/19/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Our Women's History Month celebration continues with an image of one of the era's patriotic envelopes. Used to both boost morale and support the war effort, envelopes like the one below often depicted women and the hardships they endured as wives and mothers to soldiers.

  • The Wild Rose of the SouthRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/16/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is of Rose O'Neal Greenhow---also known as "Wild Rose"---the famed Confederate spy. Born in Maryland in 1817, little is known of her early years.

  • The Monitor, The Merrimack, and MeRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 3/16/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Last week, I packed up my husband and my dog and headed north to Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia. We were bound for the Civil War Navy Conference at the 10th Annual Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend sponsored by the Mariner?s Museum?auspiciously timed during the sesquicentennial of the famed clash of the ironclads.

  • How I tried and failed to escape the Civil War Read More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 3/15/2012 Author: Cole Grinnell | 

    My interest in the Civil War should have been a wonderful accident of birth and geography. I was born, raised, studied, and worked around key sites in that event's history—quite literally living and breathing in the material of the war. Surely, my own enthusiasm for the subject must rate back to this upbringing, just as my older brother's (who I take it on good authority shares many of my...

  • A Lady and A Diary from DixieRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/15/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! Our Women's History Month celebration continues with this tribute to Mary Boykin Chesnut. 

  • The Women in BlackRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/12/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Last fall, J. David Hacker revealed that the number of Civil War dead is closer to 750,000 than the previously accepted number of 618,222. While not all of them were married, many in fact did leave behind wives and children to pick up the pieces after war's end. Today for Women's History Month, we honor the hundreds of thousands of Civil War widows with this Frank Leslie drawing entitled, "...

  • Voice from the Past: "It revolutionized the navies of the world"Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 3/9/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    THE engagement in Hampton Roads on the 8th of March, 1862, between the Confederate iron-clad Virginia, or the Merrimac (as she is known at the North), and the United States wooden fleet, and that on the 9th between the Virginia and the Monitor, was, in its result, in some respect the most momentous naval conflict ever witnessed. No battle was ever more widely discussed or produced a greater...

  • Voice from the Past: "In the Monitor Turret"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/9/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good afternoon. In honor of the Battle of Hampton Roads, we bring you another Voice from the Past—this time from the Union perspective. The following is Commander S. Dana Greene's account of the battle as printed in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War:

  • The Rebel Lady's BoudoirRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/9/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Friday and Happy Women's History Month! We continue our homage to Civil War women with this provokative—and morbid—drawing from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper:

  • Voice from the Past: "How These Powerful Machines Are To Be Stopped Is A Problem I Can Not Solve"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/9/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! We continue our celebration of the Battle of Hampton Roads with another "Voice from the Past." The following is Confederate Major General Benjamin Hunger's report on the famed battle of the ironclads and its corresponding impact on naval warfare:

  • The Women Who Went to the FieldRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/8/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    In honor of Women's History Month, we are celebrating the work and poetry of famed Civil War nurse Clara Barton. Born Clarissa Harlowe Barton, Barton was a true patriot and pioneer; not only did she risk her life to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the field but in 1881, at the age of 60, she founded the American Red Cross. Barton wrote the following poem as a toast for an 1892 gala...

  • Voice from the Past: "Great God What a Scene is Presented"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/8/2012 Author:  | 

    Great God what a scene is presented, The mangled trunks of men are thickly scattered around. From each tree or sheltering rock the groans of the wounded arise. Muskets, saddles, horses, blankets, hats and clothes hang on every bush, or in gory manner strew the ground. And now in the valley to the right ten thousand wild cheers proclaim the victory ours. Dead horses, dead men and dismounted guns,...

  • Do You Know These Men?Read More

    Category: News & Events Posted: 3/8/2012 Author: Andy Hall | 

    The likenesses of two crew members lost in the sinking of U.S.S. Monitor in December 1862 are revealed.

  • Voice from the Past: "Nothing to Remind me of The Treacherous Days in March of '62"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/8/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    After a lapse of forty nine years, I again visited the Pea Ridge battle ground and it may not be out of place here to give my memories of that historic field on that occasion." 

  • The Girl Soldiers of Nancy Harts MilitiaRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! Today’s Women’s History Month themed post honors Nancy Harts militia—a little known group of women from LaGrange Georgia.

  • A Poetic Tribute to Civil War WomenRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/5/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    And our noble women, the soldier cries, As he wipes with his sleeve his dimming eyes, They send us clothing and food and books, And kindest letters and sweetest looks, And words of noble and lofty cheer!

  • "One Side of the War is Theirs" - The U.S. Sanitary CommissionRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/2/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Founded on June 18, 1861 via federal legislation, the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) was a private relief agency that supported sick and wounded soldiers of the U.S. Army during war. For five years (from 1861 to 1861), the volunteers of the USSC—primarily women—worked under the direction of Frederick Law Olmstead to provide food, clothing, medical supplies, shelter, and...

  • Honoring Civil War Women for Women's History MonthRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 3/1/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today marks the first day of Women's History Month. To celebrate, The Front Line will have a month-long series of women's history posts including images, quotes, writings, and biographies. We recommend you check back often.

  • Mustering Out Continued...General Orders No. 1Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/28/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    COMRADES: The hour is at hand when we must separate forever, and nothing can take from us the pride we feel, when we look upon the history of the 'First South Carolina Volunteers,' the first black regiment that ever bore arms in defense of freedom on the continent of America.

  • Mustered Out...The U.S. Colored TroopsRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/28/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Celebrating Black History Month with..."Mustered Out," Little Rock, Arkansas, April 20, 1865 by Alfred R. Waud.

  • Recruiting Black Soldiers - The Fight for Equal RightsRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/27/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    While initially sluggish, recruitment of black soldiers reached 179,000 for the Union Army and 19,000 for the Union Navy by war’s end. Recruiting posters such as the one below inspired blacks to serve by appealing to their newfound sense of freedom.

  • A Request from the 36 U.S. Colored RegimentRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/24/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Genl   We the soldiers of the 36 U.S.Col Regt Humbly petition to you to alter the Affairs at Roanoke Island. We have served in the US Army faithfully and don our duty to our Country, for which we thank God (that we had the opportunity) but at the same time our family's are suffering at Roanoke Island N.C.

  • Black Soldiers and the Bloody Battle of Milliken's BendRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/23/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Commander of the District of Northeast Louisiana to the Headquarters of the Department of the Tennessee

  • Quarters for African American SoldiersRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/21/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our Black History Month Celebration continues with this Harper's Weekly depiction of "Negro Quarters, Army of the James." 

  • Special Field Orders No. 15Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/20/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, No. 15.

  • Rest in Peace Willie LincolnRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/20/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Sad and solemn is the occasion that brings us here to-day. A dark shadow of affliction has suddenly fallen upon this habitation, and upon the hearts of its inmates. The news thereof has already gone forth to the extremities of the country.

  • Voice from the Past: "It Pleased Me Much More Than One Of Those Sentimental Things"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/17/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our Valentine-themed series is coming to a close. We hope you have enjoyed reading some of these love letters from February 1862. Have a great weekend!

  • After the BattleRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/16/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our celebration of the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Fort Donelson concludes with this Harper's Weekly image...Seeking for the Wounded, by Torch-Light, After the Battle

  • Voice from the Past: "Ask Us to Marry Him"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/16/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    They were just as gay with us old nurses as if we had all been young. I told them, coming home, that the only omission, for St. Valentine's, had been that nobody had asked us to marry him; so they all began at once. The one-legs had the best of it, for they are sure of eight dollars a month.

  • Voice from the Past: "Absolute Naval Supremacy"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/15/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    On my return to New York, at the end of February, the North was cheered by some signal successes achieved in the West, principally by gunboats, operating on the lines of the great rivers. The greatest results have been obtained in the capture of Fort Donaldson and Fort Henry, by Commodore Foote's flotilla coöperating with the land forces. The possession of an absolute naval supremacy, of...

  • Voice from the Past: "My Valentine to the Best Woman in the World"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/15/2012 Author: Laura June Davice | 

    It has this minute struck me that this is St. Valentine's day and this will be my valentine to 'the best woman in the world' [except, perhaps, dear mother]. That is another valentine for her.

  • Voice from the Past: Sending ValentinesRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 2/14/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Another Valentine's Day 1862 "Voice from the Past" to mark the holiday.   Friday, 14th -- This is Valentine's Day and some of the boys are having a great time sending out valentines to the girls in this locality; others are sending...

  • Voice from the Past: "A Desperate Fight at Fort Donelson"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/14/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Wed. p. m., Feb. 19, 1862, Mound City, Ill., -- There has been nothing going on here to break the monotony for a few days past except the arrival of a part of the wounded from Fort Donelson. These, with those that have previously been sent here, make about 400 of them at this hospital. A great many of them are severely wounded. They seem to be in good spirits. Surgeons have flocked in from...

  • Voice from the Past: "To Be Your Valentine"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/14/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Valentine's Day from The Civil War Monitor. We hope you enjoy this letter from Valentine's Day, 1862.

  • From The Struggle of Slavery to the Struggle for LibertyRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/13/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Uncut sheet of twelve illustrated cards presenting the journey of a slave from plantation life to the struggle for liberty, for which he gives his life, as a Union soldier during the Civil War.

  • Voice from the Past: "The Startling Intelligence from Fort Donelson"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/13/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! We have another contribution to our Fort Donelson sesquicentennial series. This excerpt is from Alfred Lewis Castleman's diary:   What a week of news, opening on us with intelligence of the capture of Fort Henry, with its...

  • Voice from the Past: "St. Valentine's Day, I believe"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/13/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    An early Valentine's greeting from all of us at The Civil War Monitor. To celebrate, all this week, "The Front Line" blog will be posting Valentine-themed Voices from the Past from 1862 and 1863. We hope you enjoy!

  • Voice from the Past: "Great Victories...At Such a Price of Blood"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/12/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    There is news to-day of great victories in progress for us. Fort Donelson is surrounded; there has been a deadly fight, and our flag waves upon the outer fortifications. It is said that the rebels must yield, as all approaches are cut off, but it is the struggle of desperation with them, as this is the key to the whole Southwest. There are victories in Missouri and in North Carolina also; more...

  • Happy 203rd Birthday Abraham LincolnRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/12/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

  • Voice from the Past: "Such Astounding Events"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/11/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our Fort Donelson sesquicentennial series begins with the following entry from  John Beauchamp Jones' February, 1862 diary:

  • The Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Fort DonelsonRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/11/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    After capturing Fort Henry on February 6th, Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant advanced towards Fort Donelson. Five days of fighting ensued in which the Confederates failed to break through Grant’s lines. Finally, on February 16th, the fort’s 12,000-man garrison surrendered unconditionally to Grant.

  • Black Soldiers and Lady LibertyRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/9/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our Black History Month celebration continues with this 1865 drawing of a wounded Union soldier by Thomas Nast.

  • Roanoke Island...150 Years AgoRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/8/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Roanoke Island showing the position of Confederate Batteries

  • The Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Roanoke Island Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/7/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    February 7th and 8th mark the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Roanoke Island. A lesser known battle, Roanoke Island was part of Brigadier General Ambrose E. Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition and its successful outcome allowed the Union to...

  • Voice from the Past: "The Right to Citizenship"Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 2/7/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.

  • Camp Life for African American RegimentsRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/7/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Army of the Potomac—Scene in camp of Negro regiments—Method of punishment of Negro soldiers for various offences.

  • Voice from the Past: "We Had Held Out for Over Two"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    On the 4th of february the Federal fleet of gun-boats, followed by countless transports, appeared below the fort. Far as eye could see, the course of the river could be traced by the dense volumes of smoke issuing from the flotilla-indicating that the long-threatened attempt to break our lines was to be made in earnest. The gunboats took up a position about three miles below and opened a brisk...

  • Aboard a Gun Deck During the Battle of Fort HenryRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Gun-Deck of one of the Mississippi Gun-Boats Engaged in the Attack on Fort Henry

  • Voice from the Past: "The 6th Dawned Mild and Cheering"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

     ...Heavy rains had been falling, and the river had risen rapidly to an unusual height; the swift current brought down an immense quantity of heavy drift-wood, lumber, fences, and large trees, and it required all the steam-power of the Carondelet, with both anchors down, and the most strenuous exertions of the officers and crew, working day and night, to prevent the boat from being dragged...

  • The Battle of Fort Henry SesquicentennialRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today marks the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Fort Henry—a Confederate earthern fort on the Tennessee River.

  • Honoring the 107th U.S. Colored Infantry BandRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our Black History Month Celebration continues...107th U.S. Colored Infantry Band at Fort Corcoran in Arlington, Virginia, November 1865

  • Voice from the Past: Rallying with the Hearts of LionsRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/2/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    The following letter is from Samuel Cabble, a private in the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry, to his wife. Cabble was a slave before he joined the army at twenty-one years of age.

  • Preparing to See the ElephantRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/2/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Preparing the Negro Soldiers to Use the Minie Rifle - Our Black History Month Celebration Continues.

  • Honoring African American Veterans for Black History MonthRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 2/1/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Black History Month! Today—and throughout the month of February, we honor those African Americans who fought in the Civil War.

  • Inboard the USS MonitorRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/30/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    The above image is the USS Monitor's general plan featuring an inboard profile of the ironclad. First published in in 1862, the plan features hull cross section views, as well as views of the engine, boiler spaces, and areas below the upper deck.

  • The Launching of a Legend...the USS MonitorRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/30/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    150 years ago today, the Union Navy launched the USS Monitor—its first ironclad—from the Continental Iron Works, at Greenpoint in Long Island, New York. Construction of the Monitor began in the fall of 1861 and Swedish engineer John Ericsson was responsible for her conception and design

  • The Mighty MississippiRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/26/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    General View of the Mississipii River from Cairo, Illinois to the mouth of the river.

  • What Robert E. Lee Didn’t Do After Appomattox Read More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 1/24/2012 Author: M. Keith Harris | 

    Actually, he didn’t do a lot of things. For starters, he didn’t lead a guerilla army against Federal invaders/occupiers—even though more than a few people suggested that he take that course of action. Second, he didn’t pick up and leave the country for Canada or Mexico. Finally, and most important, he didn’t take a public stance against the United States. He never...

  • Prisoners from the FrontRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/23/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Before Winslow Homer became a famed sea-scape painter, he was a Civil War correspondent and illustrator for Harpers Weekly. The above paiting, entitled "Prisoners from the Front," (1866) was featured in an online Wall Street Journal article today entitled, "It's History (Believe It or Not)."

  • Voice from the Past: "A Terrible Struggle if it Comes to War."Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 1/19/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Both sides forget that we are all Americans, and that it must a terrible struggle if it comes to war.

  • The Feminine Art of Inspiring Male Courage Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/17/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Civil War illustrator Frank Leslie often parodied the evasion of the Enrollment Act of 1863. The image above encouraged women to make men feel obligated to go and fight via the persuasive method of emasculation.

  • Looking Back...Just Fifty YearsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 1/12/2012 Author: Craig Swain | 

    As we start the second year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, it is only natural to also look back fifty years to how Americans viewed, and perhaps used, the centennial. Here's a brief look at those years through the covers of Life Magazine.

  • 2011: A Year in ReviewRead More

    Category: Front Line Editor's Note Posted: 1/10/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Much to the delight of The Civil War Monitor editorial staff, another year and another sesquicentennial celebration have begun. As we look forward to all that 2012 has in store for us, we cannot help but reflect back on 2011 and the launch of The Monitor. Above all, we are thankful to all of our fans, supporters, readers, writers, and bloggers for making 2011 and the start of The Monitor such a...

  • The Skating SeasonRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/6/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good Morning! Our celebration of New Year's Day 1862 comes to a close with the following image "The Skating Season - 1862."

  • A Soldier's Forty WinksRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 1/5/2012 Author: Jim Schmidt | 

    But what was most interesting was that there was a good amount of current research on medicine in the Civil War, including new looks at old cases, biographies, and more.

  • Voice from the Past: "The Cheer of the Glad New Year"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/5/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    New Year's Day, and orders to go to Dam No. 5, with Ashby's cavalry. This was a bright sunny day, but a cold west wind made it disagreeable marching. This evening we are camped in a field near Dam No. 5, with cold beef, bread, and plenty of good water, and an old barn full of soft downy hay to sleep in to-night, all of which brightens the cheer of the glad New Year.

  • The Angry Politics of Confederate HeritageRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 1/3/2012 Author: Andy Hall | 

    In demanding political candidates' fealty to Confederate symbols, heritage advocates do themselves-and their candidates-no great favors among the general electorate.

  • Voice from the Past: "A Dull Day"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/3/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today's Voice from the Past comes from Alexander G. Downing. His 1862 New Years' celebration was a far cry from the revelry enjoyed by most modern day celebrants.

  • Voice from the Past: "A Great Day of Sport to Usher in the New Year"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 1/2/2012 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy New Year!

  • The Great FairRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 12/29/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Holidays! As we prepare to ring in the new year, it seems fitting to recall a festive occassion from 1861.

  • Voice from the Past: "Not peace, but a sword"Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 12/26/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Holidays! Today's Voice from the Past is Wilder Dwight of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry. The following passage is an excerpt from a 15 December 1861 letter to his mother:

  • The Funeral of a "Gentleman Cow"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 12/22/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Confederate garrison troops in Texas demonstrate against the issue of inedible rations in a distinctive way.

  • Voice from the Past: Dressed All the Wards with Festoons and GarlandsRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 12/22/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    We had taken some goodies and little traps with us for the men in the hospitals in Alexandria and were glad to find the nice arrangements that had already been made by Madame M. She had got Col. Davies to detail some of the 16th men to bring her Christmas greens, and had dressed all the wards with festoons and garlands, little flags, mottoes, etc., besides arranging for a grand Christmas dinner...

  • Voices from the Past: The Battle of DranesvilleRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 12/20/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    When the action had lasted about two hours I found that the enemy, being already in force larger than my own, was recovering from his disorder and receiving heavy re-enforcements. I could not, with my small numbers, being beyond the reach of re-enforcements, force his position without fearful sacrifice, and seeing that his artillery, superior to ours in numbers and position only, was pouring a...

  • Voice from the Past: A Pleasant ChristmasRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 12/19/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Christmas went off very pleasantly and apparently to the satisfaction of all. Drills were suspended and all went in for a good time. The Irishmen had their Christmas box, the Germans their song and lager, while ball playing and other athletic sports used up the day, and music and dancing were the order of the evening. Santa Claus came with a Christmas dinner for a few, but more of us he passed by....

  • Voice from the Past: A Loud Rap on the DoorRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 12/15/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! Today's Voice from the Past comes from a December 22, 1861 letter from Elisha Franklin Paxton to his wife.   And if you hear a loud rap at the door some night before long, you need not think robbers are breaking in, but that your own...

  • Voice From the Past: "There Was Death Only" — The Battle of FredericksburgRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 12/13/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    Today marks the 149th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg, a disastrous Union defeat that saw over 12,000 Federal soldiers killed or wounded. What follows is an account of the fight in the words of William Thompson Lusk, an officer in the 79th New York Infantry who observed the engagement from a safe distance and wrote about what he saw in a letter to his mother several days later:

  • Voice from the Past: A Christmas Bundle Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 12/12/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good Morning! Today's Voice from the Past is Julia Ellen LeGrand Waitz of New Orleans, Louisiana. The following excerpt is from a December 1861 diary entry.   Just completed another bundle of clothes for poor Claude, which we hope...

  • Voice from the Past: The Hardest Calamities to BearRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 12/8/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Among the calamities of war, the hardest to bear, perhaps, is the separation of families and friends. Yet all must be endured to accomplish our independence and maintain our self-government. In my absence from you I have thought of you very often, and...

  • Image of the Day: Hope That Thing Isn't Loaded!Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 12/6/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    A Union volunteer strikes a (potentially tragic?) pose with a group of comrades. We hope those guys were friends!

  • Voices from the Past - Christmasday!Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 12/5/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! To celebrate the holidays, all of the quotables this month will reference Christmas 1861. Our first voice from the past is Raphael Semmes, who wrote the following statement in his diary on Christmas Day, 1861:

  • Voice from the Past: 1861 Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 12/1/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    ARM'D year! year of the struggle! No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year!

  • A Second Helping of Civil War ThanksgivingRead More

    Category: Front Line Editor's Note Posted: 11/29/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, ate lots of turkey/tofurkey, and survived the chaos of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Since, we did not post our regular week in review last Friday, we thought we would give you a second helping of all the great Civil War Thanksgiving  inspired blog posts from last week. After all, the best part of Thanksgiving is going back for...

  • Celebration or Riot?Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/29/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Upon hearing the news of General George McClellan's appointment as chief commander of the Union Army, Washingtonians embarked upon a grand torch-light procession, set off a display of fire-works, and serenaded the General McClellan. The "compliment" proceeded from the soldiers of Blenker's Brigade, but numbered about 2000 infantry, two companies of cavalry, and a great number of citizens.They...

  • Voice from the Past: "The Best Man and the Best General"Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 11/28/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    "I am very glad to learn that my order changed Gen. Scott's feelings entirely, and that he now says I am the best man and the best general that ever existed."

  • Voice from the Past - Thanksgiving is OverRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/25/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Black Friday! We hope you all had a wonderful (and delectable) Thanksgiving. Our final "Voice from the Past" comes from the November 1861 diary of Lucy Larcom of Nordton, Massachusetts...

  • Voice from the Past - Thankfully Keeping Thanksgiving DayRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/24/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Our Thanksgiving tribute continues. Today's "Voice from the Past" is Wilder Dwight of the Second Massachusettes Infantry Volunteers...

  • Voice from the Past - "Fleshing our teeth in a secesh gobbler..."Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/23/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good Morning! We continue our week long Civil War Thanksgiving celebration with an excerpt from William Wheeler's November 11, 1861 letter to his mother...

  • Voice from the Past - A Thanksgiving Day ProclamationRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/22/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    While Americans had celebrated Thanksgiving since 1621, it was not until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued the following Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Only then, did the holiday became a national annual event, occurring on the last Thursday of November. The first observance of the Thanksgiving holiday occurred one week after the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg....

  • Voice from the Past - Thanksgiving SensationsRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/22/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Happy Thanksgiving! The following account of an 1861 Thanksgiving dinner amongst the Union army comes from a letter written by Wilder Dwight of the 2nd Massachusettes Infantry.

  • Voice from the Past - The Customs of Our Puritan FathersRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 11/21/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Good morning! To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, The Front Line will be posting different "Voices from the Past" about Civil War soldiers' Thanksgiving experiences. Our first quote comes from the 1861 diary of David L. Day, 25th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

  • Voice from the Past - "Am afloat, adrift"Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 11/17/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    "Am afloat, adrift, abroad, motion uneasy, “Inner man” “stomach” becoming so. I think I’ll try full-length. A cotton-bale & the open air on the for’ard deck. “Very grand.” The sea—if one could only see it and not sea-sickness. Very charming, too a sailor’s life, and so they say is hanging when one gets used to it. “Aye...

  • "Soldiers of Fortune, Make Us Your Game!"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/15/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    William Howard Russell was a “special correspondent” for the London Times, who travelled the North and South during the early years of the war. The exerpted quote describes a luncheon hosted by Confederate First Lady Varina Davis. While indicative of Russell's pro-Confederate views, it does call into question the scope of secession.

  • A Civil War Cattle DriveRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/15/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Beef for the Union Army Cross the Long Bridge at Washington.

  • Voices from the Past - The Integrity of the UnionRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 11/14/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    "You will please constantly to bear in mind the precise issue for which we are fighting; that issue is the preservation of the Union and the restoration of the full authority of the general government over all portions of our territory..."

  • Honoring our Veterans...Then & NowRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/11/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    The Civil War Monitor editors would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of the veterans and active duty personnel of our armed services. We salute you! To remember the Civil War veterans of yesteryear...

  • Happy Birthday Marines!Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/10/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    To celebrate the 236th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps, we found this image of Civil War marines. 

  • Who Will Be Worthy of Memorialization?Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/10/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    The following cartoon is from the 9 November 1861 issue of Harper's Weekly...

  • A Regiment of InventorsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 11/8/2011 Author:  | 

    Ingenuity was wielded as a weapon during the American Civil War, with inventors plying their trade in the “arts of death,” as Shaw put it. One newspaper, noting that the “inventive faculty of the country is in the Northern States,” put out a colorful call:

  • Voices from the Past: "Sagacious Military Conjecture"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/7/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Wilder Dwight was a Lieutenant Colonel inthe 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Prior to dying September 19, 1862 from wounds at the Battle of Antietam, Dwight wrote some conjectures about the events at the Battle of Port Royal.

  • The Confederate Perspective: "Port Royal...has been taken by the enemy's fleet"Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 11/7/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    — From the 9 November 1861 entry of John Beauchamp Jones Diary—

  • Voices from the Past: "The Glorious News from Port Royal"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/7/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    After the Union victory at Port Royal, Major General George Brinton McClellan wrote the following letter to his wife, Mary Ellen Marcy McClellan.

  • Voices from the Past: "A Slow Affair"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/7/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    William Thompson Lusk (May 23, 1838 – June 12, 1897) was an American obstetrician, who left medical school to join the Union Army. Lusk participated in the Battle of Port Royal and wrote about his experiences. Unusually, Lusk did not vilify the Southern soldiers he encountered; he seemed to regard the Southerners highly, often criticizing the "Yankee hordes" who invaded the ...

  • Voices from the Past: "The Gratifying Duty"Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/7/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Port Royal—one of the earliest amphibious operations of the American Civil War. The United States Navy fleet and the United States Army expeditionary force worked together captured Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, including Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island and Fort Beauregard on Phillip's Island. The following is Union Flag Officer Samuel Du ...

  • Image of the Day: The Dogs of WarRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/4/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    From Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, "An Incident of Battle — A Faithful Dog Watching the Dead Body of His Master" ...

  • Sarah Morgan's Arrival in Yankee-Occupied New OrleansRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 11/3/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    In April 1863, 21-year-old Sarah Morgan, along with her mother and sisters, found herself on a ship headed for the city of her birth, New Orleans. The Morgan familiy had lived in Baton Rouge for years, but after Union forces took the town the previous August, they abondoned their home...

  • Voices from the Past - Out of That Silence Rose New Sounds More Appalling StillRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 10/31/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    The Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862) was a decisive loss for the Union Army, crippling Northern morale. The chilling quote below derives from Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's description of the battle's aftermath

  • Voices From the Past: "I am truly thankful for the institution of ghosts..." Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 10/31/2011 Author:  | 

    "You perceive that my idea of ghosts is not limited to graveyards and tombs, or the tenants thereof; indeed, so far from it..."

  • "They See a Ghost or Something."Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 10/31/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    On May 25, 1863, Union soldier David L. Day, of the 25th Massachusetts Volunteers, recorded a strange incident that occurred while his regiment was on a recent nighttime march:

  • Mrs. ("Beast") Butler's Scary DreamRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 10/31/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    On April 4, 1862, Sarah Hildreth Butler, wife of Union general Benjamin F. ("Beast") Butler, wrote a friend to document her recent activities on Ship Island, off the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which Union troops commanded by her husband had occupied since the previous December. As she notes, a recent storm made for a particulary spooky night:

  • Are You Ready for Some (Civil War) Football?Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 10/28/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    Winslow Homer's depiction of Union soldiers playing "Foot-Ball" in camp. Looks harmless enough...

  • Teaching Slavery as the Cause of the Civil WarRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/27/2011 Author: Andrew L. Slap | 

    “What caused the Civil War?” Historians have killed forests trying to answer this deceptively simple question. In a recent essay in The Journal of the Civil War Era, Frank Towers discusses changing interpretations over the last 150 years, finding that starting in the 1960s historians “foregrounded slavery as the war’s cause, situated within a global process of modernization...

  • Respect My Heritage; You Can Stick YoursRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/25/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Several news stories appeared in the media recently updating recent developments in a neighborhood dispute in South Carolina that’s been brewing for about year now. The brief recap is that a white woman, Annie Chambers Caddell, moved into the historically African American neighborhood of Brownsville, an formerly-unincorporated area now part of the city of Summerville.

  • Voices From the Past: "An Inferior Force"Read More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 10/24/2011 Author:  | 

    “Well, so far we seem to have applied a new maxim of war, always to meet the enemy with an inferior force at the point of attack.”

  • Ball's Bluff RememberedRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 10/21/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    One hundred fifty years ago today, on October 21, 1861, Union troops suffered a humiliating defeat in what would come to be known as the Battle of Ball's Bluff. After crossing the Potomac River to conduct a reconnaissance in the vicinity of Leesburg, Virginia, a small Union force was routed by the opposing Confederates, who drove the survivors back down the steep banks of the Potomac and...

  • Progress and Change and PreservationRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/20/2011 Author:  | 

    We often hear a good location is critical in many business pursuits, particularly in retail. Yet for those who study Civil War battles, the battlefield IS the location...

  • "Coal for the Furnaces is as important as Gunpowder for the Guns"Read More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 10/18/2011 Author: James M. Schmidt | 

    If cannon and rifles were the engines of war, then gunpowder was the fuel for those engines. On countless Civil War battlefields, the fuel was employed to great effect—physically and psychologically—just as it had for the centuries prior...

  • Southward BoundRead More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 10/17/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    One hundred fifty years ago today—October 17, 1861—25-year-old Lieutenant W. H. Timberlake of the 8th Maine Volunteers wrote the following letter from his regiment's camp in Annapolis, Maryland. The men of the 8th had been in service little over a month at the time; four days later, they would board ships for the coast of South Carolina as part of the Port Royal Expedition.

  • Bolting On the Civil War NavyRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/13/2011 Author: Craig Swain | 

    Several months back, my friend Matthew Eng, coordinator at the Hampton Roads Navy Museum, asked me why the naval aspects of the Civil War tend to stand off from the main discussion of the war. When you think of the war’s great battles the likes of ...

  • D. W. Griffith’s Other Civil War MovieRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/11/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    The infamous director's 1930 biography of Lincoln was one of only two "talkies" made by Griffith, and stars Walter Huston in the title role. The screenplay is by Stephen Vincent Benét, who the year previous had won the Pulitzer Prize for his book-length poem, John Brown's Body. The film is the earliest feature-length film on Lincoln.

  • Voices from the Past: A "Plucky" Young SoldierRead More

    Category: Quotables Posted: 10/10/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    Good morning! The Civil War Monitor has added a new section to The Front Line: Quotables. Each Monday, we will share a Voice from Past to help you learn more about the Civil War...from the men and women who actually lived it.

  • "It made us an 'is'."Read More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 10/4/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    It's one of the great quotes, from one of the great documentaries, that sums up the legacy of the American Civil War:

  • A War of WordsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/29/2011 Author: Amy Murrell Taylor | 

    There’s a lot that remains unsettled about the Civil War: “Manassas” or “Bull Run”? “Civil War” or “War Between the States”? Forget the big questions about what the war was about: we cannot even agree on something as simple as what words to use to describe what actually happened between 1861 and 1865. It’s the sort of disagreement that...

  • Texas SCV Calls for a New StrategyRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/27/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Recently Mark Vogl, Lieutenant Commander of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, called for a shift strategy in that organization's approach to "heritage defense," away from throwing up legal challenges to perceived slights and instead focusing on a more proactive, less-confrontational approach.

  • These Sacred Fields: Union Commemorations at GettysburgRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/21/2011 Author: M. Keith Harris | 

    For Union veterans of the Civil War, the battlefield at Gettysburg served as the epicenter for war remembrance. The modern landscape certainly attests to this. A forest of marble, granite, and bronze—monuments to the Union cause—cover the rolling farmland and rocky hills of the area immediately surrounding the small Pennsylvania town where in the summer of 1863, two armies clashed in...

  • We Cannot Know Their MindsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/21/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Certainly there are many people from that era, men and women, soldiers and civilians, who left diaries and letters that have survived down to the present that give us real insight into their thoughts at the time. There are also those who wrote memoirs decades later; these are helpful but come with the caveat that they were written both from the perspective of the intervening years, and with the...

  • Welcome to The Front Line!Read More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 9/21/2011 Author: Laura June Davis | 

    The goal of The Front Line is to provide a vibrant and active space for both our readers and our contributors.  Just as printed editions of The Civil War Monitor attempt to bridge the chasm that divides many professional scholars from broader historical audiences, this space utilizes the infinite reach and timeliness of the Internet to achieve the same goal. As such, ...

About This Blog

The Front Line is our communal blog featuring the latest in Civil War news, research, analysis, and events from a network of scholars.

For information concerning the blog, inquiries into becoming a blogger for The Front Line, events calendar requests, or general questions, please contact the Contributing Editor: 


Robert Poister
robby@civilwarmonitor.com



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