From the Archives

  • 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 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ...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 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.

  • 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." 

  • 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.

  • "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.

  • 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: "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,...

  • 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: "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...

  • 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.

  • 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)."

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: "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: 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!

  • 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!

  • 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 - 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.

  • "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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • "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...

  • 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...

  • 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.

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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