2011: A Year in Review

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 success. 2011 was a great year and we can only imagine how wonderful 2012 will be.

The following is our belated 2011: Year in Review.

To date, we have released two issues of the magazine:

“It Begins.” – Volume 1, Number 1 – September 2011 (available online for free) that featured

The Men & the Hour: Lincoln, Davis, and the Struggle to Avert War by Russell McClintock
Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were both moderate politicians who in 1861 deeply desired peace. What went wrong?

The Work That Remains by Judith Giesberg
Even after the fighting stopped, women waged their own battles to bring the bodies of their loved ones home.

Run Aground at Sailor’s Creek by Derek Smith
In one of the war’s final battles, the veteran infantrymen of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia fought alongside an unlikely set of comrades—the sailors and marines of Commodore John Randolph Tucker’s Naval Battalion.

Captive Memories: Union Ex-Prisoners and the Work of Remembrance by Brian Matthew Jordan
Survivors of Confederate prison camps soon found themselves waging an unexpected, and unwanted, struggle at home.

“Babylon is Fallen”: The Northern Press Reports Sherman’s March to the Sea by Silvana R. Siddali
Contrary to popular belief, the northern public was kept well aware of the goings-on of General Sherman’s infamous Georgia excursion.

“Custer.” – Volume 1, Number 2 – December 2011 that featured:

Custer and the End of Innocence by Glenn W. LaFantasie
In little more than a decade, George Armstrong Custer—the “Boy General of the Golden Lock”—went from Civil War darling to Little Bighorn pariah. What went wrong?

Black Men in Blue by Ronald S. Coddington
A series of images highlights the story of the African-American volunteers collectively known as the Union army’s “Sable Arm.”

Hard Times Are Common Now by Steven H. Newton
Ulysses S. Grant’s determination to push the Confederates from East Tennessee during the winter of 1863-1864 resulted in a sharp—and largely forgotten—fight on the frozen ground outside the small town of Dandridge.

Faded Glory by James Marten
As the rest of America moved on, the struggles of “old soldiers” became an uncomfortable reminder of the enduring costs of war.

Books & Authors: The Year in Civil War Books

In September, we launched our Web site and 2 blogs. The Front Line has featured 15 posts (from scholars such as Andy Hall, M. Keith Harris, James M. Schmidt, Andrew Slap, Craig Swain, and Amy Murrell Taylor) and a number of From the Archives pieces, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years-themed series. Meanwhile, The Bookshelf published 24 book reviews covering a wide array of topics. We also launched a Facebook page, which now has 355 fans, and a Twitter page, which has sent over 1300 tweets and has 171 followers. Both continue to grow daily.

And, we have received some high praise from around the Blogosphere and the Civil War community:

From The Confederate Book Review:

Issue number 2 of the magazine Civil War Monitor is on the stands. Like the premier issue this is well worth checking your local bookstore for! This is 72 pages of top notch history.

Civil War Monitor is setting the bar for the other magazines dealing with this subject and in some cases is already leaving some behind. With a wide range of topics, qualified authors who write in an accessible fashion, interesting columns, relevant illustrations, and endnotes this is a magazine aimed at anybody with an interest in the Civil War.

From Andy Hall (of Dead Confederates and The Front Line’s blog team): The online version went live Wednesday afternoon… It promises to be a great endeavor. I love Terry’s guiding principle for the magazine, that it would be “devoted to the belief that popular history need not be superficial or sentimental.” Damn straight.

From Keith Harris (another one of The Front Line’s bloggers and the genius behind the Cosmic America blog): The multi-media onslaught is just getting started but I expect great things as the Monitor reaches out into the nation and the world.

From our Digital History Advisor and Civil War Memory author Kevin Levin:

I received the premier issue on Friday and over the weekend I had a chance to read through most of it. It has met and exceeded all of my expectations. What stands out on first inspection is the quality of the paper used as well as the cover art by David A. Johnson…In the end, however, it’s the content that matters…The content clearly reflects Terry’s conviction that popular writing does not have to rehash the same tired accounts of battles and leaders. The Civil War was much more expansive and its effects much more profound. I can’t think of any other way to characterize this issue than to say, this is a smart magazine.

From Kraig McNutt at The Civil War Gazette: Winter 2011 issue of The Civil War Monitor is a worthy read…My new favorite Civil War magazine is The Civil War Monitor. It is fresh, contemporary, edgey, and intriguing. The most current issue, just the second one, is out now. General George Custer adorns the cover. AND Civil War veterans get their due in recent issue of The Civil War Monitor.

From Cenantua blogger Robert H. Moore, II:

Now, certainly, the feel and look (love the decision on the cover art) of the magazine move beyond (a good thing) the traditional presentations found on many a CW mag, I like the blend on the inside as well, beginning in the “Salvo” section, and rolling through the features. I think one of the smallish morsels that struck a positive chord in me were the “Voices” section (literally, quotes from people who lived that time… with no intervening interpretation by contemporary historians), and the “Parting Shot” (a “word cloud” comparing Davis and Lincoln), because they smacked (in a positive way) of an effort to reach out to the Web-techies, whether they be deep in their interests of the Civil War, or, perhaps, just beginning to test the waters…But…that’s not all. As many folks in the know are now aware, there is also the electronic arm of the magazine (hence, the current header from that page, seen above) which, in my opinion, puts CWM in a class by itself.

From Jim Schmidt (one of the bloggers for The Front Line and the mastermind behind Civil War Medicine (and Writing)):

If the contents of the premier edition are any indication, this is going to be a GREAT publication! The feature articles were well-written, interesting, and annotated and the artwork and maps are wonderful (the premier issue included previously unpublished period photographs as well as some that I had never seen before). Most important, the articles were not re-hashes of familiar topics based on secondary sources—they were serious (but readable articles!)—about important subjects that are generally ignored, at least in the Civil War popular press.

From The Front Line and To The Sound of Guns blogger Craig Swain:

The premier issue of the new magazine – The Civil War Monitor – has made quite a splash here on line… Taken together, these set a fresh tone from the new magazine…What’s more, the Civil War Monitor’s web site promises to be an interactive feature all its own. Fellow bloggers Andy Hall (Dead Confederates), Keith Harris (Cosmic America: Civil War History and Memory), Robert Moore (Cenantua’s Blog), Harry Smeltzer (Bull Runnings), and Jim Schmidt (Civil War Medicine and Writing) are contributing posts on the magazine’s blog page…A job well done by the staff of Civil War Monitor.

From Chris Wehner at Civil War Voices: to check out their website and consider subscribing!is a new publication which recently released its second issue… I recently spoke with editor-in-chief Terry A. Johnston Jr. over the phone and was very impressed by his the vision for the publication. I urge you to to check out their website and consider subscribing!

And, from Eric J. Wittenberg at Rantings of a Civil War historian: The first issue has a number of good articles, with a nice blend of tactical detail, political history, and social history. The presentation is handsome, and I’m very impressed with the first issue.

We certainly had a great year full of accomplishments and we thank you all for being a part of it!

Happy New Year and Many Thanks!
Laura June Davis, Contributing Editor – Blogs and Social Media

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