Blogs

Published 9/28/2022

Quick Picks: Sherman's March Books

By: Bennett Parten Category: Articles

Looking to do some reading on William T. Sherman's March to the Sea? We asked Bennett Parten, a professor of history at Georgia Southern University who is completing a book on the history of emancipation in the wake of Sherman's March, for his five essential books on one of the war’s most consequential campaigns. Below are his selections.

Published 9/28/2022

BERRY: Count the Dead (2022)

By: Mark S. Schantz Category: Book Reviews

Stephen Berry's "Count the Dead" is a little book that packs a huge punch.

Published 9/26/2022

A Straggler

By: Alfred Waud Category: From the Archives

On March 28, 1863, Harper's Weekly published Alfred R. Waud's description, and associated illustration, of an army straggler—a class of soldier encountered repeatedly during the conflict by the famous sketch artist. It follows, in full:

Published 9/21/2022

PINHEIRO, JR: The Families' Civil War (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Holly A. Pinheiro Jr.'s "The Families' Civil War" enhances our understanding of the war's lived consequences in general, and the African American military experience in particular.

Published 9/14/2022

COWIE: When Hell Came to Sharpsburg (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Steven Cowie's "When Hell Came to Sharpsburg" offers the most comprehensive accounting to date of all that a Civil War battle did to an individual community.

Published 9/12/2022

"Union Jim" Williams

By: Harper's Weekly Category: From the Archives

The March 28, 1863, issue of Harper's Weekly included the following article about, and illustration of, Jim Williams, a formerly enslaved man who assisted Union forces during their presence in Lousiana. Nothing more is known about Williams' wartime service or postwar life.

Published 9/7/2022

KNUDSEN: James Longstreet and the American Civil War (2022)

By: A.J. Blaylock Category: Book Reviews

Harold M. Knudsen's "James Longstreet and the American Civil War" seeks to prove that the general possessed a strategic and tactical prowess exceeding the estimates of his postwar detractors.

Published 8/31/2022

The Five Best Books on the Civil War in the (Far) West

By: Matthew Christopher Hulbert Category: Articles

On the first day of my American West in History and Film class, I ask students to explain where the historical West of their imaginations is located, when it existed, and what characteristics make it distinctly “western.” As the discussion progresses, it gradually becomes clear that, though each of them assumes their version is the West, we all have different ideas about the American West, be...

Published 8/31/2022

BURTCH & BURTCH: W.G. (2022)

By: Brian Martin Category: Book Reviews

"W.G." presents a fascinating character whose life reflects the complex and often troubled nature of nineteenth century America.

Published 8/24/2022

EDWARDS: Only the Clothes on Her Back (2022)

By: Cecily N. Zander Category: Book Reviews

Laura F. Edwards' "Only the Clothes on Her Back" is a compelling work of legal history, written with clarity and verve.

Published 8/22/2022

Extra Voices: A Thirst For Battle

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

In the Voices section of our Fall 2022 issue we highlighted quotes about the thirst for battle that consumed many Union and Confederate soldiers. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that just missed the cut.

Published 8/17/2022

LITWACK: Been in the Storm So Long (1979)

By: Evan C. Jones Category: Book Reviews

Leon F. Litwack's "Been in the Storm" tapped into the grapevine telegraph...and set a higher standard for all subsequent social history of the United States.

Published 8/15/2022

Major Knipe Winging a Secessionist

By: Harper's Weekly Category: From the Archives

The following news item and image about an incident involving Union officer Joseph Knipe ran in Harper's Weekly on July 20, 1861—the day before the Battle of Bull Run. Knipe, a major and aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Edward Williams at the time, would be wounded several times during the war and rise to the rank of brigadier general. The Pennsylvania native survived the conflict and died...

Published 8/10/2022

CHICK: Dreams of Victory (2022)

By: Wesley Moody Category: Book Reviews

Sean Michael Chick's "Dreams of Victory" asks some interesting questions and brings to life the old controversies.

Published 8/3/2022

DAVIS & BELL (eds.): The Whartons' War (2022)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

"The Whartons' War" is a voluminous collection covering over three years of the war with no significant gaps.

Published 7/27/2022

BURGE: A Failed Vision of Empire (2022)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Daniel J. Burge's "A Failed Vision of Empire" is a well-written, deeply researched, and provocative book.

Published 7/22/2022

Quick Picks: First Bull Run Books

By: Harry Smeltzer Category: Articles

Looking to do some reading on the First Battle of Bull Run? We asked Harry Smeltzer, proprietor of the website Bull Runnings, for his five essential books on the war’s first major battle. Below are his selections.

Published 7/21/2022

First Bull Run

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Photo Essays

On July 21, 1861, Union and Confederae forces clashed just north of Manassas, Virginia, in the war's first major land battle. The engagment brought together inexperienced northern and southern volunteers, most of whom expected a quick, relatively bloodless, and decisive victory. The result was a battle whose outcome remained up in the air until a late Confederate push that broke the Union army's...

Published 7/20/2022

SIMPSON: All for the Union (2022)

By: Eric Michael Burke Category: Book Reviews

John A. Simpson's "All for the Union" offers yet another lens through which to trace the timeworn trail of the embattled Army of the Potomac.

Published 7/13/2022

ALFORD: In The Houses of Their Dead (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Terry Alford's spellbinding "In The Houses of Their Dead" makes important interventions in both Civil War scholarship and Lincoln studies.