Published 6/28/2021

Voices From the Army of Northern Virginia, Part 1

By: Gary W. Gallagher Category: Articles

Between fall 2013 and summer 2016, I contributed seven short essays to The Civil War Monitor as “Voices From the Army of the Potomac.” Collectively, they examined more than two dozen titles about the largest and most famous Union army. This essay begins a comparable series on the Army of Northern Virginia that will also discuss primary accounts of various kinds and include a few secondary...

Published 6/23/2021

KENNING: Abandoned Coastal Defenses of Alabama (2021)

By: William Bailey Category: Book Reviews

"Abandoned Coastal Defenses of Alabama" suggests the historical and military importance of Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan.

Published 6/16/2021

HESS: Civil War Supply and Strategy (2020)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

In "Civil War Supply and Strategy," Earl Hess contends that victory rode on the work of quartermasters and commissaries.

Published 6/9/2021

DUNKERLY & CRENSHAW: Embattled Capital (2021)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

Robert M. Dunkerly and Doug Crenshaw's "Embattled Capital" provides proper context and reasoned interpretation to readers, rising above the realm of a 'you are here' guidebook...

Published 6/7/2021

Extra Voices: Fear

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

In the Voices section of the Summer 2021 issue of The Civil War Monitor we highlighted quotes by Union and Confederate soldiers about fear. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that didn't make the cut.

Published 6/2/2021

HUNT: Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station (2021)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Jeffrey William Hunt's "Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station" is a deftly written, exhaustively researched, and profusely illustrated history of a neglected period.

Published 5/28/2021

The Books That Built Me

By: Steven H. Newton Category: Articles

Civil War enthusiasts understand that historians construct campaign and battle narratives from official reports, maps, letters, journals, newspaper articles and the like. When reading an account penned by any popular author, there is an additional depth to be considered: not just the sources, but the preferences and interests of the historian. At conferences (and sometimes in bars) when historians...

Published 5/26/2021

NOE: The Howling Storm (2020)

By: Lindsay R.S. Privette Category: Book Reviews

Kenneth W. Noe's "The Howling Storm" is a magnum opus that successfully challenges historians to rethink all they have ever known of the war.

Published 5/24/2021

The Death of Colonel Ellsworth

By: The New York Times Category: Articles

On May 24, 1861, 24-year-old Elmer E. Ellsworth, colonel of 11th New York Infantry, led a group of his men from their camp in Washington, D.C., into Alexandria, after observing a Confederate flag flying from the roof of a building in the Virginia town. Determined to take down the banner, Ellsworth and his men entered the structure—the Marshall House, an inn run by pro-secessionist proprietor ...

Published 5/19/2021

ASHDOWN & CAUDILL: Imagining Wild Bill (2020)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown's "Imagining Wild Bill" is a well-written and accessible study of historical memory.

Published 5/12/2021

JEMISON: Christian Citizens (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Elizabeth L. Jemison's "Christian Citizens" is an important work about the intersection of religion, race, gender, and nineteenth century Southern politics.

Published 5/5/2021

TEMPLE: Whisperwood (2020)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

Van Temple's novel "Whisperwood" presents an illuminating exploration of Southern memory about the Civil War.

Published 4/29/2021

Essential Reading on the Coming of the Civil War

By: Russell McClintock Category: Articles

The literature on the coming of the Civil War is more than vast—it is overwhelming. Choosing just a handful of the thousands of books written on the subject—and the dozens of books absolutely critical to any real understanding of it—is by its nature arbitrary and subjective. That said, the half-dozen titles discussed here offer an outstanding (and readable!) introduction to this fascinating...

Published 4/28/2021

BUNN: The Assault on Fort Blakeley (2021)

By: John C. Waugh Category: Book Reviews

Mike Bunn's "The Assault on Fort Blakeley" is a fact-packed, authoritative, and amply illustrated book.

Published 4/21/2021

HARRIS: The Last Slave Ships (2020)

By: Jonathan W. White Category: Book Reviews

John Harris' "The Last Slave Ships" is a model for scholars who wish to place the U.S. Civil War within a broader international context.

Published 4/19/2021

Kissing and Kicking Ass

By: Tracy L. Barnett Category: Articles

A long-used vulgarity takes on new life during the Civil War ...

Published 4/16/2021

War's Early Days

By: Mary Boykin Chesnut Category: In the First Person

Two days after the fall of Fort Sumter, 38-year-old South Carolinian Mary Boykin Chesnut sat down with her journal—something she'd done faithfully since the beginnig of the secession crisis and would continue to do through the entirety of the Civil War. She'd been in Charleston during the bombardment before returning to her home in Camden, South Carolina. What follows are her first two post-...

Published 4/15/2021

"The First Gun is Fired"

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

Published three days after the fall of Fort Sumter in April 1861, "The First Gun is Fired: May God Protect the Right" is known to be the first song written specifically about the Civil War. Penned by George F. Root, who would go on to author over 30 songs about the conflict—including the famed "The Battle Hymn of Freedom"—"The First Gun" would garner a wide audience throughout the North. ...

Published 4/14/2021

KEMPF: What Though the Field Be Lost (2021)

By: Kent Gramm Category: Book Reviews

"What Though the Field Be Lost" sees the past and present together in their deadly, alien, sometimes ironic and sometimes enlightening embrace.

Published 4/9/2021

Word-Clouding Lee's and Grant's Farewell Addresses

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

On the night of April 9, 1865, only hours after surrendering to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Robert E. Lee sat around a fire with a group of his officers outside his tent. One of the men with Lee that evening was his military secretary, Colonel Charles Marshall, who later recalled the scene. “[A]fter some conversation about the army, and the events of the day, in which his...