Blogs

Published 10/26/2011

GLATTHAAR: Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia (2011)

By: Brian Craig Miller Category: Book Reviews

Designed as a companion to his superb 2008 work General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse, the statistical volume breaks down the sample of six hundred soldiers that Glatthaar used to tell the story of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia...

Published 10/25/2011

Respect My Heritage; You Can Stick Yours

By: Andy Hall Category: Commentary

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.

Published 10/24/2011

Voices From the Past: "An Inferior Force"

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Quotables

“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.”

Published 10/21/2011

Ball's Bluff Remembered

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

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...

Published 10/20/2011

Progress and Change and Preservation

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Commentary

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...

Published 10/19/2011

BYNUM: The Long Shadow of the Civil War (2010)

By: Laura Hepp Bradshaw Category: Book Reviews

“Few histories,” Victoria Bynum laments, “are buried faster or deeper than those of political or social dissenters” (148). By resurrecting the histories of three anti-secessionist communities in the South, Bynum’s latest book about the Civil War home front and its checkered aftermath bring previously ignored strains of political and social dissent back to life through an intricate examination of...

Published 10/19/2011

WOOD: Near Andersonville (2010)

By: Robert Bonner Category: Book Reviews

Peter Wood’s incisive new book asks us to set aside imagery of battles and soldiers, and even “Honest Abe,” so that we might visualize the world captured by the painter Winslow Homer in his long-forgotten masterpiece “Near Andersonville.”

Published 10/18/2011

"Coal for the Furnaces is as important as Gunpowder for the Guns"

By: James M. Schmidt Category: Analysis

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...

Published 10/17/2011

Southward Bound

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

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.

Published 10/13/2011

Bolting On the Civil War Navy

By: Craig Swain Category: Commentary

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 ...

Published 10/12/2011

MARTEN: Sing Not War (2011)

By: Brian M. Jordan Category: Book Reviews

More so than any previous historian, Marten sheds light on several important questions: how did veterans live, and how were they perceived by society? Sing Not War has given admirable shape and definition to an anemic subfield of Civil War history, and as such it is a welcome addition to the literature. Future studies of the war’s consequences must contend with the important questions that James ...

Published 10/12/2011

MCCURRY: Confederate Reckoning (2010)

By: David K. Thomson Category: Book Reviews

Confederate Reckoning’s sharp narrative and fresh analysis of the odds faced by slaveholders in the Confederacy and their contributions to its internal collapse is both timely and justified as historians try to reassess key issues of race and gender, such as the roles of southern women and slaves, in relation to the war. McCurry has opened the door for future scholarship and has further cemented...

Published 10/11/2011

D. W. Griffith's Other Civil War Movie

By: Andy Hall Category: Commentary

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 Benet, 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.

Published 10/10/2011

Voices from the Past: A "Plucky" Young Soldier

By: Terry Johnston Category: Quotables

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.

Published 10/5/2011

BERRY (ed.): Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War's Ragged Edges (2011)

By: W. Fitzhugh Brundage Category: Book Reviews

The essays themselves explore nooks and crevices of Civil War history that are always interesting, sometimes poignant, and often revelatory. Berry’s introduction is especially cogent about the thread that runs through the collection: the “littleness” of the war. Almost certainly this view of the conflict is rooted in the experience of contemporary Americans with war. We have a half century of...

Published 10/4/2011

"It made us an 'is'."

By: Andy Hall Category: Analysis

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

Published 9/29/2011

A War of Words

By: Amy Murrell Taylor Category: Analysis

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 isn’t going away anytime soon, because...

Published 9/28/2011

GOODHEART: 1861: The Civil War Awakening (2011)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

Adam Goodheart�s much heralded 1861: The Civil War Awakening is an eloquent, innovative, and deeply researched collection of chapter-length vignettes that surveys a variety of events at the outset of our national bloodletting...