Blogs

Published 11/4/2011

Image of the Day: The Dogs of War

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

From Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, "An Incident of Battle — A Faithful Dog Watching the Dead Body of His Master" ...

Published 11/3/2011

Sarah Morgan's Arrival in Yankee-Occupied New Orleans

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

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...

Published 11/2/2011

MARTIN: General Braxton Bragg, C.S.A. (2011)

By: Jeffry D Wert Category: Book Reviews

In this lengthy and well-researched new biography of Bragg, Samuel Martin attempts to rectify the Confederate general’s historical record and reputation. It is a commendable effort by the veteran author that will assuredly stir further debate and controversy...

Published 10/31/2011

Voices from the Past - Out of That Silence Rose New Sounds More Appalling Still

By: Laura June Davis Category: Quotables

The Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862) was a decisive loss for the Union Army, crippling Northern morale. The chilling quote below derives from Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's description of the battle's aftermath

Published 10/31/2011

Voices From the Past: "I am truly thankful for the institution of ghosts..."

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Quotables

"You perceive that my idea of ghosts is not limited to graveyards and tombs, or the tenants thereof; indeed, so far from it..."

Published 10/31/2011

"They See a Ghost or Something."

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

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:

Published 10/31/2011

Mrs. ("Beast") Butler's Scary Dream

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

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:

Published 10/28/2011

Are You Ready for Some (Civil War) Football?

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

Winslow Homer's depiction of Union soldiers playing "Foot-Ball" in camp. Looks harmless enough...

Published 10/27/2011

Teaching Slavery as the Cause of the Civil War

By: Andrew L. Slap Category: Commentary

“What caused the Civil War?” Historians have killed forests trying to answer this deceptively simple question. In a recent essay in The Journal of the Civil War Era, Frank Towers discusses changing interpretations over the last 150 years, finding that starting in the 1960s historians “foregrounded slavery as the war’s cause, situated within a global process of modernization.” And while...

Published 10/26/2011

THOMAS: The Iron Way (2011)

By: Elizabeth Varon Category: Book Reviews

William G. Thomas’s The Iron Way is a tour-de-force, and offers a series of bracing insights about the origins, shape and outcome of the Civil War. Thomas argues that the railroads were sites and symbols of contested modernity in antebellum America. They did not simply symbolize northern industrial might and progress, but also the South’s determination to have modernity on its own terms: to...

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 ...