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: American Iliad

"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...

Published 4/7/2021

STOKES (ed.): Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton (2021)

By: Ashley Towle Category: Book Reviews

"Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton" brims with nostalgia for the antebellum South, teems with malice for Sherman, and articulate the fear and loath white Southerners harbored for freepeople...

Published 4/5/2021

Extra Voices: Shirkers

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

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

Published 3/31/2021

JEFFREY: First Chaplain of the Confederacy (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Katherine Bentley Jeffrey's "First Chaplain of the Confederacy" reminds us of the nuanced role Catholics played in the Confederate and Reconstruction South.

Published 3/29/2021

A Reconstruction Bookshelf

By: Brooks D. Simpson Category: Articles

It’s safe to say that while many Americans take a great interest in the battles and leaders of the Civil War, far fewer are familiar with the events of Reconstruction, the dozen years after the conflict. Moreover, much of what people do know about this time—when the federal government attempted to rebuild the country and define the meaning of freedom for millions of former slaves—comes from...

Published 3/24/2021

SMITH: In the Shadow of Gold (2020)

By: Sarah Kay Bierle Category: Book Reviews

Michael Smith's "In The Shadow of Gold" is a historical novel for our own challenging times.