The Front Line

Our communal blog featuring the latest in Civil War news, research, analysis, and events from a network of historians

Published 9/27/2021

The Five Best Books on Civil War Guerrillas

By: Matthew Christopher Hulbert Category: Articles

"This Mr. Wales is a cold-blooded killer. He’s from Missouri where they’re all known to be killers of innocent men, women, and children.” That line from Clint Eastwood’s iconic 1976 film, The Outlaw Josey Wales, reflected—and in some cases still reflects—the three most enduring misconceptions about Civil War guerrillas. First was that irregular combatants were all bloodthirsty psychos....

Published 9/20/2021

Unceasing Fury at Chickamauga

By: W.W. Heartsill Category: In the First Person

The Battle of Chickamauga, fought on September 18–20, 1863, pitted the William Rosecrans Army of the Cumberland against Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee in the war's first major land battle in Georgia. The bloody fighting, a resounding Confederate victory that produced some 34,000 total causalties, was marked by a series of Rebel attacks: on the 18th, James Longstreet's corps exploited a gap...

Published 9/13/2021

Extra Voices: Nicknames

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

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

Published 8/27/2021

Voices From the Army of Northern Virginia, Part 2

By: Gary W. Gallagher Category: Articles

Artillerists created an invaluable body of evidence relating to the Army of Northern Virginia. Though they made up only about 7.5 percent of the army’s strength, they figured prominently in almost every battle and decisively in a few.

Published 7/20/2021

After Fort Wagner

By: Lewis Douglass Category: In the First Person

On July 20, 1863, Lewis Douglass, 22, a member of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry—and son of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass—wrote the following letter to H. Amelia Loguen of Syracuse, New York. The previous evening, Douglass and the 54th had participated in the failed Union attack on Fort Wagner on Morris Island, South Carolina. He would have written this letter only hours after battlle...

Published 7/16/2021

Bully Boys

By: Tracy L. Barnett Category: Articles

How a word with rough origins came to represent good times to the troops.

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 6/7/2021

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.