The Front Line

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

Published 11/10/2017

The Best Civil War Books of All Time

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Analysis

For our latest newsstand-only special issue, The Civil War Almanac, we asked a panel of Civil War historians--J. Matthew Gallman, Matthew C. Hulbert, James Marten, and Amy Murrell Taylor—for their opinions on a  a variety of popular topics, including the war's most overrated and underratred commanders, top turning points, most influential women, and best depictions on film. Space contraints...

Published 11/3/2017

Then and Now: How Civil War-Era Doctors Responded to Their Own Opiate Epidemic

By: Jonathan S. Jones Category: Analysis

Hidden among the many headlines about the United States' ongoing opioid crisis was an important press release issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this summer. On Thursday, June 8, the FDA requested that drug manufacturer Endo Pharmaceuticals pull the opioid Opana ER from the market. Opana is notorious for its extraordinary power and addictiveness—even compared to other...

Published 9/8/2017

Robert E. Lee, Confederate Memorials, and the Burden of the Past

By: Glenn W. LaFantasie Category: Commentary

On August 13, a statue of Robert E. Lee took center stage in the struggle over the meaning and legacy of the Civil War. That day a "Unite the Right" rally of self-proclaimed white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, anti-Semites, and neo-Confederates protested the city’s decision to remove an equestrian statue of Lee from a public park. The rally erupted in violence, killing one...

Published 6/23/2017

Extra Voices: Bad Officers

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

In the Voices section of the Spring 2017 issue of The Civil War Monitor we highlighted first-person quotes about some Union and Confederate officers who weren't much admired by their contemporaries. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that didn't make the cut. 

Published 6/16/2017

The B&A Q&A: Sydney Blumenthal

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Author Interview

In May, Simon & Schuster released Wrestling With His Angel, the second book in veteran journalist and presidential advisor Sidney Blumenthal’s multivolume political biography of President Abraham Lincoln. (A Self-Made Man, the series’ critically acclaimed first volume, was released in 2016.) We recently sat down with Blumenthal to learn more about his work, including how he came to study ...

Published 1/18/2017

Extra Dossier: Robert E. Lee

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

For the Dossier section of the Summer 2015 issue of The Civil War Monitor, we asked a panel of Civil War historians a series of questions about Confederate general Robert E. Lee, from what they considered to be his best and least impressive battlefield performances to their favorite book about him. Due to space constraints, we weren't able to publish all of our

Published 12/1/2016

Extra Voices: Curses

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

In the Voices section of the Winter 2016 issue of The Civil War Monitor we highlighted first-person quotes about some of the colorful oaths uttered by soldiers and civilians during the Civil War. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that didn't make the cut.

Published 9/15/2016

How 'bout them apples

By: Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

Autumn is almost here and so are apples. Below is an apple pie recipe from the Civil War era to help you enjoy the season.

Published 9/15/2016

Extra Dossier: Stonewall Jackson

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Analysis

For the Dossier section of the fall 2016 issue of The Civil War Monitor, we asked a panel of 20 Civil War historians a series of questions about Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, from what they most admired about the famed commander to their favorite book about him. Due to space constraints, we weren't able to include any of the answers to our final question for the panel, "If ...

Published 6/9/2016

Extra Voices: Souvenirs

By: Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

In the Voices section of our spring 2016 issue, we highlighted first-person quotes about the quest for battlefield souvenirs. Here are some that didn't make the cut.