The Front Line

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

Published 3/27/2012

Then and Now: Pope's Canal to New Madrid

By: Craig Swain Category: Analysis

The campaign to capture Island No. 10 played out over swamps, bayous, and river bottom at the corner where Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee meet. Today this land bears little resemblance to its Civil War appearance. But in some ways it is still a battlefield today.

Published 3/27/2012

Song of the Southern Women

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

O ABRAHAM LINCOLN! We call thee to hark To the song we are singing, we Joans of Arc; While our brothers are bleeding we fear not to bleed, We?ll face the Red Horror should there be need

Published 3/26/2012

Women's Work

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is a Harper's Weekly image entitled "Filling Cartidges at the United States Arsenal at Watertown, Massachusetts." It is a reminder that the war dramatically altered gender norms, forcing women to assume uncoventional tasks to help the war effort.

Published 3/23/2012

A Slave and A Spy

By: Laura June Davis Category: Commentary

Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is of Mary Touvestre.  Touvestre, a former slave, worked for one of the Confederate engineers transforming the USS Merrimack into the CSS Virginia. While at work, Touvestre overheard her employer discussing the ironclad and its importance to the southern war effort. Realizing the threat that the Virginia posed to the northern blockade, ...

Published 3/21/2012

"I will not attempt to hamper you with any minute instructions."

By: Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

In March 1862, General Henry Halleck granted General John Pope much latitude in operations to reduce Confederate defenses at Island No. 10 along the Mississippi. Halleck's correspondence provides a broad and succinct assessment of Federal operations in the West.

Published 3/20/2012

The Infamous "Woman Order" of Occupied New Orleans

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good afternoon! Earlier today, we shared an image of a Baltimore woman flaunting her Confederate sympathies which drew parallels to the actions of the women of Union-occupied New Orleans. Therefore, we thought it fitting to continue our Women's History Month celebration by posting Major General Benjamin Butler's Infamous General Orders No. 28:

Published 3/20/2012

Southern Belle or Female Rebel?

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good morning! In honor of Women's History Month we thought we would share this Harper's Weekly image (shown to the left). Along with the front page illustration the authors of Harper's Weekly provided the following commentary:  

Published 3/19/2012

Patriotic Mail

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good afternoon! Our Women's History Month celebration continues with an image of one of the era's patriotic envelopes. Used to both boost morale and support the war effort, envelopes like the one below often depicted women and the hardships they endured as wives and mothers to soldiers.

Published 3/16/2012

The Wild Rose of the South

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is of Rose O'Neal Greenhow---also known as "Wild Rose"---the famed Confederate spy. Born in Maryland in 1817, little is known of her early years.

Published 3/16/2012

The Monitor, The Merrimack, and Me

By: Laura June Davis Category: Commentary

Last week, I packed up my husband and my dog and headed north to Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia. We were bound for the Civil War Navy Conference at the 10th Annual Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend sponsored by the Mariner?s Museum?auspiciously timed during the sesquicentennial of the famed clash of the ironclads.