The Front Line

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

Published 3/17/2018

St. Patrick's Day in the Army

By: Josiah Marshall Favill Category: In the First Person

On March 17, 1863, Josiah Marshall Favill, a young lieutenant in the 57th New York Infantry, was one of many soldiers in the Army of the Potomac to observe the elaborate St. Patrick's festivities being hosted by General Thomas Francis Meagher and the men of the Irish Brigade. When he returned to his regiment's camp later that day, Favill recorded the following observations in his diary: 

Published 3/16/2018

Extra Voices: Tobacco

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

In the Voices section of the Spring 2018 issue of The Civil War Monitor we highlighted first-person quotes from Union and Confederate troops about the use of tobacco among soldiers and civilians. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that didn't make the cut.   

Published 3/9/2018

The Eisenhower Farm during the Battle of Gettysburg

By: Dennis Edward Flake Category: Articles

While not commonly looked upon as part of the battlefield, the Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, played a significant role during the second and third days of the fighting at Gettysburg.

Published 2/23/2018

The West's Missing War

By: Megan Kate Nelson Category: Stereoscope

Why is the Civil War mostly absent in one of our most beloved film and television genres?

Published 2/2/2018

A Story from the Trenches

By: John Gardner Perry Category: In the First Person

During the early days of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant's attempt to capture Petersburg, Virginia, in the summer of 1864, 24-year-old Harvard-educated Union surgeon John Gardner Perry wrote a letter in which he recorded the following incident involving a brave, but reckless, young lieutenant. 

Published 1/19/2018

Close Calls at Beaver Dam Creek

By: Oliver Willcox Norton Category: In the First Person

Little over a week after he participated in the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek—the first of the Seven Days Battles fought outside Richmond during General George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign—Private Oliver Willcox Norton of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry wrote home about his experiences ... and marvelled at how he was able to escape without serious injury.

Published 1/12/2018

Extra Voices: Dog Days of Summer

By: The Civi War Monitor Category: Articles

In the Voices section of the Summer 2015 issue of The Civil War Monitor we highlighted first-person quotes from Union and Confederate soldiers about the intense heat and discomfort that accomapied summer campaigning. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that didn't make the cut. 

Published 12/15/2017

Civil War Cabbage Stew

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

Looking for a hearty meal to help fend off winter's cold? Try this Civil War-era recipe for cabbage stew.

Published 12/1/2017

The History Seeker

By: Jenny Johnston Category: Articles

In 2010, Renee Savits faced a dilemma. A career archivist, Savits had been with the Library of Virginia for 11 years, rising to manager of its vast private papers section. The Pennsylvania native was just where she wanted to be: spending every day with her hands on history, organizing and preserving documents and photographs that had long outlived their creators. But budget cuts at the library...

Published 11/17/2017

Extra Voices: Hunger Pangs

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

In the Voices section of the Winter 2017 issue of The Civil War Monitor we highlighted first-person quotes by Union and Confederate soldiers about their regular bouts of hunger. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that didn't make the cut.