The Front Line

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

Published 10/20/2011

Progress and Change and Preservation

By: Civil War Monitor Category: Commentary

We often hear a good location is critical in many business pursuits, particularly in retail. Yet for those who study Civil War battles, the battlefield IS the location...

Published 10/18/2011

"Coal for the Furnaces is as important as Gunpowder for the Guns"

By: James M. Schmidt Category: Analysis

If cannon and rifles were the engines of war, then gunpowder was the fuel for those engines. On countless Civil War battlefields, the fuel was employed to great effect—physically and psychologically—just as it had for the centuries prior...

Published 10/17/2011

Southward Bound

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

One hundred fifty years ago today—October 17, 1861—25-year-old Lieutenant W. H. Timberlake of the 8th Maine Volunteers wrote the following letter from his regiment's camp in Annapolis, Maryland. The men of the 8th had been in service little over a month at the time; four days later, they would board ships for the coast of South Carolina as part of the Port Royal Expedition.

Published 10/13/2011

Bolting On the Civil War Navy

By: Craig Swain Category: Commentary

Several months back, my friend Matthew Eng, coordinator at the Hampton Roads Navy Museum, asked me why the naval aspects of the Civil War tend to stand off from the main discussion of the war. When you think of the war’s great battles the likes of ...

Published 10/11/2011

D. W. Griffith's Other Civil War Movie

By: Andy Hall Category: Commentary

The infamous director's 1930 biography of Lincoln was one of only two "talkies" made by Griffith, and stars Walter Huston in the title role. The screenplay is by Stephen Vincent Benet, who the year previous had won the Pulitzer Prize for his book-length poem, John Brown's Body. The film is the earliest feature-length film on Lincoln.

Published 10/10/2011

Voices from the Past: A "Plucky" Young Soldier

By: Terry Johnston Category: Quotables

Good morning! The Civil War Monitor has added a new section to The Front Line: Quotables. Each Monday, we will share a Voice from Past to help you learn more about the Civil War...from the men and women who actually lived it.

Published 10/4/2011

"It made us an 'is'."

By: Andy Hall Category: Analysis

It's one of the great quotes, from one of the great documentaries, that sums up the legacy of the American Civil War:

Published 9/29/2011

A War of Words

By: Amy Murrell Taylor Category: Analysis

There’s a lot that remains unsettled about the Civil War: “Manassas” or “Bull Run”? “Civil War” or “War Between the States”? Forget the big questions about what the war was about: we cannot even agree on something as simple as what words to use to describe what actually happened between 1861 and 1865. It’s the sort of disagreement that isn’t going away anytime soon, because...