The Front Line

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

Published 3/17/2014

Reconsidering the "Myth" of the Black Union Soldier

By: Kevin Levine Category: Commentary

When Confederates massacre black soldiers the latter are engaged in a desperate fight for freedom. But our popular understanding of the Civil War leaves little room to understand the story when the roles are reversed.

Published 2/10/2014

The Civil War on the Great Lakes

By: John Grady Category: Commentary

After the losses at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the Confederacy considered a risky plan to fortify their officer corps by raiding a prison on the shores of Lake Erie and freeing the 2000 men held there.

Published 12/2/2013

"Destructionist and Capturer"

By: John Grady Category: Commentary

The Union authorities who dismissed W.T. Glassell from the U.S. Navy after 15 years of service hardly suspected that they would be fighting against him soon enough.

Published 10/9/2013

Civil War Amputation...In Their Own Words.

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Throughout the Civil War, surgeons performed approximately 60,000 amputations---the most common battlefield operation. Such drastic measures were a consequence of the damage caused by Mini? balls which often shattered and splintered soldiers? bones.

Published 9/30/2013

The Civil War's French Accent

By: John Grady Category: Commentary

In the face of a tightening blockade and difficulties with England, the Confederate Navy sought new rams from shipyards in nearby France.

Published 8/19/2013

Of Eyes and Teeth: The Trial of George Maddox, the Raid on Lawrence, and the Bloodstained Verdict of the Guerrilla War

By: Joseph M. Beilein, Jr Category: Commentary

In 1867, George Maddox--a guerrilla who had ridden with Quantrill--stood trial for the murder of John Zane Evans during the infamous raid on Lawrence four years earlier.

Published 8/12/2013

Williamsburg Battlefield Trust, Embattled

By: Glenn Brasher Category: Commentary

Virginia's "Historic Triangle" is best known as a setting for the American Revolution. But during the Civil War's Peninsula Campaign the area saw many slaves play an active role in bringing about their liberation and aiding the Union Army.

Published 7/15/2013

The Pursuit

By: Tom Huntington Category: Commentary

Three days after Gettysburg, the people of Frederick, Maryland greeted George Gordon Meade "like a lion," while President Lincoln and General-in-Cheif Henry Halleck felt him cautious and slow.