The Front Line

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

Published 8/27/2012

Bowdoin's Other Civil War Sons

By: David Thomson Category: Analysis

Discussions surrounding Bowdoin College and the Civil War invariably return to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the 20th Maine. But another brotherly duo at Bowdoin is even more important to our understanding of the War: Oliver Otis and Charles Howard.

Published 8/24/2012

Fathering Recruitment

By: Laura June Davis Category: Friday Funny

Titled, "A Good Way for Fathers of Families to Aid Recruiting," this July 1862 Harper's Weekly cartoon is a playful take on Union recruitment efforts.

Published 8/17/2012

Hercules of the Union

By: Laura June Davis Category: Friday Funny

Today's Friday Funny is a celebration of Union General Winfield Scott, cast here as the mythical Hercules slaying a secessionist hydra. Aiding Scott in his epic battle is the great club of "Liberty and Union." Each of the hydra's seven heads represent a prominent Southern leader and their major vice or crime.

Published 8/6/2012

John Sherman and the Would-Be Thirteenth Amendment of 1861

By: Dan Crofts Category: Analysis

Four years before Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, Republican John Sherman of Ohio argued the merits of a very different Thirteenth Amendment, one that would do the exact opposite.

Published 7/30/2012

Munson Monroe Buford's Unfinished Civil War

By: James Broomall Category: Analysis

Munson Monroe Buford's Civil War did not end at Durham Station, North Carolina, in the spring of 1865 but instead continued, in varied forms, for the remainder of his life.

Published 7/23/2012

Fantasizing Lee as a Civil Rights Pioneer

By: Andy Hall Category: Analysis

There's a tale widely told these days about how Robert E. Lee, soon after the war, reached out in Christian fellowship to a black worshiper at Richmond's St. Paul's Episcopal Church. But that's not what the witness saw at the time.

Published 6/29/2012

Dark Artillery

By: Laura June Davis Category: Friday Funny

Happy Friday! Today's Civil War cartoon is a Frank Leslie drawing entitled "Dark Artillery" or "How to make the contrabands useful."

Published 6/26/2012

The Intrepid

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

This week marks the sesquicentennial of the Seven Days' Campaign. As such, we thought we would bring you this image of the Intrepid—one of the Union Army Balloon Corps' aerial reconnaissance balloons.

Published 6/22/2012

The New Orleans Plum

By: Laura June Davis Category: Friday Funny

A contemporary take on the famous Mother Goose tale, "Little Jack Horner," this illustration casts President Abraham Lincoln as Jack Horner who is seemingly stuck in a corner by the Civil War.

Published 6/22/2012

The Railsplitter

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Today, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter officially hits movies. As such, we thought it fitting to pay tribute to the original Railsplitter?as opposed to the axe wielding vampire killer