Behind the Lines

Our interview series featuring conversations with prominent members of the American Civil War community

Published 4/22/2016

Why did soldiers and civilians during the Civil War commit suicide?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

We know much about PTSD and the psychological horrors of war based on more modern wars, but what about during the Civil War? We talk with Dr. Diane Miller Sommerville about her research on suicides among civilians and soldiers. Why did soldiers and civilians commit suicide and what can their stories about trauma and even Reconstruction?

Published 4/8/2016

What is the connection between Abraham Lincoln and Walt Disney?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

Learn about two of history's most beloved figures, Abraham Lincoln and Walt Disney, in our latest Behind the Lines interview with Dr. Brian Craig Miller, Associate Professor at Emporia State University. Why did Disney admire Lincoln so much and how did he memorialize Lincoln in his amusement parks?

Published 3/25/2016

How do the myths about Sherman's March line up with the historical realities?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

Sherman's March remains one of the contentious and mythologized events of the Civil War. Learn about how some of these myths line up with the realities in this interview with Anne Sarah Rubin. For more information about Dr. Rubin's research on Sherman's March, including maps, check out the online accompaniment to the book here: http://shermansmarch.org/

Published 3/11/2016

How do we explain the continued endurance of the idea of black Confederates?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

In this Behind the Lines interview, we talk with scholar Kevin Levin about where the phrase and idea of black Confederates came from and why it is so compelling for certain segments of the public. What would Confederates think about the notion of black Confederates? Why do these stories persist despite scanty evidence?

Published 2/19/2016

What was the seedy side of Richmond like during the Civil War?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

We talk with Ashley Whitehead Luskey about how the Civil War changed the city of Richmond in terms of size and especially in terms of social customs. As the city exploded with population, so did its more seedy side. What were the consequences of this?

Published 1/29/2016

What are the biggest myths surrounding the battle of Cold Harbor?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

We talk with Mike Gorman, an historian and park ranger at Richmond National Battlefield Park about the many myths surrounding Cold Harbor. Did 3,000 men really die in one hour? Was Grant really a butcher? Learn more about Mike's work and RNBP at the following sites: http://mdgorman.com/ http://www.nps.gov/rich/index.htm

Published 11/13/2015

What role did creative marketing play in financing the Civil War?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

Wars are expensive, and the Civil War was certainly no exception! We talk with PhD Candidate, Dave Thomson, about how new marketing strategies for bonds helped finance the Civil War.

Published 11/2/2015

Why was the Civil War in the West important?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

Why should we be talking more about the Civil War in the West? What "west" are we talking about when we talk about "The West?" Find out in our *Behind the Lines* interview with Megan Kate Nelson. To learn more about Megan and her work, check out her blog, Historista, at http://www.megankatenelson.com/

Published 10/16/2015

What type of combat did most Civil War soldiers face?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

Were soldiers more likely to experience gigantic battles like Gettysburg or was the Civil War experience typically smaller in scale? Scott Nesbit and Andrew Fialka, both of the University of Georgia, discuss their project "Civil War GIS," which is a digital project that maps every engagement of the Civil War. Nesbit and Fialka use the data they've collected from the mapping to discuss the combat...

Published 10/2/2015

How did Civil War women deal with the loss of their husbands?

By: Katie Brackett Fialka Category: Behind the Lines

Angela Elder discusses how widows dealt with the loss of their husbands during and after the Civil War.