The Front Line

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

Published 3/23/2012

A Slave and A Spy

By: Laura June Davis Category: Commentary

Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is of Mary Touvestre.  Touvestre, a former slave, worked for one of the Confederate engineers transforming the USS Merrimack into the CSS Virginia. While at work, Touvestre overheard her...

Published 3/21/2012

"I will not attempt to hamper you with any minute instructions."

By: Civil War Monitor Category: From the Archives

In March 1862, General Henry Halleck granted General John Pope much latitude in operations to reduce Confederate defenses at Island No. 10 along the Mississippi. Halleck's correspondence provides a broad and succinct assessment of Federal operations in the West.

Published 3/20/2012

The Infamous "Woman Order" of Occupied New Orleans

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good afternoon! Earlier today, we shared an image of a Baltimore woman flaunting her Confederate sympathies which drew parallels to the actions of the women of Union-occupied New Orleans. Therefore, we thought it fitting to continue our Women's History Month celebration by posting Major General Benjamin Butler's Infamous General Orders No. 28:

Published 3/20/2012

Southern Belle or Female Rebel?

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good morning! In honor of Women's History Month we thought we would share this Harper's Weekly image (shown to the left). Along with the front page illustration the authors of Harper's Weekly provided the following commentary:   LIFE AMONG T...

Published 3/19/2012

Patriotic Mail

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good afternoon! Our Women's History Month celebration continues with an image of one of the era's patriotic envelopes. Used to both boost morale and support the war effort, envelopes like the one below often depicted women and the hardships they endured as wives and mothers to soldiers.

Published 3/16/2012

The Wild Rose of the South

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good afternoon! Today's Women's History Month tribute is of Rose O'Neal Greenhow---also known as "Wild Rose"---the famed Confederate spy. Born in Maryland in 1817, little is known of her early years.

Published 3/16/2012

The Monitor, The Merrimack, and Me

By: Laura June Davis Category: Commentary

Last week, I packed up my husband and my dog and headed north to Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia. We were bound for the Civil War Navy Conference at the 10th Annual Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend sponsored by the Mariner?s Museum?auspiciously timed during the sesquicentennial of the famed clash of the ironclads.

Published 3/15/2012

How I tried and failed to escape the Civil War

By: Cole Grinnell Category: Commentary

My interest in the Civil War should have been a wonderful accident of birth and geography. I was born, raised, studied, and worked around key sites in that event's history—quite literally living and breathing in the material of the war. Surely, my own enthusiasm for the subject must rate back to this upbringing, just as my older brother's (who I take it on good authority shares many of my genes)...

Published 3/15/2012

A Lady and A Diary from Dixie

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Good morning! Our Women's History Month celebration continues with this tribute to Mary Boykin Chesnut. 

Published 3/12/2012

The Women in Black

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Last fall, J. David Hacker revealed that the number of Civil War dead is closer to 750,000 than the previously accepted number of 618,222. While not all of them were married, many in fact did leave behind wives and children to pick up the pieces after war's end. Today for Women's History Month, we honor the hundreds of thousands of Civil War widows with this Frank Leslie drawing entitled, "Women...