The Front Line

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

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 Benét, 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...

Published 9/27/2011

Texas SCV Calls for a New Strategy

By: Andy Hall Category: Analysis

Recently Mark Vogl, Lieutenant Commander of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, called for a shift strategy in that organization's approach to "heritage defense," away from throwing up legal challenges to perceived slights and instead focusing on a more proactive, less-confrontational approach.

Published 9/21/2011

These Sacred Fields: Union Commemorations at Gettysburg

By: M. Keith Harris Category: Analysis

For Union veterans of the Civil War, the battlefield at Gettysburg served as the epicenter for war remembrance. The modern landscape certainly attests to this. A forest of marble, granite, and bronze—monuments to the Union cause—cover the rolling farmland and rocky hills of the area immediately surrounding the small Pennsylvania town where in the summer of 1863, two armies clashed in one of...

Published 9/21/2011

We Cannot Know Their Minds

By: Andy Hall Category: Analysis

Undoubtedly one of the reasons for the tremendous, abiding interest Americans have with the Civil War is that a great many of us have a personal connection to it. We have uncles who fought in it, cousins who were widowed by it, or grandparents who were liberated by it. We live in towns that changed hands during the war, went to high schools named for famous generals, or help put out flags on...