Published 12/28/2011

MAURO: A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia (2009)

By: Angela Esco Elder Category: Book Reviews

During the Civil War, Confederate brigadier general J.E.B. Stuart gave a leather album to Laura Ratcliffe, a twenty-five year old resident of Fairfax County, Virginia. This deceptively simple album is the topic of Charles V. Mauro's most recent book, A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia: The Civil War Album of Laura Ratcliffe...

Published 12/26/2011

Voice from the Past: "Not peace, but a sword"

By: Laura June Davis Category: Quotables

Happy Holidays! Today's Voice from the Past is Wilder Dwight of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry. The following passage is an excerpt from a 15 December 1861 letter to his mother:

Published 12/22/2011

The Funeral of a "Gentleman Cow"

By: Andy Hall Category: From the Archives

Confederate garrison troops in Texas demonstrate against the issue of inedible rations in a distinctive way.

Published 12/22/2011

Voice from the Past: Dressed All the Wards with Festoons and Garlands

By: Laura June Davis Category: Quotables

Happy Holidays! Today's Voice from the Past is from the December 1861 diary of Eliza Newton Woolsey Howland.  

Published 12/21/2011

GEIGER: Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri's Civil War (2010)

By: Joseph M. Beilein, Jr. Category: Book Reviews

Built on an impressive foundation of quantitative research, Financial Fraud makes major contributions to the fields of memory and guerrilla warfare in the Civil War. Though Geiger's documentation of the fraudulent lending used to arm Confederate forces is quite the accomplishment, his work is truly dynamic, powerful, and contentious in his analysis of the unintended consequences and fallout from...

Published 12/21/2011

PETERSEN: Quantrill at Lawrence (2011)

By: A. James Fuller Category: Book Reviews

Quantrill at Lawrence: The Untold Story is a well-written and provocative book... many will disagree with his conclusion that the Lawrence attack should be seen as a legitimate and successful cavalry raid...but readers will appreciate his storytelling and historians should give the contentions he makes in telling his untold story further consideration...

Published 12/20/2011

Voices from the Past: The Battle of Dranesville

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Dranesville, Virginia. While a small encounter by modern standards, at the time—December 1861—the battle made headlines and captured civilian attention. The two-hour encounter, which consisted of clumsy infantry attacks and haphazard artillery fire, pitted a few thousand Pennsylvania soldiers against a smaller contingent of Confederate...

Published 12/19/2011

Voice from the Past: A Pleasant Christmas

By: Laura June Davis Category: Quotables

Happy Holidays! Today's Voice from the Past is David Day who wrote the following on December 26, 1861:  

Published 12/15/2011

Voice from the Past: A Loud Rap on the Door

By: Laura June Davis Category: Quotables

Good morning! Today's Voice from the Past comes from a December 22, 1861 letter from Elisha Franklin Paxton to his wife.  

Published 12/14/2011

WACHTELL: War No More (2010)

By: Kenneth W. Noe Category: Book Reviews

Whitman's reluctance to reveal to his readers the totality of the "seething hell" of "the real war" he saw in the hospitals is at the heart of Cynthia Wachtell's War No More. Challenging modern authors such as Paul Fussell who view World War I as the watershed moment in the emergence of an antiwar tradition in American letters, Wachtell goes back to Whitman's "Secession war" to find its uncertain...

Published 12/12/2011

Voice from the Past: A Christmas Bundle

By: Laura June Davis Category: Quotables

Good Morning! Today's Voice from the Past is Julia Ellen LeGrand Waitz of New Orleans, Louisiana. The following excerpt is from a December 1861 diary entry.  

Published 12/8/2011

Voice from the Past: The Hardest Calamities to Bear

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Among the calamities of war, the hardest to bear, perhaps, is the separation of families and friends. Yet all must be endured to accomplish our independence and maintain our self-government. In my absence from you I have thought of you very often, and regretted I could do nothing for your comfort.  

Published 12/7/2011

THOMPSON (ed.): Tejanos in Gray

By: William L. Shea Category: Book Reviews

Historians consistently underestimate the ethnic diversity of the Confederacy. Regimental muster rolls from Texas, Louisiana, and other western states abound in German, Irish, French, and Spanish surnames. Until recently, these individuals and the groups they represent have remained largely under the radar...

Published 12/6/2011

Image of the Day: Hope That Thing Isn't Loaded!

By: Terry Johnston Category: From the Archives

A Union volunteer strikes a (potentially tragic?) pose with a group of comrades. We hope those guys were friends!

Published 12/5/2011

Voice from the Past - Christmasday!

By: Laura June Davis Category: Quotables

Good morning! To celebrate the holidays, all of the quotables this month will reference Christmas 1861. Our first voice from the past is Raphael Semmes, who wrote the following statement in his diary on Christmas Day, 1861:

Published 12/1/2011

Voice from the Past: 1861

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

ARM'D year! year of the struggle! No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year!

Published 11/30/2011

MCGINTY: The Body of John Merryman (2011)

By: Michael S. Green Category: Book Reviews

But the Supreme Court played a more significant role in the Civil War than many historians have acknowledged; a state of affairs that Brian McGinty has been trying to rectify. He has followed his study of Lincoln and the Court with this superb book that assesses the many angles of Ex Parte Merryman, perhaps the most important case that reached any member of that tribunal during the war...

Published 11/30/2011

URAL (ed.): Civil War Citizens (2010)

By: James J. Broomall Category: Book Reviews

Civil War Citizens: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in America’s Bloodiest Conflict is the first effort to examine in one book the wartime experiences of Jewish, Irish, African, Native, and German Americans...

Published 11/29/2011

A Second Helping of Civil War Thanksgiving

By: Laura June Davis Category: Front Line Editor's Note

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, ate lots of turkey/tofurkey, and survived the chaos of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Since, we did not post our regular week in review last Friday, we thought we would give you a second helping of all the great Civil War Thanksgiving  inspired blog posts from last week. After all, the best part of Thanksgiving is going back for seconds!

Published 11/29/2011

Celebration or Riot?

By: Laura June Davis Category: From the Archives

Upon hearing the news of General George McClellan's appointment as chief commander of the Union Army, Washingtonians embarked upon a grand torch-light procession, set off a display of fire-works, and serenaded the General McClellan. The "compliment" proceeded from the soldiers of Blenker's Brigade, but numbered about 2000 infantry, two companies of cavalry, and a great number of citizens.They...