The Front Line

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

Published 1/28/2023

The Books That Built Me: George Rable

By: George C. Rable Category: Articles

I was not one of those precocious Civil War enthusiasts who started reading Bruce Catton at the age of 10. Even when I was in high school, my tastes ran more to literature than to history. The first history book that left a serious im- pression was John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage (1957). For some reason the chapter on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson and Kansas senator Edmund G. Ross,...

Published 1/9/2023

Josephine Miller and Her Stove

By: Charles Carleton Coffin Category: From the Archives

New Hampshire-born journalist Charles Carleton Coffin accompanied Winfield Scott Hancock and his II Corps of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg Campaign. Coffin wrote about a memorable encounter between Union troops and Gettysburg resident Josephine Miller, 23, who remained in the family house with her father as the battle intensified in the area. Coffin’s account, published as part...

Published 12/12/2022

Emancipation's Truth

By: Anthony J. Cade II Category: Analysis

Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation could be one of this century’s great movies about self-emancipation. Not because of its fragile historical accuracy, or because it stars Will Smith, but because it lives up to its title:

Published 12/5/2022

Extra Voices: Army Stragglers

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

In the Voices section of our Winter 2022 issue we highlighted quotes about the "straggling" of soldiers in the Union and Confederate armies. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that just missed the cut.

Published 11/29/2022

The Best Civil War Books of 2022

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

The Books & Authors section of our Winter 2022 issue contains our annual roundup of the year's best Civil War titles. As usual, we've enlisted a handful of Civil War historians, avid readers all, and asked them to pick their two favorite books published in 2022. Below are their selections.  We also gave them a chance to name an additional title or two that they’re looking forward to, books...

Published 11/21/2022

Extra Dossier: George G. Meade

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

For the Dossier section of our Fall 2022 issue, we asked a panel of Civil War historians a series of questions about Union general George G. Meade, from what they most admired about the Army of the Potomac commander to their favorite book about him. Due to space constraints, we weren't able to include any of the answers to two of our questions for the panel. Below are the questions, and their...

Published 11/18/2022

Voices From the Army of Northern Virginia, Part 5

By: Gary W. Gallagher Category: Articles

Four division commanders wrote letters that rival the best from anyone who served in the Army of Northern Virginia. The men wrote frequently and perceptively: Lafayette McLaws, a Georgian and for a time the army’s senior division chief; North Carolinians William Dorsey Pender and Stephen Dodson Ramseur, who died of wounds at Gettysburg and Cedar Creek, respectively; and Gabriel C. Wharton, a...

Published 10/31/2022

Voices From the Army of Northern Virginia, Part 4

By: Gary W. Gallagher Category: Articles

Literature on the Army of Northern Virginia contains book-length testimony from four of the seven officers who commanded its infantry corps. These titles include memoirs by James Longstreet, Jubal Anderson Early, and John Brown Gordon and an annotated edition of Richard Stoddert Ewell’s correspondence. This published evidence from the four generals reveals a great deal about their personalities,...