The Front Line

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

Published 1/18/2022

Essential Reading on the Peninsula Campaign

By: Glenn David Brasher Category: Articles

In the spring and early summer of 1862, Union general George B. McClellan’s attempt to capture the Confederate capital by advancing up the Virginia Peninsula involved the largest amphibious operation of the war, saw perhaps Robert E. Lee’s best chance to destroy the Army of the Potomac, and included frontal assaults that dwarfed the size of Pickett’s Charge. Its results led to President ...

Published 1/13/2022

Word-clouding the Emancipation Proclamation

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation—which declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free"—went into effect. Below are the words Lincoln used in his declaration. The more frequently he used a word, the larger it appears.

Published 1/12/2022

GALLMAN: The Cacophony of Politics (2021)

By: Daniel W. Crofts Category: American Iliad

J. Matthew Gallman's "The Cacophony of Politics" reports that most Northern Democrats were not traitorous Copperheads.

Published 1/4/2022

Seeing the Elephant

By: Tracy L. Barnett Category: Articles

How Civil War soldiers came to embrace a popular idiom with prewar origins in circus show business.

Published 12/28/2021

Benjamin F. Butler and Military Emancipation

By: Andrew S. Bledsoe Category: Articles

The unintended, and unexpected, consequences of a confiscation order.

Published 12/17/2021

Extra Voices: War's Grisly Toll

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

In the Voices section of the Winter 2021 issue of The Civil War Monitor we highlighted quotes by Union and Confederate soldiers about the war's grisly toll. Unfortunately, we didn't have room to include all that we found. Below are those that just missed the cut.

Published 12/6/2021

The Best Civil War Books of 2021

By: The Civil War Monitor Category: Articles

With the help of a handful of Civil War historians, here is our list of the best Civil War books of 2021.

Published 11/30/2021

Prison Tales

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Articles

Looking to learn more about Civil War prisons and prisoners of war? We asked historian Brian Matthew Jordan to suggest a handful of books he thinks are essential reading in the category:

Published 11/4/2021

Gettysburg Photo Mystery Solved

By: Patrick Brennan Category: Commentary

With the help of an Artificial Intelligence-based, computerized color identifier and cutting-edge software that created a 3D rendering of McPherson Ridge in 1868, a group of Civil War detectives have pinpointed the camera location of aniconic, and previously unidentified, Gettysburg battle image. Patrick Brennan, a longtime editorial advisor for The Civil War Monitor, has been working on a book...

Published 10/25/2021

The Best Civil War Novels

By: Craig A. Warren Category: Articles

A historian offers his picks for the best novels about the Civil War ...