Internet is filled with excellent writers, historians and
others documenting their thoughts to share with us. So when
we decided that we were going to open a section featuring
what we felt were the best of them, we knew we had a massive
task ahead of us. We're often asked what makes a blog good
enough to make us feel it belongs here.
The first thing you have to remember is it's subjective, as all
lists of this type are. How it usually works is like this:
we get an e-mail saying "I made/have a blog about X and
would like it added to your list" We look at it and if
it's brand new it goes into a special file for 2 months. We
do this so we know you're serious enough to keep at it at
least that long. Once we see a blog is established numerous
things are looked at, among them uniqueness, writing
ability, frequency of posts and ability to maintain the blog
format-wise. There's others, but those are the main things.
What will get you removed? Number one reason is infrequency
of posts. We all have lives and other things to do,
but start posting once a month and you'll probably be
removed. The other is the fact that this is a Civil War blog
list. Everyone has other interests - sports, politics,
religion, food - whatever. And there's nothing wrong with
sneaking an off-topic post in now and then. But if it gets
to point where 50% or more of your posts are non-Civil War
related, then you'll probably be gone.
So that's it. Any blog on the list is welcome to post the award at
the top left of this box. Thanks to all for your hard work!
48th Pennsylvania Veteran
|John Hoptak, a full time ranger for the National Park
Service at Antietam National Battlefield, writes and
photographs on events at that park. As the blog name here
indicates he has a special interest in the 48th PA V.V.I.
and so there are posts on other battles or actions or
persons related to that regiment.
The Abraham Lincoln Blog
|Geoff Elliott writes, as you might guess, about the 16th
President. His well-written posts range from clips of news
stories to insightful explorations of how Lincoln --both the
real one and the one we know from our "civic
mythology--impacts politics and other fields of society
Kurtz is a self-described "Civil War nut" who doesn't just
wander battlefields but photographs them. Well. He has an
exceptional eye through the lens and an added ability to
shoot modern-day battlefield landscapes in such away as to
convey where monuments are in relation to each other.
|This attractive site is a project of Dickinson College
(Pennsylvania), devoted to a somewhat wider span of time
than is usual for "Civil War" blogs. They call it the "House
Divided Period" and are open to discussion of any events
between around 1840 and 1880. The intent of the operators is
to generate teaching aids for educators of any level.
Comments are open and readers are not required to register
or login to post. Comment moderation is apparently invoked
only if misbehavior arises. Looks to be a valuable asset for
history teachers, who often feel somewhat isolated at their
|Harry Smeltzer uses Bull Run (or Manassas if you prefer)
as a home base from which to venture forth with posts on
everything from excerpts from the Official Record to
baseball to Civil War horror movies. The
white-type-on-black-background is somewhat aggravating but
the writing makes it worth slogging through.
|"Centantua" aka Robert Moore, has been putting out this
blog for much the same time as he has been working on a
Master of Science in Technical & Scientific Communication
degree from James Mason University. Topics range widely, but
a running theme, no doubt relating to the parallel
educational process, is the application of technology to
history, both in teaching it academically and in the wider
e-society outside the classroom. Technical jargon of the
communications-major sort creeps in from time to time, but
overall a nice read. Comments are easily posted without any
impediments to the reader beyond including a nym and email
address, a practice we commend.
Anybody who's been around the block a time or two in
Civil War circles knows Dave Powell. This site was set
up to let Dave talk, opine and generally promote
interest in a battlefield that certainly deserves it.
Much of the discussion
at the time we visited centered
around a visit his study group was making to the field
and related areas like McLemore's Cove. But in between
these brief discussions of battlefield (visit)
logistics--and some longer and fascinating discussions
of wartime matters. Sparked by everything from a rerun
of Antiques Roadshow to a question on a wargamer chat
board, Dave looks at topics as varied as how regiments
get separated from their brigades in battle to stories
of individual soldiers. Highly recommended.
Civil War Books & Authors
|Andrew Wagenhoffer has one of very few blogs which must
be regarded as "go-to sites" prior to buying Civil War
books. We can do no better than to quote his own site
description: "...with a special emphasis on the lesser known
and underappreciated American Civil War books, authors, and
|This one is hard to categorize, being pretty much what
its name describes. Run by one Jim Miller, of whom we know
little other than that he is from Murfreesboro TN, the blog
has over time accumulated an impressive number of posts.
Entirely from primary sources as far as we have seen, from
well known ones like Dyer's "Compedium" to the more obscure
A History Of The First Regiment Iowa Cavalry Veteran
Volunteers by Charles Lothrop, who contributes an update
on the postwar life of "Billy, the late Dr. Chas. H.
Lothrop's old war horse." The articles, biographies,
newspaper reports and other entries are usually compact,
quick reads that leave lingering images and potential
questions to muse upon.