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The blogosphere may be rife with insightful commentary about the Civil War told from a thoughtful distance of nearly 150 years,but what these sites often lack is the fresh,you-are-there quality of historical writings. Mike Goad’s blog satisfies a Civil War junkie’s need for a daily accounting of what’s happening North and South. Each day, Goad posts a historical report from that very same date,usually from the corresponding year 145 years ago, published in newspapers such as The New York Herald and The Charleston Mercury and journals such as A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary and Diary of a Yankee in the Patent Office. The daily dispatches impart a sense of what it must have been like to be an 1860s civilian, hungry for news from the front.

The diary entries are particularly fascinating:“No news from any quarter,”begins a November report from A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary,“except the continued bombardment of the debris of Fort Sumter, and the killing and wounding of some 10 or 12 men there—but that is not news.”An assertion like that says much about the horrors of war,and thankfully Mike Goad lets us read all about it.


Originally published in the March 2008 issue of America’s Civil War. To subscribe, click here.