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Civil War Booklist for Researchers
Books for Civil War Buffs, Students and Researchers
I'm exhaustively researching the background for my book on a Civil War ancestor. As a librarian, I knew others would find the books useful too, so I've compiled a bibliography here of the books as I use them.
With each book on the list, I want to give you enough detail so you can see how you could use the book with your own Civil War research. You may be a student, a teacher, a genealogist or a Civil War buff. Hopefully, no matter what your interest is, you'll find a book that fits your needs.
Best of luck with your research project on the Civil War.
Graphic from Zazzle: Reading by Specialeetees
Visual Dictionary of the Civil War - Dorling Kindersley
Terrific photos of items used by foot soldiers, gunners, horse soldiers, sailors, elite units and black troops in the Civil War. Each item (uniforms, weapons, etc.) has labels giving the name for different parts. My great-great grandfather was an infantryman, so I wanted to know what the canteen was like, what the parts of the rifle were called and other details about his gear.
The book shows the cannons, tells about camp life, shows the tools of a Civil War surgeon, has pictures of slavery, prisoner of war camps, and flags from the war. I found the communications section informative with illustrations of the telegraph machine.
Although each section is only 2 pages, a lot of information surrounds the photos and period illustrations. Learn about the role of railroads, aerial observation from baloons, ironclad ships and photography. The book is a visual feast. (review by Virginia Allain)
Union Soldier Cap
Illustrated Catalog of Civil War Millitary Goods - Union Weapons, Insignia, Uniform Accessories and Other Equipment
This is a reproduction of an actual catalog that military personnel or sutlers would have ordered to supply the Union troops. It even contains a table of pay showing what the monthly pay was for a major-general or a hospital steward or a bugler, etc. Fascinating!
1861: The Civil War Awakening - by Adam Goodheart
Historian, journalist and critic Adam Goodheart speaks at the 2011 National Book Festival about his book, 1861.
New Reviews on Civil War Books - by Virginia Allain
The maps are grouped with specific battles or campaigns and a review of the military actions relating to that battle is given. I think a book like this helps when reading about the Civil War, so you can visualize the lay of the land, making the battle account easier to understand.
Readers complained on Amazon that the maps weren't printed large enough for detail to be useful. Pretty, but not a keeper for me.
A Civil War Era Newspaper
The New York Times War News in a Book
This is great as you can follow along with the progress of the war, just like people did in the 1800s. It shows pages from The New York Times as the war news was reported at the time.
My Page about Civil War Newspapers
- Civil War Newspapers
Soldiers and their families counted on newspapers in the 1860s to find out what was happening with the Civil War. Artists' drawings of battlefield scenes provided the illustrations. Learn more here.
The focus is on the battles/campaigns in Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina (the western part of the war). Well illustrated with photos and prints and a nice chronology in the front.. Compact coverage of this part of the war.
How Many Books Do You Read about the Civil War Each Year?
Vote in the Poll
This is an actual diary from the Civil War with details that will fascinate anyone wanting to know what medical care was like during the war. Kate Cumming mentions by name many of the patients and people she encounters. If you are looking for a Civil War ancestor, check the index. You might hit it lucky.
Diaries from the War to Read Online
- Women's Civil War Diaries
To gain insight into the experience of women during the Civil War, read their diaries. Many are online in full for reading and others are published books. This primary source material at its best!
My Civil War Wishlist - What I'll be reading soon
These are on my list of books to read about the Civil War. I can't wait to get started on them and soak up the historical information contained within!
Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front
I know for some people the war is all battles and glory, but I found myself fascinated by how the women managed with the men all gone to the war. Read this to see what it was like in the north on the home front.
Let's Continue on with More Reading about the 1860s
Indiana's War: The Civil War in Documents
It's interesting to see primary source documents instead of just reading what others have collected from those. This covers Indiana, but there are other books for various states.
Recommended Books - from a Facebook Civil War group
Here are some recommended books from a Facebook Civil War Group I belong to.
From Camp to Cannon's Mouth: The Letters of Four Union Soldiers
To me, hearing an account of the war straight from the pen of a soldier is the finest way to learn.
Civil War Letters
This is the #1 Best Seller in Civil War Campaigns & Battlefields History category on Amazon.
Other Book Lists for the Civil War
- Civil War Book List - NYTimes.com
A list of notable books about the American Civil War selected by the New York Times.
- The Top 50 Best Civil War Books
A survey of over 1,000 votes to determine the Top 50 Civil War Books of All-Time by Civil War Interactive and Blue Gray Daily.
- Civil War Bibliography
A Bibliography of the American Civil War. 1928 titles arranged in 526 Catagories
- Civil War Book Review - LSU
LSU's special collections gives in-depth reviews on Civil War books.
More to Come
As you can see, I'm just getting started adding the books I'm using in my research. Check back as I expect to add new titles when I have some time to read them.
© 2011 Virginia Allain