Abraham Lincoln as President – Civil War in America – 1861-1865

Included here: Abraham Lincoln as President, Civil War in America, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, Emancipation of the Slaves, Nurses in the Civil War, Sherman’s March to the Sea, Civil War Home Front, Military Prisons in US, The U.S. Sanitary Commission, Battlefields of the Civil War

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

Century Past Library


U.S. History – Civil War Period, 1861-1865

U.S. Politics & Government 1861-1865 Collection

About 80 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “United States – Politics & Government – 1861-1865”. Be patient as the page loads.

American Civil War (1861-1865) Collection

About 700 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “American Civil War (1861-1865)”. Be patient as the page loads.

Civil War Collection


250 books on the Civil War contributed to the Internet Archive by the New York Public Library. They appear to all be regimental histories.

U.S. Civil War Campaigns (1861-1865) Collection

About 200 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “U.S. Civil War Campaigns (1861-1865)”. Be patient as the page loads.

Confederate States of America – History Collection

About 110 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Confederate States of America – History.

Hospital Sketches and Camp and Fireside Stories

Alcott, Louisa May
Boston: Roberts 1885        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Several years before Louisa May Alcott created “Little Women” (1868), her most well- known novel, she worked as a nurse at a soldiers’ hospital in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. Drawing on that experience, Alcott wrote ‘Hospital Sketches’ (1863), a vivid account that offers rich insights into women’s wartime roles, the shocking conditions in soldiers’ hospitals, the lives of the soldiers themselves, and the racial prejudice of the time. Alice Fahs’s introduction supplies biographical, literary, and historical context for Alcott’s work.” -Publisher

Contents: Obtaining supplies — A forward movement — A day — A night — Off duty — A postscript — The King of Clubs and the Queen of Hearts — Mrs. Podgers’ teapot — My contraband — Love and loyalty — A modern Cinderella — The Blue and the Gray — A hospital Christmas — An hour.

See our collected online books and articles for Abraham Lincoln

The Women of the South in War Times

Andrews, Matthew Page, comp.
Baltimore: Norman, Remington 1920        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The following pages depict the life of the southern people within the lines of the Confederacy during the four years of its storm-tossed existence. The greater part of the material is given in the words of those who were a part of the times in which they lived …[Editorial notes were added that] bar upon related events of larger historical import…” -Author’s Preface

Contents: (15 of 34 chapter headings are shown here) Genius of the southern woman – Wartime experiences of Elizabeth Waring Duckett; interviews with Lincoln and encounters with Stanton – The publication and singing of “My Maryland” – Excerpts from the diary of Judith Brockenbrough McGuire – Caring for wounded foes – Mrs. Betsy Sullivan, “Mother of the First Tennessee Regiment” – Capture and imprisonment of Mrs. William Kirby – Mrs. Betty Taylor Philips, “mother” of the “Orphan Brigade” – Captain Sally Tompkins, C.S.A. – The Florence Nightingale of the South – A night on the field of battle – The ride of Roberta Pollock – The diary of Mrs. Judith Brockenbrough McGuire (continued) – A last song in a burning home

Firebrand of Liberty: The Story of Two Black Regiments that Changed the Course of the Civil War

Ash, Steven V.
Norton 2007        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“In March 1863, nine hundred black Union soldiers, led by white officers, invaded Florida and seized the town of Jacksonville. They were among the first African American troops in the Northern army, and their expedition into enemy territory was like no other in the Civil War. It was intended as an assault on slavery by which thousands would be freed. At the center of the story is prominent abolitionist Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who led one of the regiments. After waging battle for three weeks, Higginson and his men were mysteriously ordered to withdraw, their mission a seeming failure. Yet their successes in resisting the Confederates and collaborating with white Union forces persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to begin full-scale recruitment of black troops, a momentous decision that helped turned the tide of the war.” -Publisher

Contents: Port Royal Island, South Carolina : January 1, 1863 — Port Royal Island and the St. Mary’s river : January 2-February 15 — Hilton Head : February 16 — From Port Royal Island to Jacksonville : February 17-March 10 — Jacksonville : March 10-20 — Jacksonville, the East Bank, and Palatka : March 20-27 — Jacksonville and the West Bank : March 27-29 — The aftermath.

A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 1861-1865; being a record of the actual experiences of the wife of a Confederate officer

Avary, Myrta Lockett, ed.
NY: Appleton 1903        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author tells of her many travels across the war-torn South, her capture behind enemy lines, her encounter with the famous Belle Boyd, her friendship with the dashing general J E B Stuart, and the devastation suffered by the citizens of Richmond in the last days of the Confederacy.

Contents: (15 of 27 chapter headings) Home life in a southern harbor – How I met Dan Grey – The first days of the Confederacy – The realities of war – I meet Belle Boyd and see Dick in a new light – SA faithful slave and a hospital ward – Traveling through Dixie in war times – By flag of truce – I make up my mind to run the blockade – I cross the country in an ambulance and the Pamunkey on a lighter – The old order – A dangerous masquerade – A last farewell – The little Jew boy and the provost’s deputy – I fall in the hands of the enemy

Flawed Victory; a New Perspective on the Civil War

Barney, William L.
Praeger 1975        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author “poses two central questions about the Civil War: How was the South able to hold out for so long against the far greater strength of the North? And why did the Northern victory perpetuate, rather than eradicate, the flaws of the antebellum Union?” -Book cover

Contents: The people’s war — The ideology of victory — The Confederacy : a society at war — The black man’s war — Lincoln’s republic.

The Confederacy: a Guide to the Archives of the Government of the Confederate States of America

Beers, Henry Putney
Washington: National Archives and Records Administration 1986        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The second of two volumes originally prepared in the 1960s by the National Archives as part of a Civil War Centennial commemoration, and re-issued in the 1980s. The first volume, ‘The Union: A Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War’, is also on this web page.

Contents: General records of the Confederate states government — Congress — The judiciary — The presidency — Department of state — Department of the treasury — War department — Navy department — Post office department — Department of justice — Records compiled by the U.S. war department — Appendixes. War department collection of Confederate records — List of record groups containing Confederate records — Index.

Selected Articles about African American History & Racism

The Union: A Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War

Beers, Henry Putney and Munden, Kenneth W., eds.
National Archives and Records Administration 1986        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The first of two volumes originally prepared in the 1960s by the National Archives as part of a Civil War Centennial commemoration, and re-issued in the 1980s. The second volume, ‘The Confederacy: A Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War’, is also on this web page.

Contents: General records of the United States government — Congress — The judiciary — The presidency — Department of state — Department of the treasury — War department — Office of the attorney general — Post office department — Department of the navy — Department of the interior — Department of agriculture — Miscellaneous agencies — Appendix: list of record groups containing federal records relating to the Civil war — Index.

Reconstructing the Union; Theory and Policy during the Civil War

Belz, Herman
Cornell University 1969        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Reconstruction as a problem that concerned both the President and Congress from the beginning of the war is the subject of this valuable addition to Civil War literature. Focusing on the theories and policies, the attitudes and actions, of the executive and legislative branches in Washington, and treating peripherally efforts in the several southern states, the author views from a new perspective the entire struggle over rebuilding the Union.” -Book jacket

Contents: Reconstructing the Union, 1861 – War aims and Reconstruction: The Congressional session of July 1861 – Reconstruction as territorialization – Plans for territorialization in Congress – A new phase of Reconstruction – Presidential Reconstruction – Congressional Reconstruction – The Wade-Davis Bill – Compromise attempted – Reconstructing the Union, April 1865 – Bibliographical essay

Loss of the Sultana and Reminiscences of Survivors

History of a disaster where over one thousand five hundred human beings were lost, most of them exchanged prisoners of war on their way home after privation and suffering from one to twenty-three months in Cahaba and Andersonville prisons

Berry, Rev. Chester D.
Lansing: Thorp 1892        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This is mainly a collection of many first-person accounts by survivors, and also includes a roster of the exchanged prisoners of war on the boat.

The Great Rebellion: its Secret History, Rise, Progress, and Disastrous Failure

Botts, John Minor
NY: Harper 1866        Dewey Dec.    973.7

John Minor Botts (1802-1869) was a politician, planter and lawyer from Virginia, who was a prominent supporter of the Union during the Civil War. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1838, he vehemently opposed the extension of slavery into the territories, even though he himself was a slave-owner. He spent the war living on his Virginia farm, where he wrote letters in support of the union. He was arrested in 1862 and confined without trial for eight weeks for espousing Unionist views. This history draws heavily upon Botts’s own experience as a participant in and close observer of southern politics for decades prior to the Civil War, and is a reminder of the disagreement among southern leaders and politicians about secession.

The Civil War and the Constitution 1859-1865 vol 1 (American History series)

– Volume 2

Burgess, John William
1901        Dewey Dec.    973.7

A clear study of the war and of the various constitutional and political questions connected with it. Contains maps. “Meant chiefly for students of political science; and . . . these will find much of interest in Professor Burgess’s discussions of various questions, and in his judgments of persons.” American Historical Review

Contents: 1. Davis, Lincoln and Douglas 2. Anti-Slavery Sentiment in the South between 1857 and 1860 3. The Presidential Election of 1860 4. Secession 5. The Inauguration of Lincoln and the Condition of the Government he was called to Administer 6. The Attempt of the Southern Confederacy to Negotiate with the Government of the United States 7. The Capture of Fort Sumter and the Call to Arms 8. The Three Months’ War 9. Preparations for the Three Years’ War 10. The Military Movements in the Late Summer and Autumn of 1861 11. Mill Springs, Fort Henry, Donelson, Shiloh, Pea Ridge, and Island No. 10

Please visit our Century Past Free Online Library, with thousands of books to read online or download

The Army of the Potomac: A Stillness at Appomattox

Catton, Bruce
Doubleday 1953        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for nonfiction. Concluding volume of trilogy which began with Mr. Lincoln’s Army (1951) and Glory Road (1952). This final volume covers the period from early 1864 to April 1865. “The author’s approach is judicious, his interpretation unbiased and his coverage comprehensive… A magnificent piece of writing.” NY Times book review.

Contents: Glory is out of date — Roads leading south — One more river to cross — White iron on the anvil — Away, you rolling river — Endless road ahead.

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom

Clinton, Catherine
Little, Brown 2004        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“One of the most important and enduring figures in the history of 19th century America, the legendary conductor on the Underground Railroad whose courageous exploits have been described in countless books for young readers, is here revealed for the first time as a singular and complex character, a woman who defied simple categorisation. In this, the first major biography of Harriet Tubman in more than 100 years, we see the heroine of children’s books and biopics with a new clarity and richness of detail.” -Time

Contents: Remembering Harriet Tubman — Born into bondage — Coming of age in the land of Egypt — Crossing over to freedom — In a free state — The Liberty lines — The Moses of her people — Canadian exile — Trouble in Canaan — Crossroads at Harpers Ferry — Arise, Brethren — Bittersweet victories — Final battles.

The Politics of Command: Factions and Ideas in Confederate Strategy

Connelly, Thomas Lawrence
Louisiana State University 1973        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This book examines the pressures brought to bear upon Jefferson Davis as he decided the South’s military strategy.

Contents: The European inheritance — Robert E. Lee and Confederate strategy — The western concentration bloc — Davis as generalissimo : the Confederate departmental system — The ghost of Beauregard — The politics of command

Chronological and Alphabetical Record of the Engagements of the Great Civil War

with the casualties on both sides and full and exhaustive statistics and tables of the army and navy, military prisons, national cemeteries, etc.

Cooper, Charles R., comp.
Milwaukee: Caxton 1904        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“compiled from the official records of the War Department and Confederate Archives, Washington, D.C.”

Contents: Alphabetical record (Army, Navy) – Chronological record (Army, Navy) – Cemeteries – Commanding generals of important battles – Mortuary statistics – Mortuary statistics by states – Number of men furnished by each state – Table of casualties – Preface – Regimental statistics of losses in the principal events – Victories and defeats

Stealing Lincoln’s Body

Craughwell, Thomas J.
Harvard Univ. 2006        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Summoning the raw spirit of crime novels and horror stories, as well as the forensic detail of a coroner’s inquest, Craughwell has turned the eerie final chapter of the Lincoln story into a guilty pleasure.” Washington Post Book

Contents: Prologue: “Lay My Remains in Some Quiet Place” – The World of the Counterfeiters – Big Jim’s Kennally’s Big Idea – The Boss Body Snatchers of Chicago – “The Devils Are Up Here” – The Body in the Basement – “The Tools of Smarter Men” – The Lincoln Guard of Honor – A Pullman-Style Burial – Epilogue: Safe and Secure at Last

Kate: the Journal of a Confederate Nurse

Cumming, Kate; edited by Richard Barksdale Harwell
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University 1959        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Kate Cumming was one of the first women to offer her services for the care of the South’s wounded soldiers. Her journal provides a look behind the lines of Civil War action in depicting civilian attitudes, army medical practices, and the administrative workings of the Confederate hospital system.

Contents: Okolona, Corinth – Okolona – Mobile – Ringgold, Dalton, Chattanooga – Chattanooga, Mobile – Kingston, Cherokee Springs – Atlanta, Newnan – Newnan, Mobile – West Point, Americus, Macon – Mobile – Griffin – Newnan – Mobile

The Battle of Shiloh

Daniel, Larry J.
Eastern National Park and Monument Association 1998        Dewey Dec.    973.5

National Park guide to the battle and the battlefield. It provides a narrative of the battle for the general reader, with ample maps and illustrations.

Sherman’s March

Davis, Burke
Vintage 1988        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The vivid narrative of General William T. Sherman’s devastating sweep through Georgia and the Carolinas in the closing days of the Civil War. Weaving together hundreds of eyewitness stories, Burke Davis graphically brings to life the dramatic experiences of the 65,000 Federal troops who plundered their way through the South and those of the anguished — and often defiant — Confederate women and men who sought to protect themselves and their family treasures, usually in vain.” -Publisher

Contents: (10 of 27 chapter headings) “He believes in hard war” – “I can make Georgia howl!” – “I’ll have to harden my heart” – “The most gigantic pleasure expedition” – “We never wanted to fight” – “Our degradation was bitter” – “I don’t war on women and children” – “Even the sun seemed to hide its face” – “An inhuman barbarous proceeding” – “I’ve got Savannah!”

Don’t Know Much about the Civil War: Everything You Need to Know about America’s Greatest Conflict but Never Learned

Davis, Kenneth C.
William Morrow 1996        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Davis gives readers everything they “need to know” about the Civil War – and not just the battles. With his deft wit and unconventional style, Davis sorts out the players, the politics, and the key events. Drawing on the moving eyewitness accounts of the people who lived through the war, he brings the reader into the world of the ordinary men and women who made history – the human side of the story that the textbooks never tell.” Book jacket.

Contents: The Wolf by the Ears ” — “Fire-bell in the Night” — “The Edge of the Precipice– 1861: “In Dixie land, I’ll Take My Stand” — 1862: “Let Us Die to Make Men Free” — 1863: “The Great Task Remaining” — 1864-1865: “All the force Possible…” — Aftermath — Afterword

Battle at Bull Run: A History of the First Major Campaign of the Civil War

Davis, William C.
Doubleday 1977        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Davis writes of the first major engagement of the Civil War, a battle won by the inexperienced Confederates who routed the unseasoned Union troops and sent them slogging back to Washington in full retreat. Davis talks about people and what they were as well as about what they did. He follows Confederate and Union troops as they inched toward confrontation, talks about the faults and assets and quirks of leaders and men, describes things as they happened. – Pub Wkly
“A thoroughly researched narrative that is likely to remain the standard work for some time.” -Choice

Contents: An army in the making – The “Southrons” gather – “Three Years or the War” – The young Napoleon – McDowell plans a campaign – The march to Bull Run – The Battle of Blackburn’s Ford – Shadows in the Shenandoah – McDowell’s “victory” – “Trust to the bayonet” – “A tale of defeat” – Rout and resolution

Collected books on Military History

Army Letters 1861-1865

De Fontaine, F. G.
Columbia, SC: War Record 1896-97        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This is a re-publication of a series of letters that Fontaine, a journalist, published during the war. These were all written from various locations in the south between February and June, 1861.

Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War

Detzer, David
Harcourt 2001        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“So vividly does Allegiance re-create the events leading to the firing of the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, that we can feel the fabric of the Union tearing apart. It is a tense and surprising story, filled with indecisive bureaucrats, uninformed leaders, hotheaded politicians, and dedicated and honorable soldiers on both sides… David Detzer’s decade-long research illuminates the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and individuals on both sides who changed American history. No other historian has given us a clearer or more intimate picture of the human drama of Fort Sumter.” – Publisher

Contents: Asunder — A gentle man — Salad days — The fulcrum — Twilight of the old union — Commanders and chief — Slim picking, Stout Fort — Eventide — Dueling flags — The wolf at the door — Hostages — The boys on the beach — Takes two to tango, but one can do the twist all alone — The yellow brick road — That little bridge — A mere point of honor — Ashes and dust — Mystic chords of memory: a postscript.

Why the North Won the Civil War

Donald, David H.
Collier 1962        Dewey Dec.    973.7

In this classic exploration of the Confederacy’s defeat in the Civil War, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner David Herbert Donald and author of Lincoln assembles insightful and probing essays from six of America’s most distinguished historians.

Contents: Forward / David Herbert Donald — The defeat of the Confederacy : an overview / Henry Steele Commager — God and the strongest battalions / Richard N. Current — The military leadership of north and south / T. Harry Williams — Northern diplomacy and European neutrality / Norman A. Graebner — Died of democracy / David Herbert Donald — Jefferson Davis and the political factors in Confederate defeat / David M. Potter.

Regimental Publications & Personal Narratives of the Civil War: A Checklist (6 parts)

Dornbusch, Charles Emil
NY: New York Public Library 1961-1972        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This is a 6-part work (all parts at this href=”https://archive.org/stream/pictorialhistorywils#page/n7/mode/2up”) which covers Civil War histories of 17 participating northern states. According to the compiler’s Preface, every battery and regiment in those states is listed, and arranged numerically by arm of service – Artillery, Cavalry and Infantry. Any publications that could be associated with a particular battery or regiment are listed under that unit, including regimental histories, personal narratives, reunion proceedings, unit rosters and even sermons preached at soldiers’ funerals. Personal narratives by individuals who served under more than one unit are found under the unit of their first service. Parts are:

I. Illinois
II. New York
III. New England states
IV. New Jersey and Pennsylvania
V. Indiana and Ohio
VI. Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

Essays on the Civil War and Reconstruction and Related Topics

Dunning, William Archibald
NY: MacMillan 1904        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author was a professor of history at Columbia University, and the essays collected here were his own.

Contents: The Constitution of the U.S. in Civil War – The Constitution of the U.S. in reconstruction – Military government during reconstruction – The process of reconstruction – The impeachment and trial of President Johnson – Are the states equal under the Constitution? – The undoing of reconstruction

Selected Articles about Military History

A Rebel’s Recollections

Eggleston, George Cary
NY: Putnam’s Sons 1905        Dewey Dec.    973.7

George Cary Eggleston (1839-1911) wrote this series of articles about his experiences as a Confederate soldier in 1873 for the magazine ‘The Atlantic’. Eggleston was a popular author for decades, and was the brother of Edward Eggleston, also a popular writer.

Contents: The mustering – The men who made the army – The temper of the women – Of the time when money was “easy” – The chevalier of the lost cause – Lee, Jackson, and some lesser worthies – Some queer people – Red tape – The end, and after

Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War

Eicher, David J.
Little, Brown 2006        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“A provocative examination of the internal conflicts that doomed the Confederacy. In a swiftly paced narrative, Eicher offers astute profiles of Confederate leaders and makes a compelling case for the destructive power of states’ rights that ultimately led to the defeat of the Southern nation.” author Jeffry D. Wert.

Contents: Birth of a nation — Portrait of a president — The war department — A curious cabinet — The military high command — State rightisms — Richmond, the capital — The rise of Lee and Bragg — An uneasy brotherhood — Jockeying for position — Politics spinning out of control — Can’t we all get along? — Soiled reputations — The president versus the congress — Military highs and lows — Slaves as soldiers? — Peace proposals — Epilogue : despair.

Civil War Battlefields: A Touring Guide

Eicher, David J.
Taylor 2005        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Fills a long-standing gap in the literature of American history by delivering a detailed, accurate, and modern guide to touring these national historic treasures. Author David J. Eicher meticulously researched the field, mapped the battlefields, and created an up-to-date narrative explaining what tourists to the twelve major Civil War battle areas can see. The result describes 1,353 historic houses, farms, bridges, fields, monuments, cemeteries, and museums covering 22 campaigns and approximately 40 separate battles. Forty-one peerless maps depict features of interest on each field, split between national park areas, state park areas, and private land holdings. More than 100 photographs illustrate features of interest at each battleground.” -Book cover

Contents: Antietam, South Mountain, and Harpers Ferry — Bull Run — Chattanooga — Chicamauga — Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania — Gettysburg — Petersburg, Five Forks, and Appomattox Court House — Richmond and City Point — The Shenandoah Valley — Shiloh — Stones River, Franklin, and Spring Hill — Vicksburg.

Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

Faust, Drew Gilpin
Univ. of North Carolina 1996        Dewey Dec.   973.7

” When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis, when every part of these women’s lives became vexed and uncertain.” -Publisher

Contents: Introduction: All the relations of life — ch. 1. What shall we do? : women confront the crisis — ch. 2. World of femininity : changed households and changing lives — ch. 3. Enemies in our households : confederate women and slavery — ch. 4. We must go to work, too — ch. 5. We little knew : husbands and wives — ch. 6. To be an old maid : single women, courtship, and desire — ch. 7. Imaginary life : reading and writing — ch. 8. Though thou slay us : women and religion — ch. 9. To relieve my bottled wrath : Confederate women and Yankee men — ch. 10. If I were once released : the garb of gender — ch. 11. Sick and tired of this horrid war : patriotism, sacrifice, and self-interest — Epilogue: We shall never … be the same — Afterword: The burden of Southern history reconsidered.

A Chronological History of the Civil War in America

Illustrated with A. J. Johnson’s and J. H. Colton’s steel plate maps and plans of the southern states and harbors

Fisher, Richard Swainson
NY: Johnson and Ward 1863        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The publisher assembled a list of events and relevant political news items from 20 Dec 1860 to 1 Jan 1863. Intended at the time for anyone who closely followed the news of the day and the progress of the war, it is still useful for anyone with an interest in Civil War history. Maps are included.

Please visit our large Native Americans section, with hundreds of free online books

The Mississippi Valley in the Civil War

Fiske, John
Houghton Mifflin 1901        Dewey Dec.    973.7

A good, concise account of the military events in this region. Contains maps. “Does not attempt to cover the less important incidents, but treats those dominant movements which prophesied and led to the final results of the war.” Pittsburgh

Contents: 1. From St. Louis to Belmont 2. Fort Donelson and Shiloh 3. The Capture of New Orleans 4. From Corinth to Stone River 5. The Vicksburg Problem 6. The Fall of Vicksburg 7. Chickamauga 8. Chattanooga 9. Nashville

The American Civil War, a Concise History of its Causes, Progress, and Results vol 1

– Volume 2

Formby, John
London: Murray 1910        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author appears to have been Colonel John Formby (1858-1933) Justice of the Peace, squire of Formby Hall, Lancashire, England, who earned his B.A at Cambridge University.

“This English account of our Civil War is, in many respects, one of the best. It holds well together the contemporary happenings in the various sections of the war zone, so that the reader sees the progress of the war as a whole; it keeps well to the front the political happenings, and shows their relation to the campaigns and to the military leaders; it eschews minute details of the actual fighting in favor of the larger movements of the contending armies, and it is written from an unbiased standpoint, for exposition and not for argument.” – The Independent
With 66 maps and plans in the second volume.

The Civil War by Campaigns

Foster, Eli Greenawalt
Topeka: Crane 1899        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author indicates that he has tried to provide a condensed account of important events, avoiding a lot of detail about battles. Moreover, rather that narrate the war chronologically, it is arranged by campaign. Many original maps are provided to help the reader follow the course of the campaigns.

Contents: Causes of the Civil War – Opening events of the war – Naval war – Coast operations – War in Missouri – Grant’s campaign in the west – The opening of the Mississippi River – Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky – Chattanooga – Sherman’s March to the sea – McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign – Pope’s campaign – From Antietam to Fredericksburg – Chancellorsville – Gettysburg – Grant’s overland campaign – Sheridan and Early in the Shenandoah Valley – Peace Commission, and surrender of Lee – Outskirt movements – Financial measures – Cost of the war – national debt – closing events

The Antietam Campaign

Gallagher, Gary W., ed.
Univ. of North Carolina 1999        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The Maryland campaign of September 1862 ranks among the most important military operations of the American Civil War. Crucial political, diplomatic, and military issues were at stake as Robert E. Lee and George B. McClellan maneuvered and fought in the western part of the state. The climactic clash came on September 17 at the battle of Antietam, where more than 23,000 men fell in the single bloodiest day of the war.”

“Approaching topics related to Lee’s and McClellan’s operations from a variety of perspectives, contributors to this volume explore questions regarding military leadership, strategy, and tactics, the impact of the fighting on officers and soldiers in both armies, and the ways in which participants and people behind the lines interpreted and remembered the campaign. They also discuss the performance of untried military units and offer a look at how the United States Army used the Antietam battlefield as an outdoor classroom for its officers in the early twentieth century.” -Publisher
The contributors are William A. Blair, Keith S. Bohannon, Peter S. Carmichael, Gary W. Gallagher, Lesley J. Gordon, D. Scott Hartwig, Robert E. L. Krick, Robert K. Krick, Carol Reardon, and Brooks D. Simpson.

Life in Dixie during the War; 1861-1862-1863-1864-1865

Gay, Mary Ann Harris
Atlanta: Byrd 1897        Dewey Dec.    973.7

A first-person account of wartime experiences, by a lady from Decatur, Georgia.

Contents: (6 of 35 chapter headings) The Magnolia cadets – The war record of DeKalb County – labors of love -musical – Decatur – Labors of love -Knitting and sewing, and writing letters to “our soldiers” – The Third Maryland Artillery – some old songs – A daring and unique chase – the capture and re-capture of the railroad engine, “The General” – Coming home from Camp Chase – the faithful servant’s gift – a glimpse of Confederate braves

The Capture, the Prison Pen, and the Escape: giving a complete history of prison life in the South, …

principally at Richmond, Danville, Macon, Savannah, Charleston, Columbia, Belle Isle, Millin, Salisbury, and Andersonville: describing the arrival of prisoners, plans of escape, with numerous and varied incidents and anecdotes of prison life; embracing also the adventures of the author’s escape from Columbia, S.C., recapture, subsequent escape, recapture, trial as spy, and final escape from Sylvania, Georgia. With illustrations

Glazer, Willard W.
Hartford, CT: Goodwin 1867        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author, a Brevet Captain of the New York Volunteer Cavalry, related his own experiences.

The Appeal to Arms 1861-1863 (American Nation, Vol. 20)

Hosmer, James Kendall
1907        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This volume and the one listed below together from a brief, compact history of the war. Each contains maps and a bibliography.
“The point of view of the author … is that of a participant in the campaigns, and a friend of many officers on both sides, who relates the story not as a victory of the United States over a national enemy, but as a part of the history of the whole people, both North and South.” Editor’s introduction

Contents: 1. Conditions of the Civil War (1861) 2. The Leaders in the Struggle (1861) 3. Preparations and Preliminary Contests (April, 1861 – July, ) 4. The First Bull Run Campaign (July, 1861) 5. Military Preparations (July, 1861 – December, 1861) 6. Western Advance (November, 1861 March, 1862) 7. Check in the West (April, 1862) 8. Warfare on the Interior Waters (1861-1862) 9. The Peninsula Campaign (April, 1862 – June, 1862) 10. Jackson’s Diversion in the Valley of Virginia (March, 1862 – May, 1862) 11. Seven Days’ Battles (June, 1862 – July, 1862) 12. Pope and the Army of Virginia (July, 1862 – August, 1862) 13. Antietam Campaign (September, 1862) 14. The Government and Emancipation (1862) 15. Campaign in Kentucky and Tennessee (1862) 16. The Gloom of Fredericksburg (October, 1862 – December, 1862) 17. Hooker’s Virginia Campaign (January, 1863 – May, 1863) 18. Vicksburg (October, 1862 – July, 1863) 19. The Gettysburg Campaign (May, 1863 – July, 1863) 20. Foreign Relations (1861-1863) 21. Critical Essay on Authorities

Outcome of the Civil War 1863-1865 (American Nation, Vol. 21)

Hosmer, James Kendall
1907        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Although independent in field and arrangement, this volume continues the author’s “Appeal to arms.” It covers the period from the midsummer of 1863 to the end of hostilities in April, 1865.

Contents: 1. Military Law and War Finance (1863) 2. The Chickamauga Campaign (August, 1863 – September, 1863) 3. Chattanooga and Knoxville (September, 1863 – December, 1863) 4. Life in War-time North and South (1863) 5. Concentration under Grant (December, 1863 – April, 1864) 6. On to Richmond (May, 1864 – June, 1864) 7. The Atlanta Campaign (May, 1864 – August, 1864) 8. Attempts at Reconstruction (1863-1864) 9. Lincoln’s Second Election (1864) 10. The Confederacy on the Sea (1861-1864) 11. Sheridan in the Valley (July, 1864 – February, 1865) 12. Sherman’s March to the Sea (September, 1864 – December, 1864) 13. Preparations for Readjustment of the States (September, 1864 – March, 1865) 14. Military Severities (1864-1865) 15. Spirit of the North (1864-1865) 16. Spirit of the South (1864-1865) 17. Downfall of the Confederacy (April, 1865) 18. Critical Essay on Authorities

Prisoners of War and Military Prisons: Personal Narratives of Experience in the Prisons at Richmond,…

Danville, Macon, Andersonville, Savannah, Millen, Charleston, and Columbia with a general account of prison life and prisons in the South during the War of the Rebellion, including statistical information pertaining to prisoners of war; together with a list of officers who were prisoners of war from January 1, 1864

Isham, Asa B., Davidson, Henry M. and Furness, Henry B.
Cincinnati: Lyman & Cushing 1890        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The following narratives furnish a more complete account of prison life than any which have been heretofore presented to the public, by combining the stories of the hardships endured by officers and by private soldiers respectively. They were prepared for the press many years ago, while the incidents related were still fresh in the memory, and while the unfortunate writers were still smarting under their terrible experience.” – Preface

A Short History of the War of Secession, 1861-1865

Johnson, Rossiter
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin 1889 973.7        Dewey Dec.

A one-volume comprehensive history of the war, by a historian.

Contents: Causes – outbreak – beginning of bloodshed – First battle of Bull Run – Border states and foreign relations – First Union victories – Capture of New Orleans – Monitor and the Merrimac – Campaign of Shiloh – Peninsula campaign – Pope’s campaign – Antietam campaign – Emancipation – Burnside’s campaign – Rosecrans and Hooker – Gettysburg – Vicksburg campaign – Draft riots – Siege of Charleston – Chattanooga campaign – Black chapter – Sanitary and Christian commissions – Overland campaign – Confederate cruisers – Atlanta campaign – Battle of Mobile Bay – Advance on Petersburg – Sheridan in the Shenandoah – Presidential election – National finances – March to the sea – Final battles – peace

Books on African American history and slavery in the U.S. at History of African Americans

The American Civil War: A Military History

Keegan, John
Vintage 2010        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The greatest military historian of our time gives a peerless account of America’s most bloody, wrenching, and eternally fascinating war.
In this magisterial history and national bestseller, John Keegan shares his original and perceptive insights into the psychology, ideology, demographics, and economics of the American Civil War. Illuminated by Keegan’s knowledge of military history he provides a fascinating look at how command and the slow evolution of its strategic logic influenced the course of the war. Above all, The American Civil War gives an intriguing account of how the scope of the conflict combined with American geography to present a uniquely complex and challenging battle space. Irresistibly written and incisive in its analysis, this is an indispensable account of America’s greatest conflict.” -Publisher

Contents: North and South divide — Will there be a war? — Improvised armies — Running the war — The military geography of the Civil War — The life of the soldier — Plans — McClellan takes command — The war in middle America — Lee’s war in the East, Grant’s war in the West — Chancellorsville and Gettysburg — Vicksburg — Cutting the Chattanooga-Atlanta link — The overland campaign and the fall of Richmond — Breaking into the South — The battle off Cherbourg and the Civil War at sea — Black soldiers — The home fronts — Walt Whitman and wounds — Civil War generalship — Civil War battle — Could the South have survived? — The end of the war.

History of the Great Rebellion, from its Commencement to its Close

Giving an account of its origin, the secession of the southern states, and the formation of the Confederate government, the concentration of the military and financial resources of the federal government … together with sketches of the lives of all the eminent statesmen and military and naval commanders, with a full and complete index. From official sources

Kettell, Thomas P.
Hartford, CT: Stebbins 1866         Dewey Dec.   973.7


The Military Hand-book and Soldier’s Manual of Information

Embracing the official articles of war, regulations for the enrollment and draft (1862), table of those exempt; instructions to the volunteer; Army regulations for camp and service; ration and pay lists; general rules and orders; health department; with valuable remedies, etc., together with a complete dictionary of military terms

Le Grand, Louis, M.D.
NY: Beadle 1862        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This handbook was intended to be useful for the average soldier, but may be of great interest for readers today. The sections about enrollment and the draft, general orders, and the dictionary of military terms all contain very interesting information for the student of Civil War military history. The long section on health, which includes advice on staying healthy and numerous home remedies for a wide variety of maladies, is excellent.

All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies

Leonard, Elizabeth D.
Norton 1999        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The author presents stories of dozens of women who served in both the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War. Some were spies, but many more adopted men’s names, dressed in men’s clothes and lived and fought and died alongside mostly unsuspecting men.” Publ Wkly

Contents: The ladies were terrific — A handful of Civil War women spies — The women are the worst of all — The broad scope of female espionage and resistance during the Civil War — Half-soldier heroines — A handful of Civil War army women and their predecessors — As brave as a lion and as pretty as a lamb — More Civil War army women, real and fictional — The beardless boy was a universal favorite — Deborah Sampson and a handful of Civil War women soldiers — To don the breeches, and slay them with a will! — A host of women soldiers — A devoted worker for her cause — The question of motivation.

The Treatment of Prisoners of War 1861-1865

Lewis, Samuel E., M.D.
Richmond, VA: Jones 1910        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author’s title is shown as “Late Assistant Surgeon, C.S.A.” This is a 16-page paper about a statistical mystery surrounding claims that had been made in official reports about the number of prisoners of war held in the north and the south, and the percentages of those that had died in captivity in each region. This was of great interest because, despite many complaints by the Union of the brutal conditions in southern prisons, a prominent and frequently-cited report had indicated that the death rate in Union prisons was much higher.

Please visit our collection of 2,000+ selected online magazine and newspaper articles on 40+ subjects, plus online historical maps & vintage photo collections, at Century Past History Resources

My Story of the War: a Woman’s Narrative of Four Years Personal Experience as Nurse in the Union Army …

and in relief work at home, in hospitals, camps, and at the front, during the war of the rebellion. With anecdotes, pathetic incidents, and thrilling reminiscences portraying the lights and shadows of hospital life and the Sanitary Service of the War

Livermore, Mary A.
Hartford, CT: Worthington 1889        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The title suggests this is a 1st person account by a Civil War nurse, but it goes well beyond that. When Mary Livermore prepared to write this book, two decades after the war, she draw upon a large personal archive of her correspondence and articles she had written for publication. Besides being a volunteer nurse she was a highly skilled writer and apparently also served in important administrative roles in the Sanitary Commission that ran the Union hospitals. In addition to stories of nursing experiences, the book contains, at minimum, pen portraits of soldiers and other personalities, military history, and considerable information about the operations of the Sanitary Commission.

Lloyd’s Battle History of the Great Rebellion

Complete, from the capture of Fort Sumter, April 14, 1861, to the capture of Jefferson Davis, May 10, 1865, embracing General Howard’s tribute to the volunteer, 268 battle descriptions, 39 biographical sketches, 49 portraits of generals, 17 maps of battle-fields, 13 battle pictures, and a general review of the War for the Union

NY: Lloyd 1866        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Arranged much like a one-volume encyclopedia, published immediately after the war ended.

A History of the Civil War 1861-65 and the causes that led up to the great conflict,

by Benson J. Lossing, LL. D., and a chronological summary and record of every engagement, showing the total losses and casualties together with war maps of localities, compiled from the official records of the War department. Illustrated with fascimile photographic reproductions of the official war photographs, taken at the time by Matthew B. Brady, under the authority of President Lincoln and now in the possession of the War department, Washington, D. C.

Lossing, Benson J.
NY: War Memorial Association 1912        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Very heavily illustrated with photos taken during the war; often 8-10 photos on a page.

American Bastile. A History of the Illegal Arrests and Imprisonment of American Citizens during the late Civil War

Marshall, John A.
Philadelphia: Hartley 1876        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“This work contains an authentic account of the arrest, imprisonment, and terrible sufferings of American citizens incarcerated as Prisoners of State; together with the orders for arrest, suspending the writ of Habeas Corpus, prohibiting the employment of counsel, etc. etc. The horrors of prison-life in Forts Lafayette, Warren, McHenry, Delaware, Mifflin, Old Capitol Prison, penitentiaries, and military camps, and their condition, are truthfully delineated.” -Author’s Preface

The book tells the stories of dozens of individuals in the northern states who were arrested and imprisoned, mostly for speaking publicly against the war.

Children for the Union: The War Spirit on the Northern Home Front

Marten, James A.
Dee 2004        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The Civil War influenced virtually every aspect of children’s lives, and in turn they eagerly incorporated the experience of war into their daily assumptions and activities… On the home front, children became almost full-fledged members of their communities in their support of the war effort. They left school to replace absent men on farms and in factories, helped raise funds for hospitals and other soldiers’ causes, and volunteered to knit socks, pick lint, and perform other necessary duties… Northern children’s lives were militarized as never before, from the toys and games and stories that were overwhelmed by images of warfare and pro-Union ideals to actual military service by under-age soldiers and drummer boys… Children for the Union opens a new window on the impact of the war and shows that the youngest Americans were inevitable and enthusiastic participants in the nation’s worst crisis. Abundantly illustrated.” -Publisher

Contents: A struggle touching all life — 1. Childhood in antebellum America — 2. The war culture and northern children — 3. Family life and the war — 4. Children, community, and the war effort — 5. The militarization of northern children — 6. All quiet along the Potomac.

The Political History of the United States of America, During the Great Rebellion

from November 6, 1860, to July 4, 1864; including a classified summary of the legislation of the second session of the Thirty-sixth Congress, the three sessions of the Thirty-seventh Congress, the first session of the Thirty-eighth Congress, with the votes thereon, and the important executive, judicial, and politico-military facts of that eventful period; together with the organization, legislation, and general proceedings of the rebel administration, and an appendix containing the principal political facts of the campaign of 1864, a chapter on the church and the rebellion, and the proceedings of the Second Session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress

McPherson, Edward
Washington: Philp & Solomons 1865        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This is mostly legislative history, with the contents mostly copied from the official records of proceedings. Some sections contain copied newspaper accounts of legislative debates, speeches etc.

The lives of many historical figures are covered in books on our Biography Page

Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution

McPherson, James M.
Oxford Univ. 1990        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson “offers a series of thoughtful and engaging essays on aspects of Lincoln and the war that have rarely been discussed in depth… The Civil War was the single most transforming and defining experience in American history, and Abraham Lincoln remains the most important figure in the pantheon of our mythology. These graceful essays, written by one of America’s leading historians, offer fresh and unusual perspectives on both.” -Publisher

Contents: I. The Second American Revolution — II. Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution — II. Lincoln and Liberty — IV. Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender — V. How Lincoln Won the War with Metaphors — VI. The hedgehog and the Foxes — VII. Liberty and Power in the Second American Revolution.

Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

McPherson, James M.
Oxford Univ. 1998        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“‘Battle Cry of Freedom’ will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson’s fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War–the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry–and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself–the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities… This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing “second American Revolution” we call the Civil War.” -Publisher

The Photographic History of the Civil War; in Ten Volumes

Thousands of scenes photographed 1861-65, with text by many special authorities

– Volume 2   – Volume 3   – Volume 4   – Volume 5

– Volume 6   – Volume 7   – Volume 8   – Volume 9

– Volume 10

Miller, Francis Trevelyan
NY: Review of Reviews 1911        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Vol 1 – The Opening Battles;  Vol 2 – Two Years of Grim War;  Vol 3 – The Decisive Battles;  Vol 4 – The Cavalry;  Vol 5 – Forts and Artillery;  Vol 6 – The Navies;  Vol 7 – Prisons and Hospitals;  Vol 8 – Soldier Life, Secret Service;  Vol 9 – Poetry and Eloquence of Blue and Gray;  Vol 10 – Armies and Leaders

The wide range of Civil War photos, with informative, detailed captions, make up most of these volumes, but there are also historical articles on the many subjects. Note: to view the sideways photos, right click on them, copy the image and paste into another app that allows images to be rotated. The caption will copy with the photo.

Diplomat In Carpet Slippers: Abraham Lincoln Deals With Foreign Affairs

Monaghan, Jay
Bobbs Merrill 1945        Dewey Dec.    973.7

James Jay Monaghan IV (1893-1980) wrote a dozen popular books on the American west and a two-volume ‘Lincoln Bibliography’ (1943). ‘Diplomat in Carpet Slippers’ was a popular yet scholarly study of Lincoln’s handling of foreign affairs. After a varied career that included cattle and sheep ranching, instructing WWI pilots in aerial photography, and supervising a team in the WPA Writers’ Project that indexed Illinois newspapers, he spent a number of years as Librarian of the Illinois State Historical Library and as Illinois State Historian. He went on to become a widely acknowledged expert on Lincoln.

Contents: (10 chapter headings of 21) Questions that would unavoidably come in due time – Men bred in courts accustomed to the world – Whom could he trust, if not the Secretary of State? – No lawyer and no statesman – Noisy jackasses – They’re having fits in the White House tonight – Dictators and soldiers of fortune – The capture of Mason and Slidell – Giver up the men! – Stone fleets and wooden nutmegs: January 1862

Knapsack and Rifle, or, Life in the Grand Army: War as seen from the ranks,

Pen pictures and sketches of camp, bivouac, marches, battle-fields and battles, commanders, great military movements; personal reminiscences and narratives of army life, adventures, escapes, humorous incidents, pathetic incidents, heroic deeds etc., etc.. Also a complete chronology of the war and a digest of the pension laws of the United States – statement of casualties – monthly rates of pensions – latest acts of Congress governing pensions, etc. by one of the boys. Copiously and finely illustrated

Patrick, Robert W.
Portland: Gill 1889        Dewey Dec.    973.7


The Civil War (Home University Library of Modern Knowledge)

Paxson, Frederic L.
1911        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“A scholarly, compact, but not abstruse, treatment of the various aspects of the Civil war, economic and social as well as political and military.” Cleveland.

Contents: 1. The Law of the Land 2. Secession 3. Abraham Lincoln 4. Civil War 5. Afloat and Abroad 6. 1862: McClellan and Emancipation 7. 1862: The Mississippi Valley 8. Ulysses S. Grant 9. Gettysburg and Reconstruction 10. The Balance of Power 11. The Union Party 12. The Confederate Collapse Bibliographical Note

Southern History of the War

Pollard, Edward Alfred
NY: Richardson 1866        Dewey Dec.    973.7

The author, editor of the Richmond Examiner, initially published this in separate volumes during the war.
Edward Alfred Pollard (1832-1872) was a Virginia journalist and lawyer, and an author who wrote several books on the Civil War from a Confederate point of view, while being critical of the administration of Jefferson Davis. During the war he was an editor at the Richmond ‘Examiner’ newspaper.

Hospital Life in the Army of the Potomac

Reed, William Howell
Boston: Spencer 1866        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Memoir of a hospital volunteer.

Contents: Washington to Fredericksburg – Scenes in Fredericksburg – Rappahannock and Pamunky – The Sanitary Commission – A Woman’s Ministry – City Point field hospitals – The silent sorrows at home – The bull-ring – Characters in the hospital – Active operations – Sufferings at Burksville – Petersburg hospitals – Abraham Lincoln

History of the Civil War 1861-1865

Rhodes, James Ford
1917        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Not a condensation of the author’s three volumes on the Civil war in his ‘History of the United States’ but a fresh study which makes use of the large amount of material on that period which has come to light in recent years. Good maps and an index are included with the text.” Book Review Digest

“The student of war politics and of mid-century American diplomacy will find much to interest him in several of the chapters, for the volume is not, as its title might imply, a mere narrative of military operations. It is a discussion of national life in all its phases during a great and critical period of American history.” American Political Science Review

The Secret Service, The Field, The Dungeon, and the Escape

Richardson, Albert D.
Hartford: American 1865        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Albert Deane Richardson (1833-1869) was a well-known journalist for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune who did battlefield reporting during the Civil War. He was also a spy for the Union Army, and was arrested and imprisoned by the Confederate Army, going on to confinement in 7 prisons for 20 months. This is the story of that period, including the adventures of his escape from the last prison.

We have a huge selection of fiction, including historical fiction, at Free Novels Online & Guides to Fiction

A Visit to the Cities and Camps of the Confederate States

Ross, Fitzgerald
Edinburgh: Blackwood and Sons 1865         Dewey Dec.    973.7

Captain Fitzerald Turton Ross (b. 1825) was an Englishman who was educated in Germany and became an officer in the Austrian Hussars. He took leave and traveled to America during the Civil War, traveling through the Confederacy from 1863 to 1864, usually as a guest of Confederate officers. This book is a record of that period as an unofficial foreign military observer.

The Imperiled Union: Essays on the Background of the Civil War

Stampp, Kenneth M.
Oxford University 1980        Dewey Dec.    973.7

A collection of essays by a master historian. Amongst the subjects that Stampp tackles are the inevitability of the Civil War and the truth about why the confederacy actually died. The other essays are a mix of historiography and analysis of issues including Lincoln’s role in reinforcing FortSumter, the impact of psychology in trading slaves, and the role of racism in the Republican Party.

Contents: The concept of a perpetual Union — Rebels and sambos : the search for the Negro’s personality in slavery — Time on the cross : a humanistic perspective — Race, slavery, and the Republican Party of the 1850s — The Republican National Convention of 1860 — Lincoln and the secession crisis — The irrepressible conflict — The Southern road to Appomattox.

History of the United States Sanitary Commission: Being the General Report of its Work during the War of the Rebellion

Stille, Charles J.
Philadelphia: Lippincott 1866        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This is the Commission’s official report of its operations during the Civil War. It has three parts:
1. General history of the Commission’s origin, purposes, and methods of operation.
2. Narrative of its Special Relief service.
3. Account of the organization and practical working of its supply system.

Contents: Nature and object of army relief – Development of the theory of a preventive service – Organization of the U.S. Sanitary Commission – Inspection of camps and hospitals – Re-organization of the medical bureau and appointment of a new Surgeon-General – Hospital transport service in the west and in the Peninsular campaign. Hospital cars. -Supplement hospital supplies – Contributions from California and the Pacific coast – Distribution of supplies – general and battle-field relief – Special Relief service – Warfare against scurvy – Campaign of Vicksburg – Chattanooga – Fredericksburg – Gettysburg – The Wilderness – Morris Island – Olustee – Newberne – Department of the Gulf – Special inspection of hospitals – The Commission’s Bureau of Vital Statistics – Financial history of the commission – Internal organization – relations with the government

A Complete History of the Great American Rebellion

embracing its causes, events and consequences: with biographical sketches and portraits of its principal actors, and scenes and incidents of the war. Illustrated with maps, plans of battles, portraits, &c.

– Volume 2

Storke, Elliot G. and Brockett, L. P.
Auburn, NY: Auburn 1865        Dewey Dec.    973.7


The Twelve Decisive Battles of the War

A history of the eastern and western campaigns, in relation to the actions that decided their issue

Swinton, William
NY: Diek & Fitzgerald 1871        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Contents: Bull Run – Donelson – Shiloh – Antietam – Murfreesboro – The Monitor and Merrimac – Vicksburg – Gettysburg – Wilderness – Atlanta – Nashville – Five Forks

The Military and Naval History of the Rebellion in the United States

With biographical sketches of deceased officers. Illustrated with steel plate portraits

Tenney, William Jewett
NY: Appleton 1865        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This book “contains not only all the principal battles by land and sea, but every important skirmish. The plans and objects of the various campaigns are clearly stated, and the progress of the armies, step by step, in their execution, is described and illustrated with distinct topographical maps, chiefly obtained from official sources… The manner of raising, organizing, and equipping the armies and fleets are stated in detail; also the sanitary measures for their preservation, including hospitals and charitable organizations; the improvements in the weapons and forts and floating batteries of military and naval warfare; the treatment of prisoners… It concludes with biographical tributes to the principal military and naval officers who have fallen in the contest.” – Author’s Preface

Selected Podcasts and videos about U.S. History in the 19th Century

The Confederate Nation, 1861-1865

Thomas, Emory M.
Harper & Row 1979        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“[Thomas] sensibly and deftly integrates the course of Southern military fortunes with the concerns that shaped them and were shaped by them. In doing so he also manages to convey a sense of how the war itself deteriorated from something spirited and gallant to something base and mean and modern on both sides.” -Publisher

Contents: The social economy of the Old South — Cultural nationalism in the pre-Confederate South — Foundations of the southern nation — Southern nationality established — Southern nationality confirmed — Confederate nationality confounded — Origins of the revolutionary South — Foreign relations of a nascent nation — The development of the Confederate South — The Confederate South at full tide — The disintegration of southern nationalism — Death of the nation — Appendix: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

Ken Burns’s The Civil War: Historians Respond

Toplin, Robert B. et al.
Oxford Univ. 1996        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Ken Burns’s documentary The Civil War made television history, breaking all viewing records for a PBS series. Indeed, forty million people saw it… For a generation of Americans, this documentary is the Civil War. Yet many professional historians criticized it sharply for ignoring the roles of minorities, pointing to a lack of women and of blacks throughout, a disregard for the aftermath of the war (particularly its legacy to race relations), a conventional emphasis on military history rather than social history, and uneven coverage of the military campaigns that gave short shrift to the bloody Western front. [This book] brings together detractors, supporters, and Ken Burns himself in a volume that will inspire readers to look again at this stunning documentary, at the way television shows history, and at the Civil War itself.” -Publisher

Contents: Introduction — Help from historians / C. Vann Woodward — Ken Burns’s The Civil War as an interpretation / Robert Brent Toplin — How familiarity bred success : military campaigns and leaders in Ken Burns’s The Civil War / Gary W. Gallagher — “Noble women as well” / Catherine Clinton — Lincoln and Gettysburg : the hero and the heroic place / Gabor S. Boritt — Ken Burns and the romance of reunion / Eric Foner — Telling the story : the historian, the filmmaker, and the Civil War / Leon F. Litwack — Refighting the Civil War / Geoffrey C. Ward — Four o’clock in the morning courage / Ken Burns

Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865

Trudeau, Noah Andre
Back Bay 1999        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“A study of the battlefield experiences of black Union regiments. Some 60 maps help the reader make sense of famous engagements and notorious incidents in which black soldiers fought, as well as scores of lesser-known clashes. Rich archival research is integrated into a lively narrative that places the raising and deployment of black regiments in broader contexts.” Libr J.

Narrative of Privations and Sufferings of United States Officers and Soldiers while Prisoners of War in the Hands of the Rebel Authorities …

Being the report of a commission of inquiry, appointed by the United States Sanitary Commission. With an appendix, containing the testimony

United States Sanitary Commission
Philadelphia: 1864        Dewey Dec.    973.7

This contains numerous accounts, in testimony or correspondence, by Union prisoners of war of suffering and mistreatment in Confederate prisons and camps.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

U.S. Secretary of War Office; Robert N. Scott, comp.
Washington, Government Printing Office 1880-1901        Dewey Dec.   973.7

Work on this official history of the Civil War was authorized by Congress in 1864 and was completed in 1901. As finally published, the records consist of 138,589 pages with 1,006 maps and diagrams assembled in 128 books, organized as 70 volumes grouped in four series, published between 1881 and 1901. All books/volumes appear to be available at this href=”http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/military/civil-war-armies-records.html”, although the list is scrambled. A separate “Index” volume is included.
See this National Archives page, War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies for a convenient list of descriptive titles of all volumes, and for more information about the series.

The four series are:
Series I – Military Operations: Formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the southern States, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders, and returns relating specially thereto.
Series II – Prisoners: Correspondence, orders, reports, and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war and (so far as the military authorities were concerned) to State or political prisoners.
Series III – Union Authorities: Correspondence, orders, reports, and returns of the Union authorities (including their correspondence with the Confederate officials) not relating specifically to the subjects of series I and II. It includes the annual and special reports of the Secretary of War, of the General-in-Chief, and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments; the calls for troops and the correspondence between the National and the several State authorities.
Series IV – Confederate Authorities: Correspondence, orders, reports, and returns of the Confederate authorities, similar to the Union material in series III, but excluding the correspondence between the Union and Confederate authorities given in that series.

Collected Books on Women’s History and Articles on Women’s History

The Comprehensive History of the Southern Rebellion and the War for the Union vol 1

Embodying also important state papers, congressional proceedings, official reports, remarkable speeches, etc., etc.

– Volume 2

Victor, Orville J.
NY: Torrey 1862        Dewey Dec.    973.7

These two volumes were written in the midst of the war, with volume 2 apparently completed in April 1863. They appear to cover both political and military events, and the author suggests that he relied heavily upon official records.

Daily life in Civil War America

Volo, Dorothy D. and Volo, James M.
Greenwood 1998        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“Makes extensive use of journals, newspapers, and diaries to bring together the experience of the soldier, civilian, and slave in one volume. Includes details such as how soldiers obtained their food, how recipes were changed to accommodate food shortages, popular books and magazines of the time, and how clothing and fashion were affected by the war. Enhanced by period photos, lithographs and original artwork.” Book cover.

Contents: pt. I. History, Politics, and Slavery. 1. The Historians’ War. 2. Politics: The National Hobby. 3. The American Zion. 4. On Behalf of Southern Independence. 5. The Peculiar Institution: Slavery. 6. Abolition — pt. II. Soldiers’ Lives. 7. Billy Yank and Johnny Reb. 8. Hardtack and Coffee. 9. Tenting Tonight: The Soldier’s Life. 10. Tactics and Strategy. 11. Seeing the Elephant: The Realities of Life in Battle — pt. III. Civilians’ Lives. 12. Be It Ever So Humble. 13. Leisure Time. 14. Feast or Famine: Food and Cooking. 15. The Look: Fashion and Women’s Clothing. 16. Dressed for the Part: Men’s, Children’s, and Slaves’ Clothing. 17. Elevating and Expanding the Young Mind. 18. Till the Mournful Night Is Gone: Death and Dying.

Life in the Confederate Army

Being the Observations and Experiences of an Alien in the South during the American Civil War

Watson, William
London: Chapman & Hall 1887        Dewey Dec.    973.7

William Watson (1826-1906) was a Scottish native who moved to the Caribbean to work as a civil engineer. In the 1850s he moved to Louisiana for business. While in Louisiana, he enlisted in the Confederate Army. In this memoir he includes insights and observations about the Confederate soldiers as well as about life in the South just prior to the war.

The Life of Johnny Reb; The Common Soldier of the Confederacy

Wiley, Bell Irvin
Louisiana State Univ. 1993        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Composite biography of the ordinary soldier of the Confederacy – his behavior in camp and under fire, his food, clothing, weapons, religion, amusements, attitude toward women, and so on. Taken mostly from firsthand accounts in letters, diaries, and records.” New Yorker.

Contents: Off to the war — Baptism of fire — Besetting sins — In winter quarters — Heroes and cowards — Bad beef and cornbread — From finery to tatters — Trials of soul — Breaking the monotony — Consolations of the spirit — Dear folks — Kicking over the traces — The deadliest foe — The gentler sentiments — Muzzle loaders and makeshifts — Blue bellies and beloved enemies — What manner of men.

Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War

Williams, David
New Press 2008        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“The American Confederacy, historian David Williams reveals, was in fact fighting two civil wars; an external one that we hear so much about and an internal one about which there is scant literature and virtually no public awareness. From the Confederacy’s very beginnings, Williams shows, white southerners were as likely to have opposed secession as supported it, and they undermined the Confederate war effort at nearly every turn…Shattering the myth of wartime southern unity, this riveting new analysis takes on the enduring power of the Confederacy’s image and reveals it to be, like the Confederacy itself, a hollow shell.” -Publisher

Contents: Nothing but divisions among our people — Rich man’s war — Fighting each other harder than we ever fought the enemy — Yes, we all shall be free — Now the wolf has come — Defeated- by the people at home.

Story of the War. Pictorial History of the Great Civil War;

Embracing full and authentic accounts of its battles by land and sea, with graphic descriptions of heroic deeds achieved by armies and individuals, narratives of personal adventure, thrilling incidents, daring exploits, wonderful escapes, life in camp, field, and hospital, adventures at sea, blockade life, etc., etc. : containing carefully prepared biographies of the leading generals and naval commanders

Wilson, John Laird
NY: Jones 1881        Dewey Dec.    973.7

Seems to be a large popular history of the war. As a ‘pictorial history’ it’s a disappointment, with no photos and a small number of mediocre illustrations.

This Great Struggle: America’s Civil War

Woodworth, Steven E.
Rowman & Littlefield 2011        Dewey Dec.    973.7

“While covering all theaters of war, [the author] emphasizes the importance of action in the region between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River in determining the outcome. Woodworth argues that the Civil War had a distinct purpose that was understood by most of its participants: it was primarily a conflict over slavery.” Book jacket.

Contents: America’s long road to Civil War — And the war came — All quiet along the Potomac — The emergence of Grant — McClellan’s great campaign — Confederate high tide — Lincoln takes new measures — “Peace does not appear so distant as it did” — “The unfinished work” — From the Rapidan to the James to the Potomac — The Atlanta campaign — Last chances for the Confederacy — “Let us strive on to finish the work” — Reconstruction.



Century Past Library



Your comments and feedback are welcome!