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General Civil War Studies

This page has books about the Civil War which are general in nature. Give it a look and we think you'll find some good stuff here!

If you don't see a book listed here that you feel we need to have for sale, then PLEASE recommend it to us so that we can add it here!

Ugly Amazon Error page artAttention: You might see this ugly graphic, instead of the book cover which we have so carefully chosen for you to see. Alas, it means the book is not in print or Amazon is out of it NEW or something. It doesn't mean you cannot get it used, and often for CHEAPER... We will be going through and adding direct links to the book title itself, thus allowing you to get to the book's actual page and possibly even find it used. (I like used books!)
Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson -- If you can only read ONE BOOK about the Civil War, this book is the one to read!

Published in 1988 to universal acclaim, this single-volume treatment of the Civil War quickly became recognized as the new standard in its field. James M. McPherson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for this book, impressively combines a brisk writing style with an admirable thoroughness. He covers the military aspects of the war in all of the necessary detail, and also provides a helpful framework describing the complex economic, political, and social forces behind the conflict. Perhaps more than any other book, this one belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff.

This history of the Civil War brings to vivid life, the generals, the presidents, the soldiers, politicians, Abolitionists, Southern fire-eaters, Northern barn-burners, Copperheads, and Know-Nothings. An instant classic, this is the single volume on the tragic war and its background that every historian--amateur or trained--will want to have on the shelf to read again and again.

2,000 Questions and Answers about the Civil War by Webb Garrison -- Fascinating trivia and facts abound in this rich collection about America's most brutal and intriguing war. Questions are presented in categories that make it easy to test your knowledge. Also included are interesting sidebar articles, lists of little-known facts, anecdotes, and over 50 unusual black-and-white photographs. With a thorough index, 2,000 Questions and Answers About the Civil War provides a valuable resource for students, researchers, and Civil War buffs.
American Heritage New History of the Civil War

We trust American Heritage magazine to breathe life into our past and give new understanding to what out history means to us today. Heritage's picture history of the Civil War -- first published in 1960 and with more than a million copies in print -- has given a generation an intimate understanding of the nation's most momentous conflict.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bruce Catton's unsurpassed narrative, evoking the sweep and drama of a nation at war, provides the basis for The AMERICAN HERITAGE History of the Civil War, which includes more than 800 important contemporary photographs and sketches and magnificent paintings. The Civil War's battles and campaigns are painstakingly illustrated in three-dimensional maps that guide the reader through the four years of the struggle. With illustrations that range from photographs by Matthew Brady and sketches by soldiers at the front, to famous paintings by Winslow Homer, the book boasts an extraordinary breadth of pictures and artifacts culled from across the nation.

This richly textured tapestry is made complete by the words of men and women who actually witnessed the events. From the journal entry of a Confederate soldier departing for battle and the letter an African-American soldier scrawled on the back of his wife's letter to him, to some of the best-known documents written in the very hand of Abraham Lincoln, each page of this book allows the participants to speak for themselves.

The Civil War, more than any other period of American history, shaped us as a nation. Any real understanding of where we have been and where we are going must be based on knowledge of this conflict. The AMERICAN HERITAGE History of the Civil War re-creates those four crucial years in the nation's life, and it will endure as a masterpiece of history.

Annals of the Civil War -- This 1878 volume is essentially a massive collection of eyewitness accounts of the Civil War. Besides battle scenes, this also includes draft riots in New York and prisoner-of-war recollections.
Battle Tactics of the Civil War by Paddy Griffith -- Was the Civil War really the birthplace of modern battlefield tactics? Paddy Griffith argues that despite the use of new weapons and of trench warfare techniques, the Civil War was in reality the last Napoleonic-style war. Rich in description and analysis, this is a book of interest both to military historians and to Civil War buffs.

West Point Atlas of the American Civil War -- This book provides a good geographical context for any of the good historical accounts of the Civil War. We know enough about this national tragedy for the sake of good conversation.

An atlas represents the chessboard. The soldiers are the pieces. There is much to be understood from the science of war... such as the importance of avoiding it when possible.

Civil War Blunders by Clint Johnson -- There was little funny about a war in which 620,000 humans died. But it was finding humor amid devastation that kept Civil War soldiers marching toward the enemy. Union or Confederate, those in command proved adept at making mistakes. Many leaders were drunkards, couldn't speak English, didn't know a cannon's breech from its muzzle. Among the gallery of heroes were -- Colonel Edward Baker, who told his Federals to follow the plume of his hat if they wanted to find the war, and sent them over a cliff in a panicked retreat -- General Felix Zollicoffer, who wore a white raincoat so opposing Federals could see him, but not his eyeglasses so he could see them -- Lieutenant Commander Thomas Selfridge of the Union navy, who "found two torpedoes and removed them by placing his vessel over them" -- Colonel Alfred Rhett, a captured Southern blue blood whose fancy boots proved too small for every Union officer who coveted them - rum-drinking James Ledlie and dance-instructing Edward Ferrero, generals who kept each other company in a Union bombproof while their men faced slaughter from Fort Sumter to Appomattox, Civil War Blunders traces the war according to its amusing, often deadly miscues. Lurking behind every significant action, as readers will discover, was someone with a red face.
Civil War Dictionary by Mark M. Boatner -- As fascinating to the war scholar as to the buff and the general reader ... an impressive store of facts, carefully assembled and carefully cross-indexed ... an indispensable handbook for Civil War reading and study.
Civil War Extra, Vol. 1 -- Early War. A collection of articles from newspapers published during the Civil War. If you are into Civil War history, this is the ultimate source! Countless books have been written on the ironies and tradgedies of America's Civil War, but in these collections, the happenings of the day come alive.

Just reading the first newspaper, you will be transported back in time. Into the homes, Churches, courtrooms, schools and meeting houses you will become a part of history. No book written today can do justice to information straight from the source. Within these covers the event is not just a story but a true-to-life experience!

Civil War Extra, Vol. 2 -- Covers 1863-1866. If you are into Civil War history, this is the ultimate source! Countless books have been written on the ironies and tradgedies of America's Civil War, but in these collections, the happenings of the day come alive.

Just reading the first newspaper, you will be transported back in time. Into the homes, Churches, courtrooms, schools and meeting houses you will become a part of history. No book written today can do justice to information straight from the source. Within these covers the event is not just a story but a true-to-life experience!

Civil War: Illustrated History by Geoffrey Ward (Companion to the Ken Burns video) -- This magnificent pictorial history portrays the Civil War as never before, from the events leading to the firing of the first shot at Fort Sumter, through the battles at Shiloh and Gettysburg, the siege of Vicksburg, Sherman's march to the sea, and Lee's surrender at Appomattox. 500 photos. 1 map, suitable for framing.
The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote -- This beautifully written trilogy of books on the American Civil War is not only a piece of first-rate history, but also a marvelous work of literature. Shelby Foote brings a skilled novelist's narrative power to this great epic. Many know Foote for his prominent role as a commentator on Ken Burns's PBS series about the Civil War. These three books, however, are his legacy. His southern sympathies are apparent: the first volume opens by introducing Confederate President Jefferson Davis, rather than Abraham Lincoln. But they hardly get in the way of the great story Foote tells. This hefty three volume set should be on the bookshelf of any Civil War buff.
Civil War Source Book by Philip Katcher -- Katcher's entry in the field of Civil War publishing will intrigue the legions of Civil War buffs who yearly consume vast quantities of writing. Not a traditional campaign history, this title focuses on the experiences, equipment, uniforms, and tactics of army, navy, and state forces of both sides. Short biographies of major figures and an annotated "Sources" section are provided, and illustrations and quotations or excerpts from first-person accounts abound. The book is organized by broad topic, which could make its use in a reference collection problematic; librarians may prefer to place it in the circulating collection. Middle-aged eyes may have problems with the small type, and a number of minor typographical errors will give the true Civil War aficionado the thrill of discovery while not materially affecting the value of the title. Recommended for libraries collecting widely on the Civil War.
Civil War Strange & Fascinating Facts by Burke Davis -- Wonderfully entertaining look at some intriguing oddities, unusual incidents, and colorful personalities connected with the Civil War. Includes 25 names the war was known by, personal quirks of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and more.
Civil War Treasury by Alfred Nofi -- This is a collection of stories and miscellany from a number of sources about various aspects of the Civil War. It attempts to cover facets of the Civil War that may have eluded more popular works. The book is organized in a loosely chronological way: Similar areas at each stage of the war are grouped together, with identical subtitles for each chapter in the group. The problem with this format is that the stories really do not tie together; some are just excerpts from larger works, and there are no transitions to link themes. Often, it is hard to understand exactly how a particular incident had any effect on the war. With so much material available on the Civil War, this is not recommended.
Don't Know Much About the Civil War : Everything You Need to Know About America's Greatest Conflict but Never Learned by Kenneth Davis -- Why did Abraham Lincoln sneak into Washington for his inauguration? Was the Gettysburg Address written on the back of an envelope?Where did the Underground Railroad run?

Can you answer these questions? If not, you're not alone! New York Times-bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis comes to the rescue, deftly sorting out the players, the politics, the key events -- Emancipation and Reconstruction, Shiloh and Gettysburg, Generals Grant and Lee, Harriet Beecher Stowe -- and providing little-known facts that will enthrall even learned Civil War buffs. Vivid, informative, and hugely entertaining, Don't Know Much About?® the Civil War is the only book you'll ever need on "the war that never ended."

Stars in their Courses by Shelby Foote -- Shelby Foote, who cut such a courtly figure in Ken Burns's PBS series The Civil War, is an uncommonly graceful writer as well, and this careful study of the 1863 Gettysburg campaign assumes the contours of a classical tragedy. Foote positions readers on the field of battle itself, among swirling smoke and clattering grapeshot, and invites us to feel for ourselves its hellishness: "men on both sides were hollering as they milled about and fired, some cursing, others praying ... not a commingling of shouts and yells but rather like a vast mournful roar." Foote's fine book is history as literature, and a welcome addition to any Civil War buff's library.

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