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Personal Accounts

Civil War personal accounts... the words of those who were actually there! Nothing helps one to learn about a subject more than first-hand accounts!

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!)
Co. Aytch: A Confederate's Memoir of the Civil War by Sam Watkins -- Early in May 1861, twenty-one-year-old Sam R. Watkins of Columbia, Tennessee, joined the First Tennessee Regiment, Company H, to fight for the Confederacy. Of the 120 original recruits in his company, Watkins was one of only seven to survive every one of its battles, from Shiloh to Nashville. Twenty years later, with a "house full of young 'rebels' clustering around my knees and bumping about my elbows," he wrote this remarkable account of "Co. Aytch" -- its common foot soldiers, its commanders, its Yankee enemies, its victories and defeats, and its ultimate surrender on April 26, 1865.

Co. Aytch is the work of a natural storyteller who balances the horror of war with an irrepressible sense of humor and a sharp eye for the lighter side of battle. Among Civil War memoirs, it is considered a classic -- a living testament to one man's enduring humanity, courage, and wisdom in the midst of death and destruction.

Corporal Si Klegg and his "Pard" -- Don't bring any expectations to this read. The less you expect... the more you will enjoy this "gem", written by an actual Civil War veteran, who served in the Ohio 65th Volunteer Infantry. Although the regiment in the story is fictitious and from Indiana instead of Ohio, its experiences, roughly follow the experiences of the author's factual regiment. The battles in the story, though purposely unnamed, will be identified by a knowlegeable reader as those fought by the Army of the Cumberland... including Stone's River, Chickamagua, Chatanooga and the Atlanta Campaign.

The book, as it's title states, is about the life of a volunteer soldier. And peppered throughout it's excellent narrative, is authentic, sincere and heartfelt dialogue. Dialogue, written in the style of the way the men spoke, with all the ye's, ter's and reckons included. It took a little while accustomising myself to it, but shortly afterwards, I enjoyed the dialogue so much that I started reading it out loud.

Josiah Klegg is a young, enthuisiastic and patriotic recruit, who is unwise in the ways of the army. And Shorty "his pard", whom Si meets shortly after enlisting (or 'listing as they call it) is a hardluck Huckleberry Finn character. Though having had a rough lot in life, Shorty is a quick thinker and wise to the ways of the world. The two of them are "stayers", and together, they travel the long hard (and often painful) path from inexperienced recruit to veteran soldier.

Their personalities play off each other wonderfully. Shorty tolerates Si, who is naive and never short for expressing an opinion. And Shorty, always faithful and yet slightly dower, is continually uplifted by Si's irrepressable enthusiam.

There is much in this story of interest for the Civil War buff, including detailed descriptions of marching (blisters and all), camp life, hospital scenes and actual combat. In the end, this story is about the bonds that tie men together. If it is at all possible to understand the feelings men had for each other, during that terrible interlude in American History, you'll get closest, reading this book.

Army Life: A Private's Reminiscence of the Civil War -- One of the most famous regiments of the Civil War was the 20th Regiment of Maine Volunteers. Formed in 1862, the regiment saw action in some of the fiercest campaigns and battles of the war; Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, Peebles Farm and Five Forks. It also was present at Antietam, Chancellorsville, Mine Run, North Anna, Bethesda Church, Gravelly Run and Appomattox, where it had the distinct honor of being of the regiments to formally receive the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Originally commanded by Colonel Adelbert Ames, leadership of the regiment soon fell upon the shoulders of the most famous civilian soldier of the war -- Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. At Gettysburg, Chamberlain and the 20th Maine anchored the Union line on Little Round Top and helped to save the day, and the battle, for the Federal cause. The regiment fought with excellence in several later campaigns but will always be known for its brilliant and gallant performance at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863.

After the war only one veteran of the unit attempted to chronicle the exploits of the 20th Maine Infantry. In 1882, Reverend Theodore Gerrish published "Army Life." Although there are brief, scattered accounts written by other veterans of the unit's wartime exploits, this remains the only full-length book, purposely published by a 20th Maine veteran.

The Blue and the Gray: The Story of the Civil War As Told by Participants : The Battle of Gettysburg to Appomattox (The Classic History of the Civil War , Vol 2) by Henry Steele Commager
-- This one is a two Volume Set - with Volume 1 starting with the nomination of Abraham Lincoln as President of the US and follows the events to the bloody three-day battle of Gettysburg, the highwater mark of the Confederacy. Volume 2 takes us from the aftermath of Gettysburg and follows the war to Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

The works are surprisingly slim considering what it covers, so this is not an in-depth look at the War Between the States. It does however give a gold mine of details. For someone looking to understand the war, its causes and the people that fought it, this is a wonderful place to start.

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Uniform & Equipment Studies

This page has books about Civil War uniforms and equipment. Lots of Ospreys here, but there are other good books too. 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!)

American Civil War Recreated in Color Photographs (Europa Militaria Series, Special Issue) by Glen Marston, David T. Schiller -- Like all the Militaria Europa series this is a masterpiece on the subject, however, saying this, I can't find a description of the book and it's been too long since I've seen it. However, it was very cool!

Uniforms of the Civil War -- Traces the Blue and the Gray in this gallery of over 150 full-color paintings...portraying army uniforms of the civil war...historical information, data on rank markings, badges, belt plates, and buttons, as well as studies of weapons and campaign strategies.

Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War by Don Troiani, Earl J. Coates, Michael J. McAfee -- In the world of historical painting, Don Troiani stands alone, universally acclaimed for the accuracy, drama, and sensitivity of his depictions of America's past. His Civil War paintings and limited edition prints hang in the finest collections in the country and are noted by collectors from around the world. Now, in Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War, the artist turns his brush to one of the most colorful and captivating aspects of Civil War history: the individual units that earned their reputations on the battlefield and the distinctive uniforms they wore. In addition to 130 paintings of battle scenes and individual figures, the book also includes more than 250 full-color photographs of the uniforms the soldiers wore and the accouterments they carried. Supporting the illustrations is text by two of the leading military artifact experts. Taken together, it makes for one of the most comprehensive books on Civil War uniforms ever undertaken.

Billy Yank: The Uniform of the Union Army, 1861-1865 (G. I. (Series), 4) by Michael J. McAfee, John P. Langellier, J. Phillip Langellier -- Micheal J. McAfee, the first author, has been a curator at the West Point Military Academy Museum for many years. He is a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, has been at times a governor of the same, and is internationally known as an expert on the uniforms styled Zouaves, worn by U.S. forces in the Civil War, and based on those worn by French forces raised in North Africa, which in turn were influenced by the natives of the area and cut in the manner of their clothing. He is well qualified to cover this subject.

The second author, J. Phillip Langellier, has produced a slew of photo studies with incisive text on the life and times of the U.S. soldier, and his Spanish and Mexican californio predecessors also. His specialty is in gathering together contemporary source material for the illustrations. This method has the great virtue of showing what was what and when. But if no photos are available, then something may be omitted. All of these books are vertical studies covering a period of years. Though sometimes the illustrations serve to identify individual items of equipment, these works are not intended for that purpose. They are not catalogs intended for materiel collectors. They are of such a length and of such a level of detail that they will serve the purposes of the general reader with a curiousity about what grandaddy did in WW II or great great great grandaddy in the Civil War and what he looked like and how he lived. This is not to say that the specialist cannot find useful nuggets herein. He can.

Johnny Reb: The Uniform of the Confederate Army, 1861-1865 (G.I. Series) by Les Jensen -- Les Jensen well known from his series of articles relating to Confederate uniforms in the Journal of the Company of Military Historians provides an excellent overview of the uniforms of the Confederate soldier. Using often over looked issue records he lifts the veil on obscure facts relating the to the Confederate soldier's clothing and issues. His work dealing with the little understood Columbus Depot pattern is a real eye opener. Great detail is shown of the existing examples. He does not stop there, great photos and facts regarding the Richmond Arsenal issues are included in this work.

American Civil War Zouaves (Elite 62) by: Robin Smith -- Among the mass of units formed in the early months of the American Civil War were several of the colourful Zouave units. Inspired by the French colonial units raised in North Africa with their distinctive uniforms and reputation as hard fighters, units with names as colourful as their uniforms began to appear. In this volume Robin Smith details the uniforms and battles of these flamboyant units. Bill Younghusband is rapidly establishing himself as one of the most popular illustrators of 18th and 19th century military subjects, and has already contributed to a number of Osprey titles.

American Civil War Marines 1861-65 (Elite 112) by: Ron Field -- The part played in the Civil War by the small Marine Corps of the United and Confederate States is overshadowed by the confrontations of the great armies. Nevertheless, the coastal and riverine campaigns were of real importance, given the strategic significance of the Federal blockade of southern ports, and of the struggle for the Mississippi River. Marines wearing blue and grey fought in many dramatic actions afloat and ashore ? ship-to-ship engagements, cutting-out expeditions, and coastal landings. This book offers a comprehensive summary of all such battles, illustrated with rare early photographs, and meticulously researched color plates detailing the often obscure minutiae of Marine uniforms and equipment.

Confederate Infantryman 1861-65 (Warrior 6) by: Ian Drury -- The American Civil War was predominantly an infantryman's war. Artillery had improved substantially since 1815 and guns could inflict murderous losses if they had a clear field of fire. But most Civil War battlefields were characterised by sprawling forests and broken ground. Cavalry were important for reconnaissance, raiding and rearguard actions but there was little scope for sabre charges in the grand old manner when infantrymen armed with muzzle-loading rifles could face such tactics with confidence. Ultimately, the Confederacy's survival as a nation would largely depend on the fighting ability of its 642 infantry regiments.

Union Infantryman 1861-65 (Warrior 31) by: John Langellier -- The Union infantrymen were the 1,700 regiments of foot soldiers who became the mainstay of 'Mr Lincoln's Army'. These long-suffering, hard-fighting Yankees from farmsteads, hamlets, and urban centers, saved the Union. Their hopes and fears, joy and sorrow, cowardice and bravery were recorded in diaries, letters, memoirs and legions of histories. Drawing on these narratives, contemporary images and photographs and meticulous archival research, this title provides a vivid account of how the common Union infantryman was recruited and trained, and how he lived and fought. The soldier's struggle was not insignificant - it was to preserve a nation torn asunder, where brother fought against brother.

Confederate Cavalryman 1861-65 (Warrior 54) by: Philip Katcher -- The southerner of the mid-19th century had been bred to ride horses. In addition the period southerner had long been used to handling firearms, through hunting for pleasure, food or simply for sport. The combination of these factors promised that when the southern states began to secede in December 1860, the cavalry would be a major combat arm. This title looks at how the men of the Confederate cavalry were recruited, trained, lived and fought. Both routine and campaign life are covered, as well as the weapons and equipment that served them in their combat roles. Key encounters such as the 1863 clash at Brandy Station are also covered in this authoritative text.

Union Cavalryman 1861-65 (Warrior 13) by: Philip Katcher -- The bombardment by Confederate artillery of Fort Sumter on 12 April 1861 was the spark that finally ignited the American Civil War, quickly bringing thousands of eager volunteers for the Union cause. It proved especially easy to raise cavalry, since recruits naively believed that their military duties would be easier than in the infantry. This book investigates all aspects of the life and experiences of a Union trooper, covering enlistment, training, uniforms, weapons, cavalry tactics and the discrepancy between the recruit's view of swashbuckling charges and heroic hand-to-hand combat and the less glorious reality.

Confederate Artilleryman 1861-65 (Warrior 34) by: Philip Katcher -- In the heady days of the rush to arms in 1861, comparatively few Southern men volunteered for service in the artillery: most preferred the easily accessible glory of the infantry or cavalry. Yet those that did quickly earned the respect of their fellow soldiers, and a reputation for being able to "pull through deeper mud, ford deeper springs, shoot faster, swear louder ... than any other class of men in the service". Given that field artillery was invariably deployed in front of the troops that it was supporting, the artillerymen were exposed to a high level of enemy fire, and losses were significant. This title guides the reader through the life and experiences of the Confederate cannoneer - where he came from; how he trained and lived; how he dressed, ate and was equipped; and how he fought.

Sharpshooters of the American Civil War 1861-65 (Warrior 60) by: Philip Katcher -- When the American Civil War broke out in 1861 both Confederate and Union experts decided that specialized sharpshooter units should be formed. These highly trained marksmen served in a front-line role and, due to the technological developments of the 1850s, were equipped with weapons that could guarantee greater accuracy over increased range than traditional muskets. This title examines the recruitment, training, tactics and deployment of sharpshooters from both sides of the conflict. It also takes a close look at the specialized personal weaponry of the sharpshooter, the rifle and its accoutrements, as well as the sharpshooters' unique insignia and identification patches.

The Iron Brigade (Men-at-Arms 19) by: John Selby -- This book examines the uniforms and equipment, history and organisation of the Iron Brigade during the American Civil War. The major battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg are all covered. Uniforms are shown in full colour artwork.

The Stonewall Brigade (Men-at-Arms 30) by: John Selby -- "Look! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians!" With these words General Bee ensured the reputation of Thomas Jonathan Jackson and his troops who were fighting alongside him at the battle of the First Bull Run. This reputation was enhanced in Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign and other operations where the Stonewall Brigade's actions gained the praise of their Confederate compatriots and the respect of their enemies. This book examines the uniforms, equipment, history and organization of the Brigade and its combat experience during the American Civil War. Detailed maps and contemporary illustrations accompany this account of their major engagements.

The Army of Northern Virginia (Men-at-Arms 37) by: Philip Katcher -- On the 27 June, 1862, with the American Civil War already a year old, General Robert E. Lee assumed personal command of troops engaged in driving the Federal Army of the Potomac out of Richmond -- troops which would henceforth be known as The Army of Northern Virginia. Philip Katcher explores in absorbing detail all aspects of the army, including infantry, cavalry, artillery, technical and medical corps, paying particular attention to equipment, weapons and uniforms. Contemporary and museum photographs, together with the author's expert text, combine to a paint a vivid and accurate picture of what life was like for the average confederate soldier.

Army of the Potomac (Men-at-Arms 38) by: Philip Katcher -- For General George B. McClellan, the dejected Union troops who poured into Washington fresh from defeat at Bull Run on Monday 22 July, 1861, were to provide the raw material which he would train, equip, organise and ultimately transform from a mere mob into an effective fighting force. In October 1861 the Army of the Potomac officially came into being. This entertaining volume from the same team of author Philip Katcher and artist Michael Youens who produced Men-at-Arms 37 The Army of Northern Virginia, explores how this transition came about, with a particular emphasis on weapons, uniforms and equipment.

American Civil War Armies (1) Confederate Troops (Men-at-Arms 170) by: Philip Katcher -- When the Southern states seceded to form their own government in 1861, one of their first moves was to organize an army. The South's fighting men served from the time of their enlistment until the end of the war, receiving poor rations, and even worse clothing -- and this despite the fact that one of the first steps taken by the new army was to design a uniform and establish standards for accouterments and weapons. In this first of five volumes examining American Civil War armies, Philip Katcher profiles the uniforms issued by the national Confederate government to its artillery, cavalry and infantry troops.

American Civil War Armies (2) Union Troops (Men-at-Arms 177) by: Philip Katcher -- The US Army during the Civil War was the largest the country had raised in its brief history; and it would remain the largest ever raised until World War I. In all, 2,772,408 men served in some branch or other of the US Army. This detailed work by Philip Katcher is a comprehensive guide to the uniforms, accouterments, insignia and weapons of the Union Troops who fought the American Civil War, with a wealth of illustrations, including contemporary photographs and eight full page color plates by Ron Volstad.

American Civil War Armies (3) Specialist Troops (Men-at-Arms 179) by: Philip Katcher -- At the time of the American Civil War, with two million men under arms, a US Army that in pre-war days had depended upon a minute number of technical troops now required virtually an army of specialists alone. Special sharpshooters were recruited for skirmishing duty; men whose wounds would have led to their discharge in the past now found themselves guarding important posts in the Veteran Reserve Corps; and large numbers of civilians found themselves in uniform as members of the Telegraph or Hospital Corps. Philip Katcher examines the organisation and uniforms of the specialist troops who served in the armies of both sides.

American Civil War Armies (4) State Troops (Men-at-Arms 190) by: Philip Katcher -- The War between the States' is the term used for the American Civil War throughout much of the South even today. Many on both sides -- not just the South -- felt that they were serving their states as much, if not more, than their central governments. Many of the states agreed; the state governments raising their own units, commissioning their officers, and supplying their men. Indeed, many of the units that fought the Civil War were supplied in large part by their own states rather than by the central government's quartermasters. Philip Katcher's fascinating text explores the uniforms of 32 states; from Alabama to Wisconsin.

American Civil War Armies (5) Volunteer Militia (Men-at-Arms 207) by: Philip Katcher -- Uniformed volunteer units were raised by individuals, usually from an area's social ??????????©lite who had enough spare money and time to spend on such enthusiasms. They voted on their unit designation, their officers and non-commissioned officers, their unit rules, and their uniform. Many future leaders learned their skills in these ranks, and volunteer militia units formed the core of many fighting units on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. With the help of numerous photographs and illustrations, including eight full page colour plates by Ron Volstad, Philip Katcher does a fine job of detailing the uniforms of the volunteer militia of the American Civil War.

Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy -- This book provides invaluable material to anyone who has a serious interest in the Civil War. This book was put together by the editors of Time/Life and they did their research accurately. This book describes the arms (weapons) and the equipment (from canteens to buttons) that the average Confederate enlisted soldier to the Confederate General used during the Civil War.

Each section of the book is divided into weapons (Pistols, Rifles, etc) and tells not only the type (with great photographs that are in color) but who issued them as well. From Rifles, Guns, Knives, Swords (Officer and Enlisted), to regualar camp knives, they are in this book if they were issued by the Confederate Government. Even those that were homemade are listed in here as well.

The most interesting parts in my opinion are the Uniforms that the Confederate Soldier wore and the flags that were flown by individual regiments. The Confederate Soldier wore a uniform that was diverse as to the regiment each one served in. From home-spun uniforms to those acquired overseas and in stylish clothing stores, those that the editors could find and be able to use are in here (a lot of Uniforms, Flags, etc were supplied for the book by the Museum Of The Confederacy). Some of the hats that are in this book, show the holes where bullets either killed the wearer of the hat, or made it a VERY close call. Uniforms great and small are in this as well.

There is also a narrative throughout the book that is easy to follow and VERY interesting. There is a background story to some of the uniforms that tell of the wearer of them, if they died in battle, or lived to a prosperous old age.

The division/regimental flags are also in here and give the story to how they were made, if they were captured, or if they survived the war.

Arms and Equipment of the Union -- Since the Civil War ended, the uniforms of the Union Soldiers have been portrayed as basically blue with the gold buttons going down the center. While this is marginally accurate, the uniforms of the Union Soldiers that fought in the Civil War were actually unique and had various patterns. In this excellent book, the uniforms are shown in color, and they are quite different, yet the same in general appearance. It is informative, interesting and enjoyable to view the wide variety of Officer and Enlisted Uniforms that were worn during the Civil War.

Also presented in this fine book are the various flags that were flown by regiments in battle. Flags made by Tiffany's to Women from throughout the Union, these flags were in fierce battle and were held by brave men who in quite a few instances gave the ultimate sacrifice by waving their regimental flags.

Cannons, Swords, Pistols, Rifles and other arms are shown as well as Cannons, Canteens, and various other equipment that was used by Union Soldiers are displayed.

This is the companion book to the Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy and both books are a MUST have in the serious Civil War Historian, and aficionado's library.

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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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