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American Civil War

American Civil War Book List

Cover of 'Civil War Congress and the Creation of Modern America'

Civil War Congress and the Creation of Modern America
A Revolution on the Home Front
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

Drawn from a wide range of historical expertise and approaching the topic from a variety of angles, these essays explore the changes in life at home during the Civil War that led to a revolution in American society and set the stage for the making of modern America.

Cover of 'Michigan’s War'

Michigan’s War
The Civil War in Documents
Edited by John W. Quist

Building upon the current scholarship of the Civil War and the Midwest, Michigan’s War is a history as told by the state’s residents in private letters, newspapers, and other sources. Clear annotations and thoughtful editing allow students to delve into the political, social, and military context of the war, making it ideal for classroom use.

Cover of 'Lyrical Liberators'

Lyrical Liberators
The American Antislavery Movement in Verse, 1831–1865
Edited by Monica Pelaez

Before Black Lives Matter and Hamilton, there were abolitionist poets. In Lyrical Liberators, Monica Pelaez draws on unprecedented archival research to recover, collect, and annotate works by critically acclaimed writers, commercially successful scribes, and minority voices including those of African Americans and women.

Cover of 'Congress and the People’s Contest'

Congress and the People’s Contest
The Conduct of the Civil War
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

The American Civil War was the first military conflict in history to be fought with railroads moving troops and the telegraph connecting civilian leadership to commanders in the field. New developments arose at a moment’s notice. As a result, the young nation’s political structure and culture often struggled to keep up. When war began, Congress was not even in session.

Cover of 'In Essentials, Unity'

In Essentials, Unity
An Economic History of the Grange Movement
By Jenny Bourne
· Preface by Paul Finkelman

The Patrons of Husbandry—or the Grange—is the longest-lived US agricultural society and, since its founding shortly after the Civil War, has had immeasurable influence on social change as enacted by ordinary Americans. The Grange sought to relieve the struggles of small farmers by encouraging collaboration. Pathbreaking for its inclusion of women, the Grange is also well known for its association with Gilded Age laws aimed at curbing the monopoly power of railroads.

Cover of 'A Young General and the Fall of Richmond'

A Young General and the Fall of Richmond
The Life and Career of Godfrey Weitzel
By G. William Quatman

Despite his military achievements and his association with many of the great names of American history, Godfrey Weitzel (1835–1884) is perhaps the least known of all the Union generals. After graduating from West Point, Weitzel, a German immigrant from Cincinnati, was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans.

Cover of 'Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War'

Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War
Exposing Confederate Conspiracies in America’s Heartland
By Stephen E. Towne

Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War represents pathbreaking research on the rise of U.S. Army intelligence operations in the Midwest during the American Civil War and counters long-standing assumptions about Northern politics and society.

Cover of 'The Life and Death of Gus Reed'

The Life and Death of Gus Reed
A Story of Race and Justice in Illinois during the Civil War and Reconstruction
By Thomas Bahde

Gus Reed was a freed slave who traveled north as Sherman’s March was sweeping through Georgia in 1864. His journey ended in Springfield, Illinois, a city undergoing fundamental changes as its white citizens struggled to understand the political, legal, and cultural consequences of emancipation and black citizenship. Reed became known as a petty thief, appearing time and again in the records of the state’s courts and prisons.

Cover of 'Civil War Chicago'

Civil War Chicago
Eyewitness to History
Edited by Theodore J. Karamanski and Eileen M. McMahon

The American Civil War was a crucial event in the development of Chicago as the metropolis of the heartland. Not only did Chicagoans play an important role in the politics of the conflict, encouraging emancipation and promoting a “hard war” policy against Southern civilians, but they supported the troops materially through production of military supplies and foodstuffs as well as morally and spiritually through patriotic publications and songs.

Civil War Books and Authors Best Biography of 2014
Cover of 'Citizen-General'

Citizen-General
Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era
By Eugene D. Schmiel

The wrenching events of the Civil War transformed not only the United States but also the men unexpectedly called on to lead their fellow citizens in this first modern example of total war. Jacob Dolson Cox, a former divinity student with no formal military training, was among those who rose to the challenge. In a conflict in which “political generals” often proved less than competent, Cox, the consummate citizen general, emerged as one of the best commanders in the Union army.

Cover of 'Illinois’s War'

Illinois’s War
The Civil War in Documents
Edited by Mark Hubbard

On the eve of the Civil War and after, Illinois was one of the most significant states in the Union. Its history is, in many respects, the history of the Union writ large: its political leaders figured centrally in the war’s origins, progress, and legacies; and its diverse residents made sacrifices and contributions—both on the battlefield and on the home front—that proved essential to Union victory.

Cover of 'The Untried Life'

The Untried Life
The Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War
By James T. Fritsch

Told in unflinching detail, this is the story of the Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, also known as the Giddings Regiment or the Abolition Regiment, after its founder, radical abolitionist Congressman J. R. Giddings. The men who enlisted in the Twenty- Ninth OVI were, according to its lore, handpicked to ensure each was as pure in his antislavery beliefs as its founder.

Cover of 'Kansas’s War'

Kansas’s War
The Civil War in Documents
Edited by Pearl T. Ponce

When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Kansas was in a unique position. Although it had been a state for mere weeks, its residents were already intimately acquainted with civil strife. Since its organization as a territory in 1854, Kansas had been the focus of a national debate over the place of slavery in the Republic. By 1856, the ideological conflict developed into actual violence, earning the territory the sobriquet “Bleeding Kansas.”

Cover of 'Do They Miss Me at Home?'

Do They Miss Me at Home?
The Civil War Letters of William McKnight, Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry
Edited by Donald C. Maness and H. Jason Combs

William McKnight was a member of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry from September 1862 until his death in June of 1864. During his time of service, McKnight penned dozens of emotion-filled letters, primarily to his wife, Samaria, revealing the struggles of an entire family both before and during the war.