Recommended General Works on the War for Southern Independence

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Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War 

by Herman Hattaway

"Shades of Blue and Gray places the 1861-1865 conflict within the broad context of evolving warfare. Emphasizing technology and its significant impact, Hattaway included valuable material on land and sea mines, minesweepers, hand grenades, automatic weapons, submarines, and balloons. The evolution of professionalism in the American military serves as an important connective theme throughout... [Shades of Blue and Gray] is both spellbinding and well-researched. Author Herman Hattaway has done an outstanding job of providing the reader in one book, a clear and informative military history of America's most bloodiest conflict..." - Robert A. Lynn, Confederate Veteran Magazine.


The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War 

by David J. Eicher

"The Longest Night is a remarkable blend of scholarship and writing. It should stand for a long time as the best and most complete single-volume military history of the Civil War. A splendid achievement." - Jeffry D. Wert, author of Gettysburg: Day Three.


Civil War Volume 1-3 Box Set 

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... This hefty three volume set should be on the bookshelf of any Civil War buff." --John Miller,


The Civil War Dictionary 

by Col. Mark M. Boatner III

Have you ever read an item on the War and wanted to double check it, but couldn't find it in your general references books? Well here's the answer to that problem. The Civil War Dictionary is nearly 1,000 pages long and the years of research and labor show through on every page... This is one of the best War Between the States reference works around.


Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History

by David Stephen Heidler (Editor), Jeanne T. Heidler (Editor), David J. Coles (Editor), James M. McPherson

"In his foreword to this set, noted historian James M. McPherson characterizes this well-written encyclopedia as "the best" work of reference currently available on the Civil War. Many readers will concur. The editors and more than 250 distinguished contributors present some 1600 alphabetically arranged, concise articles on every aspect of the period, supplemented by informative battle maps and many of the most famous period black-and-white photographs in crisp, clear reproductions. Ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages, the entries create a comprehensive and compelling picture of the war. They include not only detailed discussions of the major and minor battles and military life in general, but also the war's effects on society, from government, politics, and technology to journalism, commerce, and home life. The first four volumes contain a wealth of cross-references, easing the way for research. The final volume offers a useful selection of critical primary-source documents, a chronology of the war, an extensive bibliography, and an index to all volumes. An all-together excellent resource for research or general browsing interest." --Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War: The Soldiers, Generals, Weapons, and Battles of the Civil War

by William C. Davis (Author)

William C. Davis, distinguished author of many Civil War works including 'A Government of Our Own : The Making of the Confederacy' and the 'Photographic History of the Civil War,' undertakes to set forth what happened, and how, in this well-illustrated volume.


The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865

by E. B. Long, Barbara Long (Photographer)

It certainly covers every day of the Civil War. If you wanted to know what happened on a certain day of a month during the war, it will tell you every newsworthy event that happened in a brief format.


Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command 

by Douglas S. Freeman

This book is a sweeping narrative that presents a multiple biography against a flame-shot backdrop of history. It is the story of the great figures of the Army of Northern Virginia who fought under Robert E. Lee as they came forward on the stage of war. This is A MUST!


The Civil War Archive: The History of the American Civil War in Documents

by Henry Steele Commager (Editor), Erik Bruun (Editor)

The Civil War Archive presents the full story of the war between the states in documents direct from the minds, pens and hearts of the men and women who experienced it.  Hundreds of papers, letters, memoirs -- culled from family records, private correspondences, public archives and a variety of other sources -- trace the war from the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, through violent battles at Bull Run, to the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, Reconstruction and beyond. Messages from lonely mothers at home, stories from soldiers on the front lines, lyrics to rousing battle hymns, confidential communications among officers - these primary documents render history in its rawest form and depict the war's impact on every spectrum of American society.  Expanding upon Henry Steele Commager's critically-acclaimed two-volume The Blue and the Gray, editor Erik Bruun brings to light new material that presents the Civil War through a contemporary lens, taking into account previously under-represented perspectives of blacks in the Civil War and including new sections on the war's aftermath and Reconstruction. Entries are arranged chronologically, allowing The Civil War Archive to be read as a start-to-finish narrative of the war and its aftermath. 


The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare: Ideas, Organization, and Field Command

by Edward Hagerman

The American Civil War is portrayed by Hagerman as the crucible of modern land warfare up to and through World War II. He traces the changes and development of the new ideas and approaches to warfare in detailed discussions of various Civil War campaigns.

". . . this fine book deserves a place on the shelves of all military historians in this country and abroad." Ч American Historical Review

" . . . a first rate book . . . impressive . . . an imposing work . . . " Ч Journal of American History

"This book is filled with enlightening information. . . . ought to be a standard for many years to come and should be required reading for any serious Civil War military historian." Ч Journal of Southern History


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.

"Provides a fresh and provocative appraisal of the [Civil] War. . . . An essential read for anyone interested in the subject." --Military History Illustrated


Civil War Command and Strategy: The Process of Victory and Defeat

by Archer Jones

"In this masterful reappraisal of the Civil War commanders and the effectiveness of their strategies for attaining victory, Jones forcefully develops the revisionist concepts about Civil War leadership initially advanced in his and Herman Hattaway's How the North Won (Univ. of Illinois Pr., 1983). Informed readers conversant with Jones's sources will be challenged by his persuasive reevaluation of the performance of Halleck and Beauregard, among others. Likewise, those holding conventional notions about the military conduct of the Civil War will be startled or provoked by his singularly unconventional analysis of the strategies employed. Highly recommended for college and university libraries supporting military studies. History Book Club main selection." -- Lawrence E. Ellis, Broward Community Coll. Lib., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


The Civil War Battlefield Guide, Second Edition

by Frances H. Kennedy (Creator)

This new edition of the definitive guide to Civil War battlefields is really a completely new book. While the first edition covered 60 major battlefields, from Fort Sumter to Appomattox, the second covers all of the 384 designated as the "principal battlefields" in the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report. As in the first edition, the essays are authoritative and concise, written by such leading historians as James M. McPherson, Stephen W. Sears, Edwin C. Bearss, James I. Robinson, Jr., and Gary W. Gallager. The second edition also features 83 new four-color maps covering the most important battles. The Civil War Battlefield Guide is an essential reference for anyone interested in the Civil War.


The Bloody Crucible of Courage: Fighting Methods and Combat Experience of the Civil War 

by Brent Nosworthy

Acclaimed military historian Brent Nosworthy - for the first time in any book - covers the methods of Civil War warfare in their entirety. This work presents the most thorough study of Civil War military practices ever written. With diagrams, photos, and maps throughout, Nosworthy weaves together the story of newly emerging weapons, the resulting changes in military doctrine, and the combatants' experiences as these innovations were applied to the battlefield. Detailing the four-year evolution of warfare from General Irvin McDowell's first tentative efforts to Lee's and Grant's final exertions at Petersburg, the author examines tactical variation due to regional differences and the distinctive circumstances of each campaign: the methods used in the eastern theater versus those in the west; the confused fighting in the wilderness; the "trench" warfare at Vicksburg; and the techniques used in other famous battles, like Gettysburg and Antietam.

"This massive study of Civil War weaponry, tactics and combat practices covers so much so well that it's indispensable...  With its first-hand accounts, diagrams and all-in-all exhaustive coverage, this volume is an exceptional reference. " - From Publishers Weekly