The best 59 Civil War books

The Civil War was a defining moment in American history, and its impact is still felt today. This book list takes you through the causes, key events, and consequences of the war, offering a comprehensive understanding of this tumultuous period.
Whether you're a history buff or just curious about this pivotal time, these books will provide fascinating insights into the people and events that shaped the United States during the Civil War. Step back in time and explore this transformative chapter in our nation's story.

The best 59 Civil War books
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1
Civil War Books: The Fires of Jubilee by Stephen B. Oates

The Fires of Jubilee

Stephen B. Oates
Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion

What's The Fires of Jubilee about?

The Fires of Jubilee is a gripping historical account of Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. Stephen B. Oates delves into the social, political, and economic factors that led to the uprising, and provides a compelling portrayal of Turner's life and the events that ultimately sparked a violent revolt against the institution of slavery. This book offers a thought-provoking exploration of a dark chapter in American history.

Who should read The Fires of Jubilee?

  • History enthusiasts fascinated by the complexities of slavery and the abolitionist movement
  • Readers keen on discovering the untold stories behind historical figures like Nat Turner
  • Those who appreciate thought-provoking narratives that challenge conventional perspectives

2
Civil War Books: Shiloh by Wiley Sword

Shiloh

Wiley Sword
Bloody April

What's Shiloh about?

"Shiloh" by Wiley Sword is a detailed account of the Battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War. Through extensive research and firsthand accounts, the book provides a gripping narrative of the bloody conflict and its impact on the war. It offers a comprehensive analysis of the strategies, key figures, and the human cost of this pivotal battle.

Who should read Shiloh?

  • History buffs interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers curious about the strategy and tactics employed during the Battle of Shiloh
  • Those who enjoy reading detailed military histories with a focus on key figures and events

3
Civil War Books: Glory Road by Bruce Catton

Glory Road

Bruce Catton

What's Glory Road about?

Glory Road is a captivating account of the American Civil War, written by renowned historian Bruce Catton. Through vivid storytelling and meticulous research, Catton brings to life the epic battles, political intrigues, and the personal stories of the soldiers who fought on both sides. This book offers a comprehensive and engaging exploration of a defining chapter in American history.

Who should read Glory Road?

  • History enthusiasts who want to deepen their understanding of the American Civil War
  • Readers interested in exploring the complex motivations and strategies of military leaders
  • Those seeking a compelling narrative that brings historical events to life

4
Civil War Books: Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

Chasing Lincoln's Killer

James L. Swanson

What's Chasing Lincoln's Killer about?

This non-fiction book tells the gripping story of the 12-day manhunt for John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Swanson brings to life the events surrounding Lincoln's assassination and the pursuit of his killer. It offers a fascinating and detailed account of a pivotal moment in American history.

Who should read Chasing Lincoln's Killer?

  • History buffs who enjoy learning about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln
  • Readers interested in American Civil War history and its impact on the nation
  • True crime enthusiasts who enjoy reading about historical events and investigations

5
Civil War Books: General James Longstreet by Jeffry D. Wert

General James Longstreet

Jeffry D. Wert

What's General James Longstreet about?

General James Longstreet by Jeffry D. Wert provides a comprehensive biography of one of the most controversial figures of the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and analysis, Wert challenges the traditional view of Longstreet as a traitor and instead presents him as a skilled and strategic military leader who played a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the war.

Who should read General James Longstreet?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the Civil War era
  • Military leaders studying strategy and tactics
  • Individuals curious about the complexities of war and leadership

6
Civil War Books: Landscape Turned Red by Stephen W. Sears

Landscape Turned Red

Stephen W. Sears

What's Landscape Turned Red about?

Landscape Turned Red by Stephen W. Sears is a gripping account of the Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Sears brings to life the brutal and pivotal conflict that took place in September 1862. This book offers a compelling examination of the strategies, sacrifices, and human cost of one of the bloodiest battles in American history.

Who should read Landscape Turned Red?

  • History enthusiasts who want to understand the complexities of the Civil War
  • Students and academics studying American history
  • Readers who enjoy immersive storytelling combined with deep historical research

7
Civil War Books: Clouds of Glory by Michael Korda

Clouds of Glory

Michael Korda

What's Clouds of Glory about?

'Clouds of Glory' by Michael Korda delves into the life of one of the most iconic figures in American history, Ulysses S. Grant. This captivating biography explores Grant's military genius, his leadership during the Civil War, and his presidency, offering a compelling portrayal of a complex and often misunderstood man.

Who should read Clouds of Glory?

  • History enthusiasts who are interested in the Civil War era
  • Readers who enjoy biographies of influential figures
  • Those looking to gain a deeper understanding of Robert E. Lee's military prowess and complex character

What's The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 1 about?

The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 1 by Shelby Foote is a comprehensive account of the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, Foote delves into the political, social, and military aspects of the war, providing a detailed and insightful analysis of this pivotal period in American history.

Who should read The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 1?

  • History enthusiasts who want a comprehensive and engaging account of the Civil War
  • Readers interested in the personal stories and experiences of soldiers and civilians during the war
  • Individuals who appreciate detailed and well-researched non-fiction narratives

9
Civil War Books: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

Rifles for Watie

Harold Keith

What's Rifles for Watie about?

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith is a historical novel set during the American Civil War. It follows the story of a young Union soldier named Jeff Bussey who is sent on a mission to infiltrate the Confederate forces and gather information about their plans. Along the way, Jeff learns about the complexities of war and forms unexpected friendships. The book provides a unique perspective on the Civil War and offers a compelling blend of action, adventure, and historical insight.

Who should read Rifles for Watie?

  • History enthusiasts, particularly those interested in the Civil War
  • Young adult readers seeking a coming-of-age story set in a turbulent time
  • Educators looking for a compelling novel to supplement their classroom curriculum

10

What's A Stillness at Appomattox about?

A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton is a historical account of the final year of the American Civil War. It provides a detailed and compelling narrative of the battles and events that led to the eventual surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox, Virginia. Through firsthand accounts and meticulous research, Catton brings to life the struggles and sacrifices of both Union and Confederate soldiers, offering a poignant reflection on the war's profound impact on the nation.

Who should read A Stillness at Appomattox?

  • History enthusiasts who want to understand the events and people surrounding the Civil War
  • Readers interested in military strategy and tactics
  • Individuals who enjoy biographies and character studies of historical figures

11
Civil War Books: The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks

What's The Widow of the South about?

The Widow of the South is a historical fiction novel by Robert Hicks. Set during the American Civil War, it tells the story of Carrie McGavock, a woman who turns her home into a makeshift hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers. As the war rages on, Carrie forms deep connections with the soldiers and grapples with the devastating aftermath of battle.

Who should read The Widow of the South?

  • Readers fascinated by the Civil War era and its impact on individuals
  • History enthusiasts interested in exploring lesser-known stories from the war
  • Those who appreciate compelling and well-researched historical fiction

12
Civil War Books: The Life of Johnny Reb by Bell Irvin Wiley

The Life of Johnny Reb

Bell Irvin Wiley

What's The Life of Johnny Reb about?

The Life of Johnny Reb (1943) is a comprehensive account of the average Confederate soldier's experience during the American Civil War. Through letters, diaries, and other first-hand accounts, Wiley provides a detailed insight into the daily life, motivations, and hardships faced by these men on the battlefield. It offers a compelling and intimate perspective on the war from the Confederate side.

Who should read The Life of Johnny Reb?

  • History enthusiasts who want to understand the daily life of a Civil War soldier
  • Readers interested in personal accounts and firsthand experiences of war
  • Those who enjoy well-researched and detailed narratives about military history

13
Civil War Books: A World on Fire by Amanda Foreman

A World on Fire

Amanda Foreman

What's A World on Fire about?

A World on Fire by Amanda Foreman is a gripping account of the global impact of the American Civil War. Through extensive research and compelling storytelling, Foreman explores how the conflict reverberated across the Atlantic, shaping international relations and influencing the course of history. From diplomatic maneuverings to personal narratives, this book offers a fresh perspective on a pivotal moment in time.

Who should read A World on Fire?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the American Civil War and its global impact
  • Readers who enjoy in-depth narratives and multifaceted storytelling
  • Individuals looking to gain a deeper understanding of 19th-century politics, diplomacy, and social dynamics

14
Civil War Books: Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson

Battle Cry of Freedom

James M. McPherson

What's Battle Cry of Freedom about?

Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson is a comprehensive account of the American Civil War. It delves into the political, social, and military aspects of the conflict, offering a detailed analysis of the events leading up to the war and its profound impact on the nation. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, McPherson brings to life the key players and pivotal moments of this defining chapter in American history.

Who should read Battle Cry of Freedom?

  • History enthusiasts, especially those interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers who enjoy comprehensive and in-depth accounts of historical events
  • Individuals looking to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and consequences of the Civil War

15

What's The Fateful Lightning: A Novel of the Civil War about?

The Fateful Lightning by Jeff Shaara is a historical novel that vividly brings the American Civil War to life. Set against the backdrop of this defining moment in American history, the book follows key figures on both sides of the conflict, revealing the personal and political struggles that shaped the war's outcome. Through compelling storytelling and meticulous research, Shaara provides a gripping account of this tumultuous time.

Who should read The Fateful Lightning: A Novel of the Civil War?

  • History enthusiasts with a specific interest in the American Civil War
  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction that offers a multi-faceted view of a significant period
  • Individuals who appreciate well-researched and detailed narratives

16
Civil War Books: For Cause and Comrades by James M. McPherson

For Cause and Comrades

James M. McPherson

What's For Cause and Comrades about?

For Cause and Comrades by James M. McPherson explores the motivations and experiences of the soldiers who fought in the American Civil War. Drawing on letters, diaries, and other primary sources, the book offers a compelling analysis of why these men chose to fight, and how their beliefs and camaraderie shaped the course of the war.

Who should read For Cause and Comrades?

  • Readers interested in understanding the motivations and experiences of Civil War soldiers
  • History enthusiasts looking for a deeper exploration of the American Civil War
  • Those who enjoy narratives that combine personal accounts with historical analysis

17
Civil War Books: Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James M. McPherson

What's Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam about?

Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James M. McPherson delves into the pivotal Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, the book examines the events leading up to the battle, the strategies employed by both Union and Confederate forces, and the profound impact it had on the course of the war. It offers a detailed and insightful analysis of this historic moment in time.

Who should read Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam?

  • History enthusiasts, especially those interested in the Civil War
  • Readers who enjoy well-researched and engaging narratives
  • Individuals looking to gain a deeper understanding of a pivotal moment in American history

18
Civil War Books: This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust

This Republic of Suffering

Drew Gilpin Faust

What's This Republic of Suffering about?

In "This Republic of Suffering," Drew Gilpin Faust explores the profound impact of the American Civil War on the country and its people. Through an examination of death and mourning practices, Faust reveals how the war transformed American society and redefined the meaning of life and death. It offers a compelling and poignant insight into the human cost of war. As a result, readers gain a deeper understanding of the war's historical significance and its lingering effects on American culture.

Who should read This Republic of Suffering?

  • History enthusiasts who want to understand the impact of the Civil War on American society
  • Students and scholars studying the history of death and mourning
  • Readers interested in exploring the cultural and psychological aspects of war

19
Civil War Books: The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan

The Immortal Irishman

Timothy Egan

What's The Immortal Irishman about?

The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan is a captivating biography that tells the extraordinary story of Thomas Francis Meagher. From his revolutionary activities in Ireland to his exile and eventual leadership in the American Civil War, this book brings to life the inspiring journey of a true Irish hero.

Who should read The Immortal Irishman?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the Irish American experience
  • Readers curious about the life and legacy of Thomas Francis Meagher
  • Those who enjoy gripping biographies and stories of resilience

20
Civil War Books: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William Craft, Ellen Craft

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom

William Craft, Ellen Craft

What's Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom about?

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom is a gripping memoir by William and Ellen Craft, recounting their daring escape from slavery in the 1800s. The couple, who were both born into slavery, devise a clever plan that involves Ellen disguising herself as a white man and William posing as her slave. They embark on a perilous journey, traveling by train, boat, and foot, covering a thousand miles to reach freedom in the North. Their incredible story sheds light on the harsh realities of slavery and the unwavering human spirit.

Who should read Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom?

  • Readers interested in the history of slavery and the underground railroad
  • Those looking for first-hand accounts of escape and freedom
  • Individuals seeking inspiration from stories of resilience and determination

21
Civil War Books: The British Are Coming by Rick Atkinson

The British Are Coming

Rick Atkinson

What's The British Are Coming about?

The British Are Coming is a compelling account of the American Revolution by Rick Atkinson. The book offers a detailed and vivid portrayal of the events leading to the war and the early battles fought between the British and American forces. Through extensive research and engaging storytelling, Atkinson brings to life the key figures and moments that shaped the birth of a new nation.

Who should read The British Are Coming?

  • History enthusiasts looking to learn about the American Revolution
  • Readers who enjoy immersive and detailed narratives
  • Those seeking a deeper understanding of the events and key figures of the Revolutionary War

22
Civil War Books: The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner

The Fiery Trial

Eric Foner

What's The Fiery Trial about?

The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner explores the complex and ever-evolving nature of freedom in America before the Civil War. Foner examines the experiences of both enslaved and free individuals, as well as the political and social forces that shaped the nation's path to emancipation. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, the book offers a fresh perspective on this pivotal period in American history.

Who should read The Fiery Trial?

  • History enthusiasts who want to understand the complex legacy of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War
  • Readers interested in exploring the evolution of American ideals and racial justice
  • Individuals who appreciate well-researched and thought-provoking narratives

23
Civil War Books: The Black Flower by Howard Bahr

The Black Flower

Howard Bahr

What's The Black Flower about?

The Black Flower by Howard Bahr is a poignant novel set during the American Civil War. It follows the journey of a young Confederate soldier named Bushrod Carter as he grapples with the harsh realities of war and forms unexpected connections with his fellow soldiers. The black flower serves as a symbol of hope and beauty amidst the brutality of battle, making this a compelling and thought-provoking read.

Who should read The Black Flower?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during the Civil War
  • Those interested in exploring the human experience of war and its impact on individuals
  • People with a fascination for rich, descriptive storytelling and well-developed characters

24
Civil War Books: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

The Killer Angels

Michael Shaara

What's The Killer Angels about?

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is a gripping historical novel that takes us to the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Through the perspectives of various key figures, Shaara vividly depicts the events leading up to the battle and its intense three-day duration. This thought-provoking book offers a deep dive into the minds and motivations of those involved, making it a must-read for history buffs and fiction lovers alike.

Who should read The Killer Angels?

  • Readers who are interested in American history, specifically the Civil War
  • Those who enjoy historical fiction and want to learn about the human side of war
  • People who appreciate well-researched and thought-provoking novels

25
Civil War Books: Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne

Rebel Yell

S. C. Gwynne

What's Rebel Yell about?

Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne is a gripping biography that delves into the life of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, the book explores Jackson's military genius, his unwavering determination, and the pivotal role he played in the American Civil War. It offers a fascinating insight into the complexities of war and the enigmatic figure at its center.

Who should read Rebel Yell?

  • History enthusiasts who are fascinated by the American Civil War
  • Readers who are interested in exploring the complexities of historical figures such as General Stonewall Jackson
  • Individuals who enjoy well-researched and compelling biographies

26
Civil War Books: Stars in Their Courses by Shelby Foote

What's Stars in Their Courses about?

Stars in Their Courses by Shelby Foote is a compelling account of the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Foote brings to life the events leading up to the battle, the intense fighting, and its far-reaching consequences. This book offers a deep insight into the strategies, personalities, and sacrifices that shaped this historic conflict.

Who should read Stars in Their Courses?

  • History enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive account of the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Readers interested in understanding the complexities of the Civil War
  • Individuals who appreciate eloquent and engaging storytelling in non-fiction

27
Civil War Books: The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

What's The Red Badge of Courage about?

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane is a classic novel that explores the psychological complexities of fear and bravery during a civil war. Through the journey of young soldier Henry Fleming, the book delves into themes of courage, self-discovery, and the harsh realities of war, leaving a lasting impression on its readers.

Who should read The Red Badge of Courage?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the psychological effects of war
  • History enthusiasts who want to gain a deeper understanding of the Civil War
  • Those who enjoy character-driven narratives with a focus on personal growth

What's The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant about?

The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant is a fascinating account of one of the most influential figures in American history. In this book, Grant provides a firsthand perspective on the Civil War and offers valuable insights into the political and military strategies of the time. It is a compelling read for anyone interested in the history of the United States.

Who should read The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers who enjoy firsthand accounts of historical events
  • Individuals curious about Ulysses S. Grant’s life and perspectives

29
Civil War Books: Shiloh, 1862 by Winston Groom

Shiloh, 1862

Winston Groom

What's Shiloh, 1862 about?

Shiloh, 1862 by Winston Groom is a gripping historical account of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, the book brings to life the events leading up to the battle, the fierce fighting, and its profound impact on the war. It offers a compelling insight into the strategies, sacrifices, and human experiences that shaped this pivotal moment in history.

Who should read Shiloh, 1862?

  • History enthusiasts who are interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers who enjoy immersive and detailed accounts of historical events
  • Individuals who want to gain a deeper understanding of the Battle of Shiloh and its significance

30
Civil War Books: My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

My Name is Mary Sutter

Robin Oliveira

What's My Name is Mary Sutter about?

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira is a historical fiction novel set during the American Civil War. It follows the story of Mary Sutter, a headstrong midwife who is determined to become a surgeon and help on the front lines of the war. Faced with societal barriers and personal challenges, Mary embarks on a journey of self-discovery and resilience as she fights to achieve her dreams.

Who should read My Name is Mary Sutter?

  • History enthusiasts, particularly those interested in the Civil War era
  • Readers who enjoy strong and determined female protagonists
  • Those looking for a captivating and emotionally rich story set against a backdrop of significant historical events

What's The Confederacy's Last Hurrah about?

The Confederacy's Last Hurrah by Wiley Sword is a detailed account of the final months of the American Civil War. Focusing on the Confederate Army of Tennessee, the book examines the strategic decisions, battles, and ultimately the defeat of the Confederacy. Sword provides a comprehensive analysis of this crucial period in American history.

Who should read The Confederacy's Last Hurrah?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers seeking a comprehensive and balanced account of the final stages of the Confederacy
  • Those curious about the military strategies and leadership dynamics during the Civil War

32
Civil War Books: The Destructive War by Charles Royster

The Destructive War

Charles Royster

What's The Destructive War about?

The Destructive War by Charles Royster delves into the American Civil War, exploring the complex factors that led to the conflict and the devastating impact it had on the nation. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Royster offers a thought-provoking analysis of this pivotal moment in history.

Who should read The Destructive War?

  • History enthusiasts who want to delve deep into the American Civil War
  • Readers who are interested in the military strategies and tactics of the 19th century
  • Individuals who enjoy thought-provoking and well-researched historical analyses

33

What's Gettysburg--The Second Day about?

Gettysburg–The Second Day by Harry W. Pfanz provides a detailed account of the pivotal events that took place on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Drawing on extensive research and firsthand sources, the book offers a comprehensive analysis of the strategies, tactics, and individual experiences that shaped this historic conflict.

Who should read Gettysburg--The Second Day?

  • History enthusiasts who are passionate about the Civil War
  • Students and scholars seeking in-depth analysis of the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Readers interested in military strategy and tactics

34
Civil War Books: Grant by Ron Chernow

Grant

Ron Chernow

What's Grant about?

Grant by Ron Chernow is a comprehensive biography of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States and a key figure in American history. Chernow delves into Grant's early life, his military career during the Civil War, and his presidency, offering a nuanced portrayal of a complex and often misunderstood leader.

Who should read Grant?

  • History enthusiasts and those interested in the Civil War era
  • Readers who enjoy in-depth biographies of historical figures
  • Individuals looking for insights into leadership and perseverance

35
Civil War Books: A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara, by Jeff Shaara

A Blaze of Glory

Jeff Shaara, by Jeff Shaara

What's A Blaze of Glory about?

A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara is a gripping historical novel that delves into the Battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War. Through vivid storytelling and meticulous research, Shaara brings to life the experiences of soldiers on both sides of the conflict, offering a compelling and immersive account of this pivotal moment in history.

Who should read A Blaze of Glory?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers who enjoy well-researched and historically accurate fiction
  • Those curious about the personal lives and perspectives of Civil War military leaders

36
Civil War Books: Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

Across Five Aprils

Irene Hunt

What's Across Five Aprils about?

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt is a historical novel set during the American Civil War. It follows the story of Jethro Creighton, a young boy from Illinois, as he experiences the impact of the war on his family and community. Through Jethro's eyes, the book explores themes of loyalty, loss, and the complexities of war.

Who should read Across Five Aprils?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction, specifically stories set during the Civil War
  • Those interested in exploring the impact of war on individuals and families
  • Youth and adults looking for a compelling coming-of-age tale with relatable characters

37
Civil War Books: This Hallowed Ground by Bruce Catton

This Hallowed Ground

Bruce Catton

What's This Hallowed Ground about?

This Hallowed Ground by Bruce Catton is a compelling account of the American Civil War. Through vivid storytelling and meticulous research, Catton brings to life the key battles and personalities of this defining moment in history. He delves into the political, social, and military aspects of the war, offering a comprehensive and engaging read for history enthusiasts.

Who should read This Hallowed Ground?

  • History enthusiasts with a specific interest in the American Civil War
  • Readers looking for a comprehensive and engaging account of the Civil War
  • Those who enjoy narrative non-fiction that brings historical events to life

38
Civil War Books: Sherman's March by Burke Davis

Sherman's March

Burke Davis

What's Sherman's March about?

Sherman's March is a gripping account of General William Tecumseh Sherman's ruthless campaign to bring the Civil War to an end. Burke Davis provides a detailed and vivid retelling of the march through Georgia and the Carolinas, as well as the devastating impact it had on the Confederacy. A must-read for those interested in American history.

Who should read Sherman's March?

  • Fans of American history, particularly the Civil War era
  • Readers interested in military strategy and tactics
  • Individuals who enjoy biographies of influential historical figures

39

What's Confederates in the Attic about?

Confederates in the Attic (1998) by Tony Horwitz is a thought-provoking exploration of the enduring legacy of the American Civil War. Through his travels and interviews with Civil War reenactors, Horwitz delves into the complex and often contentious ways in which the war continues to shape the identity and beliefs of modern-day Americans.

Who should read Confederates in the Attic?

  • Readers interested in exploring the complex and enduring legacy of the American Civil War
  • History enthusiasts seeking a fresh and engaging perspective on the Civil War era
  • Individuals who enjoy immersive and thought-provoking travel narratives

40

What's Candle in the Darkness about?

Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin is a historical fiction novel set during the American Civil War. It follows the story of a young girl named Caroline as she grapples with the harsh realities of slavery and the choices she must make in order to stand up for what is right. The book delves into themes of faith, courage, and the fight for freedom.

Who should read Candle in the Darkness?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during the American Civil War era
  • Those interested in thought-provoking stories that explore the complexities of slavery and its impact on individuals
  • People who appreciate well-developed characters and compelling storytelling

41
Civil War Books: Mothers of Invention by Drew Gilpin Faust

Mothers of Invention

Drew Gilpin Faust

What's Mothers of Invention about?

'Mothers of Invention' by Drew Gilpin Faust explores the untold stories of women in the American Civil War era. Through their resourcefulness and resilience, women found ways to innovate and navigate the challenges of war, contributing to the social and economic transformation of the time. From managing plantations to taking on new roles in the workforce, Faust sheds light on the vital role women played in shaping history during this tumultuous period.

Who should read Mothers of Invention?

  • Readers who are interested in the role of women during the American Civil War
  • History enthusiasts wanting to learn about the experiences and contributions of Confederate women
  • Individuals who appreciate scholarly yet accessible narratives

42
Civil War Books: Chancellorsville by Stephen W. Sears

Chancellorsville

Stephen W. Sears

What's Chancellorsville about?

Chancellorsville by Stephen W. Sears is a gripping account of one of the most significant battles of the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Sears brings to life the events leading up to the battle, the strategies employed by both the Union and Confederate armies, and the devastating impact it had on the war. It offers a comprehensive and compelling examination of this pivotal moment in history.

Who should read Chancellorsville?

  • History enthusiasts who want to learn about the Civil War, particularly the Battle of Chancellorsville
  • Readers interested in military strategy and tactics
  • Individuals who enjoy well-researched and detailed accounts of historical events

43
Civil War Books: Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz

Midnight Rising

Tony Horwitz

What's Midnight Rising about?

Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz is a gripping account of the radical abolitionist John Brown and his audacious raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. Horwitz delves into the complex political and social landscape of pre-Civil War America, offering a compelling exploration of the events that ultimately fueled the nation's descent into war.

Who should read Midnight Rising?

  • Enthusiastic readers who enjoy captivating nonfiction narratives
  • History buffs with a specific interest in America's pre-Civil War era
  • Individuals who want to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding abolitionist movements and slavery

44
Civil War Books: Tried by War by James M. McPherson

Tried by War

James M. McPherson

What's Tried by War about?

Tried by War by James M. McPherson delves into the leadership of Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. It examines how Lincoln, with limited military experience, navigated the challenges of leading the Union army and ultimately shaped the course of the war. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, the book offers a fascinating insight into one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

Who should read Tried by War?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers curious about Abraham Lincoln's leadership during a time of crisis
  • Individuals looking to understand the complexities of war and its impact on society

45
Civil War Books: The Smoke at Dawn by Jeff Shaara, by Jeff Shaara

The Smoke at Dawn

Jeff Shaara, by Jeff Shaara

What's The Smoke at Dawn about?

The Smoke at Dawn by Jeff Shaara is a historical fiction novel set during the American Civil War. It follows the lives of soldiers and generals on both sides of the conflict as they navigate the challenges and brutal realities of war. Through vivid storytelling, the book offers a gripping portrayal of the Battle of Gettysburg and the pivotal role it played in shaping the course of history.

Who should read The Smoke at Dawn?

  • Readers who are interested in historical fiction, particularly the Civil War era
  • History enthusiasts who enjoy learning about significant battles and events
  • Fans of Jeff Shaara's previous novels or his storytelling style

46
Civil War Books: Fierce Patriot by Robert L. O'Connell

Fierce Patriot

Robert L. O'Connell

What's Fierce Patriot about?

Fierce Patriot by Robert L. O'Connell is a captivating biography of William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the most influential and controversial figures in American history. It delves into Sherman's military career, his role in the Civil War, and his impact on the nation, painting a complex portrait of a man who was both revered and reviled.

Who should read Fierce Patriot?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the Civil War and its key figures
  • Readers who enjoy biographies of influential and complex individuals
  • Those looking to gain a deeper understanding of American military and political history

47
Civil War Books: Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

Jennifer Chiaverini

What's Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker about?

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini is a captivating historical novel that delves into the life of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who becomes the personal dressmaker and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln. Set against the backdrop of the Civil War and the Lincoln presidency, the book offers a unique perspective on the challenges and complexities faced by both women during this tumultuous time in American history.

Who should read Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the lives of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Readers curious about the experiences of women during the Civil War era
  • Those who enjoy fictionalized accounts of real historical figures

What's Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy about?

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott is a captivating non-fiction book that delves into the untold stories of four courageous women who played pivotal roles in the American Civil War. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Abbott brings to life the extraordinary feats of these female spies and soldiers, challenging the traditional narrative of war and highlighting the power of female resilience and determination.

Who should read Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy?

  • History enthusiasts who are interested in the untold stories of women during the Civil War
  • Readers who enjoy narratives of espionage, intrigue, and complex characters
  • Individuals who appreciate well-researched and meticulously detailed non-fiction books

49
Civil War Books: To the Gates of Richmond by Stephen W. Sears

To the Gates of Richmond

Stephen W. Sears

What's To the Gates of Richmond about?

'To the Gates of Richmond' is a detailed account of the 1862 Peninsula Campaign during the American Civil War. Author Stephen W. Sears chronicles the Union Army's attempts to capture Richmond, the Confederacy's capital, and the subsequent battles that ensued. Through extensive research and vivid storytelling, Sears provides a thorough examination of this pivotal moment in history.

Who should read To the Gates of Richmond?

  • History enthusiasts interested in the American Civil War
  • Readers curious about military strategies and tactics
  • Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of the challenges and complexities of 19th-century warfare

50
Civil War Books: Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills

What's Lincoln at Gettysburg about?

Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills is a thought-provoking analysis of Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address. Wills delves into the historical context, the significance of the speech, and its lasting impact on American history. Through meticulous research and insightful commentary, the book offers a deeper understanding of one of the most iconic moments in the Civil War era.

Who should read Lincoln at Gettysburg?

  • History enthusiasts looking for a deep dive into Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
  • Students and scholars of American history and rhetoric
  • Readers interested in understanding the power of language and its impact on society

51
Civil War Books: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, Poetose Press

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass, Poetose Press

What's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass about?

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a powerful autobiography that chronicles the life of Frederick Douglass, from his childhood in slavery to his escape to freedom. Douglass vividly depicts the brutal realities of slavery and the strength and resilience it took for him to fight for his freedom. A must-read for anyone interested in American history and the fight for equality.

Who should read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass?

  • Students and educators studying American history and the abolitionist movement
  • Readers interested in first-hand accounts of slavery and the quest for freedom
  • Those who appreciate eloquent and powerful writing that challenges societal norms

52
Civil War Books: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

What's The Underground Railroad about?

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead follows the story of a young woman named Cora who escapes from a Georgia plantation and sets out on a journey through the underground railroad. This novel reimagines the historical network of secret routes and safe houses used by African-American slaves to escape to free states, exploring themes of freedom, race, and the power of the human spirit.

Who should read The Underground Railroad?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the history of slavery in America
  • Those who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally impactful stories
  • Individuals who appreciate beautiful and evocative writing

53
Civil War Books: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders

What's Lincoln in the Bardo about?

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is a captivating novel that blends historical fiction with elements of the supernatural. Set in 1862, it tells the story of Abraham Lincoln and the death of his young son, Willie. The narrative unfolds in the bardo, a Tibetan Buddhist concept of the afterlife, where spirits linger and reflect on their past lives. Through a unique and poignant exploration of grief, the book offers a thought-provoking examination of love, loss, and the human experience.

Who should read Lincoln in the Bardo?

  • Readers who enjoy unconventional storytelling and experimental fiction
  • History enthusiasts with an interest in Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era
  • Those who appreciate thought-provoking explorations of grief, loss, and the afterlife

54
Civil War Books: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Cold Mountain

Charles Frazier

What's Cold Mountain about?

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier is a captivating novel set during the American Civil War. It tells the story of a wounded soldier named Inman, who deserts the Confederate army and embarks on a perilous journey to return to his beloved Ada. Filled with beautiful prose and rich historical detail, the book explores themes of love, survival, and the human spirit.

Who should read Cold Mountain?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction and the American Civil War era
  • Those interested in epic journeys and quests for redemption
  • People who appreciate lyrical and evocative writing that paints vivid pictures of nature and human emotions

55
Civil War Books: Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup

What's Twelve Years a Slave about?

Twelve Years a Slave is a powerful memoir by Solomon Northup that recounts his harrowing experience as a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum United States. The book exposes the brutal reality of slavery and serves as an important historical document.

Who should read Twelve Years a Slave?

  • Readers who are interested in the history of slavery in America
  • Individuals who enjoy memoirs and personal narratives
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of human resilience and the strength of the human spirit

56
Civil War Books: Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Pink and Say

Patricia Polacco

What's Pink and Say about?

Pink and Say is a powerful historical fiction book by Patricia Polacco. Set during the American Civil War, it tells the story of two young soldiers, Pinkus Aylee (Pink) and Sheldon Curtis (Say), who form an unlikely friendship. Through their bond, the book explores themes of friendship, bravery, and the harsh realities of war. It is a poignant and heartfelt tale that sheds light on an important chapter in history.

Who should read Pink and Say?

  • People interested in historical fiction with a focus on the Civil War
  • Educators looking for a book to teach about slavery and the importance of friendship
  • Readers who enjoy emotionally impactful stories with beautiful illustrations

57
Civil War Books: Lincoln by David Herbert Donald

Lincoln

David Herbert Donald

What's Lincoln about?

Lincoln by David Herbert Donald is a comprehensive biography of the 16th President of the United States. It delves into Lincoln's humble beginnings, his political career, and his leadership during the Civil War. Drawing on extensive research, the book offers deep insights into Lincoln's character, beliefs, and the challenges he faced as he guided the nation through one of its most tumultuous periods.

Who should read Lincoln?

  • History enthusiasts who want to learn about Abraham Lincoln's life and presidency
  • Readers interested in leadership and how individuals can make a lasting impact on society
  • Those who enjoy well-researched and comprehensive biographies

58
Civil War Books: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Ernest Hemingway

What's For Whom the Bell Tolls about?

For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway that takes place during the Spanish Civil War. It follows the story of an American protagonist, Robert Jordan, who is fighting for the Republican side. The book explores themes of love, honor, and the futility of war, and is known for its powerful and evocative writing style.

Who should read For Whom the Bell Tolls?

  • Readers who enjoy immersive and intense war narratives
  • Those interested in exploring the complexities of human nature and morality during wartime
  • Individuals who appreciate Hemingway's distinct writing style and impactful storytelling

59
Civil War Books: Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Homage to Catalonia

George Orwell

What's Homage to Catalonia about?

Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell's personal account of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. Published in 1938, the book offers a firsthand perspective on the political and social situation in Spain at the time, as well as Orwell's reflections on the broader themes of war, propaganda, and the fight against fascism.

Who should read Homage to Catalonia?

  • Readers with an interest in history, particularly the Spanish Civil War and its impact
  • Individuals who appreciate first-hand accounts and personal narratives
  • Those who are curious about George Orwell's experiences and political views

Related Topics

Civil War Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Civil War book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The Fires of Jubilee as the ultimate read on Civil War.

What are the Top 10 Civil War books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The Fires of Jubilee by Stephen B. Oates
  • Shiloh by Wiley Sword
  • Glory Road by Bruce Catton
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
  • General James Longstreet by Jeffry D. Wert
  • Landscape Turned Red by Stephen W. Sears
  • Clouds of Glory by Michael Korda
  • The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 1 by Shelby Foote
  • Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
  • A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton

Who are the top Civil War book authors?

When it comes to Civil War, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Stephen B. Oates
  • Wiley Sword
  • Bruce Catton
  • James L. Swanson
  • Jeffry D. Wert