Help support TMP


"The ten books to read on the USA Civil War?" Topic


53 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the ACW Product Reviews Message Board

Back to the ACW Media Message Board

Back to the 19th Century Media Message Board



3,125 hits since 30 Jun 2007
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

HMSResolution Inactive Member01 Jul 2007 6:15 p.m. PST

Okay. Assume for a moment that you are a reasonably bright young post-collegiate, aimlessly making your way through a world of lowered standards and compromised values. Suppose also that you've read Shelby Foote's trilogy on the American Civil War, and you have access to Battle Cry of Freedom.

Assuming you wanted to educate yourself, what ten books on the Civil War would you buy? Note, I said buy. If it's only available in libraries, that's not good for me; I need it on paper and I need to be able to read this while I'm eating a meatball sandwich.

So, what are the ten essential books on the ACW, and why? Corollary: what are the ten essential books for understanding the ACW from a contemporary British or European perspective?

I want to know, because I want to buy these things. Your assistance is appeciated.

Jim McDaniel Inactive Member01 Jul 2007 6:25 p.m. PST

Sorry can suggest only Sherman's Horsemen – A terrific account of US cavalry during the Georgia campaign and along the way a terrific account of how to and not to successfully command cavalry divisions in action. My last wargames win came from a vow during a game to apply lessons learned from this volume.

Grant's Memoires are also in print and worth reading. Pay particular attention to his account of how in his first battle as brigadier he got the "bulge" ie moral ascendency over his first victim and then see how that insight ultimatelly turned into Appamatox.

doc mcb01 Jul 2007 6:27 p.m. PST

1. Stephen Vincent Benet, JOHN BROWN'S BODY;

2. Bruce Catton, THE ARMY OF THE POTOMOC trilogy -- MR LINCOLN'S ARMY, GLORY ROAD, A STILLNESS AT APPOMATOX;

3. Sam Watkins, COMPANY AITCH;

4. Mary Chestnut, A DIARY FROM DIXIE;

5. US Grant. MEMOIRS;

6. Frank Vandiver, THEIR TATTERED FLAGS;

7. the best current biography of Lincoln -- not sure which that is;

8. the best current biography of RE Lee, or a one-volume abridgement of Douglas Southell freeman's five volume RE LEE;

That's a start.

RangerWorks01 Jul 2007 6:33 p.m. PST

I'll get my two cents worth in early…if you can look past the emphasis usually paid to the eastern front (RE Lee, Stonewall Jackson, etc,) pick up the works of Peter Cozzens: "No Better Place To Die" on Murphreesbore; "This Terrible Sound" on Chickamauga; "Shipwreck Of Their Hopes" on Chattanooga. This trilogy is a treasure trove of info on both the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of Tennessee. He also wrote a great book on the Corinth/Iuka campaign called "The Darkest Days Of The War" which is excellent. None interested in the western front of the ACW should miss these.

Milhouse01 Jul 2007 6:50 p.m. PST

Depends on whether you want a broad brush of the war, or have a specific battle dissected. For example,there are libraries full of books just on Gettysburg.

The above mentioned authors are wonderful. Sears and Pfanze are also great. There several authors who are not as prolific but have written important books. Some of the recent revisionist interpretation of Gettysburg has been very good and very interesting.

HMSResolution Inactive Member01 Jul 2007 6:58 p.m. PST

Milhouse raises a good point: to clarify, I'm interested in a good general understanding of the war; if I'm going to read a book about Gettysburg or Vicksburg or Notappearinginthewarsburg, I'd like to have something to explain the events before and after it, as well.

Also, I think ironclads are cool. So bonus points for a good book on ironclads.

BW195901 Jul 2007 7:04 p.m. PST

I'll second Cozzens work. And as a gamer I got a lot of ideas from the Iuka book, enjoyed "no better Place to Die" the most, and I checked you can still get it on Amazon.

Also try Jack Coombes book "Thunder Along the Mississippi" for a great read on the Naval (River) war.

Anything by Sears or Pfanze is good. Enjoyed Martins book on day one of Gettysburg.

And for a different view read "Lincoln's Loyaists" about men from the south who fought for Lincoln. Its by Richard Current

BW195901 Jul 2007 7:06 p.m. PST

Dang I type too slow. Coombs has other Naval books out that I can't recall right now. For a good general history try Bruce Catton, old but not bad.

doc mcb01 Jul 2007 7:07 p.m. PST

James Street's old novel, BY VALOR AND BY ARMS, is the story of the CSS ARKANSAS, well told.

doc mcb01 Jul 2007 7:10 p.m. PST

In all seriousness: if you want to understand the Civil War and only have time to read one book, make it Benet's JOHN BROWN'S BODY.

"She had been pretty and she was gone
But the dead were here and the dead rode on,
Over a road of mud and stones,
Each one horsed on a bag of bones."

Grizwald Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 12:19 a.m. PST

"Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" in 4 volumes. See:

link

or:

link
(listed as Battles and Generals…)

Cold Steel Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 1:13 a.m. PST

McPhearson's "Battle Cry of Freedom" is probably what you are after. A very good 1 volume work on the war.

That said, dito the above about Cozzen's books.

abelp0102 Jul 2007 1:45 a.m. PST

Ditto on Cozzen's books. He writes very well. You actually will enjoy his style.

avidgamer02 Jul 2007 3:05 a.m. PST

I posted this list last week. These are my 'ten'. All are great reads and informative. They provide the COMPLETE picture of the CW from historians and the men themselves written after the war. :)

Hard Tack and Coffee by John Billings

anything by Bruce Catton

Killer Angels by Micheal Sharra novel

The Iron Brigade by Alan Nolan

the 20th Maine by John Pullen

Up Came Hill by Martin Schenck

The Marble Man by Thomas Connelly

Service with the Sixth Wisconsin by Rufus Dawes

Rock of Chickamauga by Freeman Cleaves

Meade's Headquarters by Theodore Lyman

My Dear Wife by David Brett

History of the 83rd Reg. Pa. Vol. by Amos Judson

Grant by Willian McFeely

William Tecumseh Sherman by James Merrill

Shiloh, Bloody April by Wiley Sword

Gettysburg: the Second Day by Harry Pfanz

The Humorous Lincoln by Keith Jennison

Antietam: the Soldiers Battle by John Priest

If it Takes All Summer by William Matter

A Diary of Battle by Charles Wainwright

History of the 124th NY Vol. by Charles Weygant

Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant by William Garrett Piston

Nothing But Glory by Kathleen Georg

Grape and Canister by L. Van Loan Naisawald

Landscape Turned Red by Stephen Sears

Campaigning With Grant by Horace Porter

With Malice Towards None by Stephen B. Oates

Here Come The Rebels by Wilbur Sturtevant Nye

Three Years With Company K by Austin Stearns

Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer by G. Moxley Sorrel

The Life of Johnny Reb by Bell I. Wiley

The Life of Billy Yank by Bell I. Wiley

The Union Cavalry in the C.W. vol. 1 & 2 by Stephen Starr

To Appomattox by Burke Davis

God and General Longstreet by Thomas Connelly

Reminiscences of the CW by John B. Gordon

The Man Behind the Guns by Edward Longacre

Memoirs of Henry Heth edited by James Morrison

Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade by John Casler

I Rode With Stonewall by Henry Kyd Douglas

Sy Clegg and His Pard by… err I forgot the author

Battles and Leaders of the Civil War

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 4:08 a.m. PST

Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War (edited by Patricia Faust?). Good one volume with loads of obscure detail. Good for learning a little bit about a lot of subjects.

Atlas of the Civil War. Companion piece to the Official Records. Loads of maps to help put events in context.

Mirosav02 Jul 2007 4:51 a.m. PST

My favorite Lincoln biography is "Lincoln" by David Herbert Donald, 1996 A great read still available on Amazon for $13.60.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jul 2007 5:00 a.m. PST

But if I had to pick ten….

(1) Nosworthy's The Bloody Crucible of Courage covers all of the tactical aspects of the war including naval, siege, etc.

(2) Lee Considered by Nolan: A great book highlighting the depth of the mythology surrounding the conflict.

(3) Battle Cry of Freedom: Still probably the best one-volume overview

(4) Thomas Connelly's two volume set on the Army of Tennessee – an in depth treatment of the army and the theater

(5) Grant's Memoirs: One of the best written and most frank memoirs of the conflict

(6) Mary Chestnut's Diary: A fascinating look inside the CSA from the civilian point of view

(7) Lee's Lieutenants: A fascinating study of leadership in the ANV.

(8) A People's History of the Civil War

After that I'm really not sure. Many of the books mentioned above are very very good but do not focus on the overall war so much as a small, specific slice of it. Cozzens is wnderful but his books focus very narrowly on those specific battles. Catton is a great read but getting a bit tired.

Avidgamer's list includes many worthwhile books, but most do not really meet the criteria of what you are looking for. Here are some other books I found facinating, but I'm not sure I'd put them in my top 10:

Attack & Die: A look at how southern culture shaped Southern battle tactics

Lee's Tanished Lieutenant: A reappraisal of Longstreet's career.

Donald's "Why the North Won the Civil War" is thought provoking though controversial and I disagree with him on some points, but again a good book for stimulating debate.

The Civil War Day by Day is a useful general work and kind of a fun book to pick up for a few minutes very now and then

Civil War Command and Strategy by Archer Jones is an interesting look at understanding how and why battles of the period were fought they way they were.

The Negro's Civil War – takes into account the experience of the black population, often glossed over in most histories

From there there are an endless number of good books about specific battles; memoirs and biographies; social and cultural histories; military minutiae; the campaigns in the Trans-Mississippi; histories of the various service arm; et. al.

My $0.03 USD

avidgamer02 Jul 2007 5:25 a.m. PST

To understand the CW you have to understand the soldiers themselves. Read first-hand accounts. Knowing what, who and when isn't enough. Some books tell what some thought at the battle of _____ but if you read what they actually thought from the beginning of the war until the end you get a picture of America as well. You will understand why it was fought and how it was fought. That's the way to go.

Personal logo rddfxx Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 6:15 a.m. PST

1. How the North Won by Hermna Hattaway and Archer Jones
2. Army of the Heartland and Autumn of Glory by Tho. Connelly
3. The Warrior Generals by Tho. Buell
4. The Vicksburg Campaign by Edwin Bearss
5. Gordon Rhea's ongoing series on the 1864 Virginia Campaign (5 volumes, from Wilderness through Cold Harbor)
6. Decision in the West by Albert Castel
7. West Point Atlas of US Wars, Volume I
8. Civil War Commnad and Strategy by Archer Jones
9. Jefferson Davis and His Generals by Steven Woodward
10. Lee and Davis at War by Steven Woodward

Personal logo rddfxx Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 6:29 a.m. PST

…And Harry T. Williams' "Lincoln and His Generals"

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP02 Jul 2007 6:34 a.m. PST

My favorite ACW novel:
link

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jul 2007 8:12 a.m. PST

Let me add another vote to the four Cozzens' books covering the battles in the western theatre. His book on Stones River (No Better Place to Die) is the best of the lot, with the book on Corinth & Iuka my next favorite. The four Gordan Rhea books (Wilderness, Spotsylvania, To The North Anna, and Cold Harbor) are also very good. I'm working my way through the Wilderness book right now.

No one has mentioned that anything by J. Michael Priest is excellent (books about South Mountain, Antietem and the Wilderness), particularly if you want to get down to the level of what the individual regiments within each brigade were doing. You can't understand what went on at the Wilderness until you read Priest's book. Priest breaks down the battle in a way that also makes for good wargame scenarios.

And finally, another strong endorsement for Harry Pfanz and his books on the battle of Gettysburg. The Second Day is the best of the lot. I noticed that even the Gettysburg park rangers carry around a copy of Pfanz on their tours. So that should tell you something.

Gary Gallagher edits a series of books on Antietem, Gettysburg, Wilderness and others that brings in a series of essays from 5 or 6 authors into one book. The analysis of certain phases of the battle in essay form really gets you to thinking about the problems that the commanders faced. These are excellent reads.

Killer Angels is a must read for any Civil War buff

zippyfusenet Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 8:48 a.m. PST

Absolutely read Battles and Leaders. It's not a narrative history, but you will meet the participants themselves, great and small, first hand and in their own words.

Absolutely read Bruce Catton's Army of the Potomac trilogy (Mr. Lincoln's Army, Glory Road and A Stillness At Appomatox). Some of it is fiction, but it all should have been true.

Absolutely read Thomas Connelly's Army of the Heartland and Autumn of Glory<i/>. Bragg lost the real war in the West.

Jay Monahan's The Civil War on the Western Border is excellent for the Trans-Mississippi.

rusty musket Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 9:37 a.m. PST

I would second (or third) Grant's Memoires. They not only speak to ACW but discuss the War With Mexico which was the classroom of many ACW officers.

Wilson's Creek:The Second Battle of the Civil War has much information on the soldiers who answered the call to defend their community and the causes they believed in. It is a good way to understand the average american in the west (Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas).

Don Troiani's books are a pleasure to look through due to the uniform and battle paintings.

Brent Noseworthy's Crucible of War is tedious but informative reading and will assist you in starting many arguements.

HMSResolution Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 9:53 a.m. PST

A quick update: based on this thread, I've ordered Catton's two trilogies from Amazon; they should make good reading on the way to Historicon. Trilogies count as one book, as far as I'm concerned, so I have eight slots left.

avidgamer02 Jul 2007 10:32 a.m. PST

You will love Bruce Catton. He's the BEST. He won the Pulitzer Prize in history for A Stillness at Appomatox. The whole series was a labor of love. I wish he had not died without writing at least three dozen more books. :(

rusty musket Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 10:54 a.m. PST

Bruce Catton is a good place to start. He is very readable. He was my introduction to ACW back in grade school. (I read ahead of my classmates. No intention to call him a children's author, there.)You will want more detail and probably some second opinions after reading him, however.

Major Mike02 Jul 2007 10:58 a.m. PST

"An American Illiad: The Story of the Civil War" by Charles P. Roland. A nice book that covers it all and from which you can gain an idea of where you would like to expand your studies. ISBN 0-8131-1737-2

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jul 2007 1:47 p.m. PST

Bruce Catton was probably responsible for creating a whole generation of Civil War enthusiasts. His books were published prior to the Civil War centenial in 1961-1965. When I was 8 years old, my Dad took us on a trip from Chicago to New Orleans and we stopped at battlefields all along the way. He would tell me stories that he had read in the Bruce Catton books. It made history come alive for me. So Catton is a good place to start and it's an easy read.

Milhouse02 Jul 2007 7:29 p.m. PST

I didn't see mentioned but a wonderful book, "Confederates in the Attic". The author goes on a personal journey to discover what the Civil War means to modern Americans. A very entertaining and thought provoking book. I believe it won an award or two.

Lest We Forget Inactive Member02 Jul 2007 8:18 p.m. PST

There is an old saying that more ink has been spilt over the Civil War than blood.

Do you want to read secondary sources or primary sources, or both? Do you want to read about battles? About weapons and equipment? About railroads? About river transport? Biorgraphies of commanders? The Official Records (about 132 volumes)? About telegraph useage? About artillery useage? About cavalry? About guerilla operations? About logistics and supply? etc. etc.

Recommending ten books without narrowing down what you are looking for would be an exercise in frustration.

It would, however, be easier to recommend fifty books that you should not read! :)

But, that would likely start a Civil War within this thread.

Captain Crunch Inactive Member03 Jul 2007 7:17 a.m. PST

I'm just getting into gaming and I like ironclads myself. I just finished "A History of the Confederate Navy" by Raimondo Luraghi. I thought it was well researched and written.

HMSResolution Inactive Member03 Jul 2007 8:26 a.m. PST

Lest We Forget--- A fair question. I am interested in many of the technical aspects of the war, such as ironclad warfare, machineguns, calvary fighting, etc., although a better term might be "am easily distracted", since I tend to get caught up in minutae and miss the bigger picture. As I don't intend to wargame the ACW much, if at all, this can be a little dangerous to my finances, since I find technical details to be the first step down the slippery slope to having a hundred unpainted ironclads crammed in a cupboard somewhere.

I would say I am only slightly more interested in understanding the military aspects of the war than I am in understanding the sociopolitical upheaval that surrounded it, since I have a hard time appreciating battles in a vaccum. I know very little about any of the major battles of the war and the tactics that used in them, and since my primary area of interest in the latter half of the 19th century is the British army, I'd be interested in any in-print books on the subject that compare the conduct of the civil war with how the British fought their colonial wars or the 1857 Mutiny.

On personalities: I love biographies, if they provide a good overview of the times surrounding a personality. As you might imagine, I'm a big Robert Massie fan. I prefer Grant to Lee. I'm kind of fond of Meade, because I've always liked snapping turtles.

Hope that helps.

Lest We Forget Inactive Member03 Jul 2007 2:23 p.m. PST

That helps. I'm tied up with some things during the 4th, but will review some of my notes and make a few suggestions as soon as I can. Others can also probably better suggest sources to you now also. It was good to note that you do not intend to wargame the ACW much as that helps narrow down the choices in some cases. Some books are better at kindling interest in wanting to wargame or in learning more details related to wargaming.

Lest We Forget Inactive Member05 Jul 2007 7:50 a.m. PST

Here are a few suggestions based on your response:

Naisawald, L. Van Loan, Grape and Canister: The Story of the Field Artillery of the Army of the Potomac, 1861-1865

Plum, William R., The Military Telegraph During the Civil War in the United States

Turner, George E., Victory Rode the Rails

Wood, W.J., Civil War Generalship: The Art of Command

Jones, R. Steven, The Right Hand of Command

Hill, Forest G., Roads, Rails, and Waterways

Gosnell, H. Allen, Guns on the Western Waters

Drury, Ian and Tony Gibbons, The Civil War Military Machine

Coggins, J., Arms & Equipment of the Civil War

Cadwallader, Sylvanus, Three Years With Grant (ed. Benjamin P. Thomas)

Buell, Thomas B., The Warrior Generals: Combat Leadership in the Civil War [a recent work that is controversial, but well-written and worth reading].

Forces Unknown Inactive Member09 Jul 2007 8:51 a.m. PST

My favourite ACW author is Stephen W. Sears, a man whose work is very readable and informative. His work on individual battles can't be beaten. Check out these four titles if you want to discover more about the Civil War's biggest clashes between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia.

"To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign"
"Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam"
"Chancellorsville"
"Gettysburg"

While there is no reason to put it top of the reading list, his biography "George B. McClellan: The Young Napoleon" is the best picture of this intriguing General out there.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2007 9:27 a.m. PST

I have to say to pick ten would be hard> Some that I have enjoyed are;

Stephen Sears Landscape Turned Red, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg

The Battle and Leaders set (funny how each writer feels the need to justify his role.

Noah Andre Trudeau's Bloody Road South

Shelby Foote's The Civil War (Funny I had not seen this mentioned as yet)

William C Davis Battle of Bull Run

McPhersons Battle Cry of Freedom is excellent as is his treatment of Antietam in the book of that name.

I also found interesting Lost Victories:The Military Genius of Stonewall Jackson by Bevin Alexander

Ranger127521 Aug 2007 10:09 p.m. PST

Well I was just taking a late-night stroll thru the forum and couldn't resist following this thread. I was curious to see what was recommended. Saw many familiar titles and some great reads. However, if you're still out there HMSResolution, and still think "ironclads are cool," you should add Reign of Iron by James L. Nelson to your book list. If you had to pick just one book on the subject, this would be the one to have. It is a comprehensive treatment of the duel between Monitor and Merrimac and their spawning of a revolution in naval warfare. It is also very readable. If you liked Massie, then I think you'll love Nelson.

Royal Newfoundland Fencibles Inactive Member02 Sep 2007 3:27 a.m. PST

For the southern view of Gettysburg – Glen Tucker's 'High Water Mark'

cwbuff Inactive Member16 Sep 2007 1:00 p.m. PST

Back when I owned a Civil War Book Store in a tent, I made up a list for those folks who had room on their book shelves for only 12 books. They were not going to be CW buffs and own thousands of books. Here are those 12:

1-3 Shelby Foote's trilogy. One could argue that they are not history, but they are so readable.

4-Coddington's "Gettysburg: A Study in Command". Gettysburg has three days of battle, good decisions/poor decisions, tradgedy, courage, politics, examples of all combat arms. A microcosim of battle during the war.

5-Frassinito's "Gettysburg: A Journey in Time". Best tour guide of the battle. Photo's before and after, then and now.

6-Nolan's "The Iron Brigade". The brigade is the operational level of command and an understanding of how it operates is necessary. What better than one of the best brigades in the AOP.

7-Pullen"s "Twentieth Maine". What the brigade is to the operational, the regiment is to the tactical. And building on the Gettysburg interest, the 20th Maine has popular interest.

8-John Gibbon's "Personal Recollections of the Civil War". A good biography should be read. Gibbon was an excellent commander who believed in the volunteer soldier and was in a lot of hot spots.

9-Linderman's "Embattled Courage". What made soldiers fight.

10-Shaara's "Killer Angels". Fiction but I recommend they start with this one. If it does not grab their interest, do not spend your dollars on anything else, because they will not have interest enough.

11-Vidal's "Lincoln". I usually get some strange looks when I suggest this one. I do not share Gore's politics, but I was able to get an image of Lincoln from his novel. Really good grasp of the central figure in the war.

12-Last but not least is the Johnny Reb set of war game rules. Play about five games and they will have a better feel for combat in all they read.

List is Gettysburg heavy, but remember the list is aimed toward someone who wants to have only 12 books and Gettysburg is the battle most associate with the war. Other books listed in other messages are great. My list would be considered unusual if we got into a discussion, because I think the west if far more important to victory for the Union.

Kevin F Kiley Inactive Member21 Oct 2007 5:19 a.m. PST

I would definitely agree with you that the western campaigns are much more important to the Union than the eastern theater. The Army of the Potomac might still be considered, though, as the 'main' Union army and Bruce Catton's trilogy of that army is superb.

I don't agree with anything by Shelby Foote. His trilogy is not worth the hype it gets. By his own admission he was a novelist first and it shows in his trilogy.

With that exception, and adding Nosworthy's oversimplistic, error-ridden, and he-missed-the-point book, the greater majortiy of the others listed I certainly agree with.

Fairfax Downey's The Guns at Gettrysburg should be added to the list as well as Emilio's A Brave Black Regiment which is the regimental history of the 54th Massachusetts. There is also a very good book out on the 9th Massachusetts Battery, commanded by Bigelow and which defended the Trostle Farm and was overrun. The Cannoneer by Buell is also an excellent reference along with many, many others. I don't think we could list them all here.

Sincerely,
Kevin

HMSResolution Inactive Member29 Jul 2008 9:49 a.m. PST

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to thank all of you for your help on this; my initial book purchases have now become only a part of a 40-book collection that is still growing. I drove to Gettysburg and Antietam this month for the first time, and my father---who I've had a rocky relationship with in the past---tagged along, and I had a wonderful time.

So again, a big thank-you to everyone who took the time to comment; your suggestions have been helpful and I've learned a lot.

Gefreiter1 Inactive Member03 Aug 2008 12:09 a.m. PST

First, Catton, most definitely!

Mike

avidgamer03 Aug 2008 3:08 p.m. PST

Anything that Bruce Catton writes is a first read. He's the BEST and everyone comes next. :)

WildGeese Inactive Member08 Aug 2008 6:47 a.m. PST

Here's a list of some of my favs, some recently released, some older but still invaluabe in any collection:

Thomas Connelly – Army of the Heartland and Autumm of Glory The AoT
Gordon Rhea – Overland Campaign Series (4 volumes)
Peter Cozzens – The ACW in West Trilogy and 'Darkest Days'. I will also mention 'Shenandoah 1862' even though it is still forthcoming from UNC Press just because I know this will also be a great read.
Gary Ecelbarger – Kernstown, Front Royal and Winchester
Wiley Sword – The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville
Larry Daniels – Shiloh, Artillery in the AoT.
Alan Nolan – The Iron Brigade (a classic)

I could really keep going and going here, but in all serious-ness there are too many to name off.

Cheers, John

IR1Lothringen Inactive Member13 Aug 2008 3:56 a.m. PST

A Englishman's view.

Taking ALL Shelby Foote's books as on the list!

1)Battles and Leaders – very detailed accounts
2)Hood – Advance and Retreet
3)Connelly – Autumn Glory (Army Of Tenn.)
4)Grant – Memoirs
5)Coombes – Thunder Along The Mississippi (Naval Operations)
6)Watkins – Company Aitch
7)Burke Davis – Grey Fox (R.E.Lee)
8)Miller – Photographic History
9)Sherman – Memoirs
10)Longstreet – From Manassas To Appomattox

and 600 more!

donlowry26 Sep 2008 4:53 p.m. PST

Sherman's memoirs don't get the aclaim that Grant's do, but I found them very well written.

HMSResolution Inactive Member24 Jul 2017 7:57 p.m. PST

Very interesting to come back and look at this almost ten years later. Thanks again to everyone who recommended books to me back then!

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP26 Jul 2017 7:45 a.m. PST

Funnily enough Cuzzon's works and Thomas Connelly's two volume set on the Army of Tennessee are still the places I'd start.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2017 11:54 a.m. PST

I don't think I saw anyone mention this one, so:

Company Aytch – Sam Watkins

My personal favorite "micro history" of the war.

Pages: 1 2