Civil War Past Readings


  • E.L. Doctorow, The March
  • James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom
  • David Dixon, The Lost Gettysburg Address: Charles Anderson’s Civil War
  • Brian H. Reid, The Scourge of War: The Life of W.T. Sherman
  • Jon Meacham, And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle
  • David Blight, Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom
  • Bruce Levine, The Fall of the House of Dixie
  • Steven Woodworth, The Chattanooga Campaign
  • Clint Crowe, Caught in the Maelstrom: The Indian Nations in the Civil War 1861–1865
  • Owen Parry, Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales


  • Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
  • Craig L. Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals
  • T. H. Williams, Lincoln and His Generals
  • Jay Winik, April 1865
  • Sven Beckert, Slavery’s Capitalism
  • Roger Lowenstein, Ways and Means; Lincoln and His Cabinet and Financing the War
  • Personal Memoirs of General U.S. Grant
  • Mark Bilelski, A Mortal Blow to the Confederacy: The Fall of New Orleans
  • Dred Scott Forum: any sources, diverse points of view


  • Jeff Schaara, Smoke at Dawn 
  • Edward Achorn, Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abe Lincoln
  • Joshua Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac, Based on Personal Reminiscences of the 5th Army Corps
  • Timothy B. Smith, The Real Horse Soldiers: Benjamin Grierson’s Epic 1863 Civil War Raid Through Mississippi
  • Allen Gosnell, Guns on the Western Waters: The Story of Gunboats in the Civil War
  • David Herbert Donald, We Are Lincoln Men
  • Megan Kate Nelson, The Three Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West
  • C. Van Woodward (editor), The Strange Career of Jim Crow, 2nd edition
  • Zachary A. Fry, A Republic in the Ranks: Loyalty and Dissent in the Army of the Potomac


  • Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings
  • Cate Lineberry, Live Free or Die: Robert Smalls Story
  • Allen Guelzo, Lincoln and Douglass: The Debates that Defined America
  • Robert M. Browning, Lincoln’s Trident: The West Gulf Blockading Squadron 
  • Brian Lusky, Men is Cheap: Exposing the Frauds of the Free Labor in Civil War America
  • Donald Stoker, The Grand Design Strategy and The U.S. Civil War


  • Ron Chernow, Grant
  • William C. Davis, The Cause Lost
  • Richard White, Republic for Which it Stands
  • Shelby Foote, Shiloh
  • Drew Faust, Republic of Suffering
  • Louisa May Alcott, Louisa May Alcott’s Civil War
  • Charles Strozier, Lincoln’s Quest for Union: A Psycho Biography
  • James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Men Who Fought
  • David Blight, Fredrick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
  • Joanne B. Freeman, The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War
  • Cory M. Pfarr, Longstreet at Gettysburg: A Critical Assessment
  • Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, They Were Her Property: White Women and Slave Owners in the American South


  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals
  • Fred Kaplan, Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer
  • John Stauffer, Giants: The Parallel Lives of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln
  • Harriett Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • Robert P. Broadwater, Battle of Despair: Bentonville and the N.C. Campaign
  • Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh, A Savage War: A Military History;
  • James Robertson, Standing Like a Stone Wall: The Life of General Thomas Jackson
  • Jeff Shaara, The Fateful Lightning: A Novel of the Civil War
  • Bruce Catton, Mr. Lincoln’s Army


  • Kenneth S. Greenberg, editor, The Confessions of Nat Turner and Related Documents, second ed.
  • Gregory J. Wallance, Two Men Before the Storm: Arba Crane’s Recollection of Dred Scott and the Supreme Court Case That Started the Civil War
  • Ethan Greenberg, Dred Scott and the Dangers of a Political Court
  • Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage​
  • Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body​
  • Bruce Catton, A Stillness at Appomattox​


  • Drew Faust, Mothers of Invention; Women of the Slaveholding South in the Civil War
  • James McPherson, The War that Forged a Nation; Why the Civil War Still Matters
  • Eric Foner, Gateway to Freedom: Hidden History of the Underground Railroad
  • Don H. Doyle, The Cause of All Nations 
  • Christopher Dickey, Our Man in Charleston
  • Mark E. Neely, The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties
  • Gordon Rhea, Carrying the Flag, The Story of Private Charles Whilden, the Confederacy’s Most Unlikely Hero
  • Sven Beckert, The Empire of Cotton​
  • Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels
  • Paul Alan Cimbala, Veterans North and South: The Transition from Soldier to Civilian after the American Civil War​
  • James M. McPherson, Antietam: The Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War​


  • Karen Abbott, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
  • Jay Wernick, April, 1865
  • James McPherson, Embattled Rebel, Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief
  • James Oakes, Freedom National: Destruction of Slavery in the United States
  • Thomas Fleming, A Disease in the Public Mind
  • Joan Cashin, The War Was You and Me
  • Jim Downs, Sick From Freedom
  • Craig Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals
  • T. Harry Williams, Lincoln and His Generals
  • Jane Singer and John Stewart, Lincoln’s Secret Spy: The Civil War Case That Changed The Future Of Espionage
  • Edward Steers and Harold Holzer, eds., The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators (“Washington’s 1865 Guantanamo”)


  • James Conroy, Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865
  • Jack Hurst, Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest: Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga
  • Bruce Levine, Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution that Transformed the South
  • Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion
  • Brian R. Dirck, Lincoln & Davis, Imagining America 1809-1865
  • Jeffrey Wert, General James Longstreet: The Confederacy’s Most Controversial Soldier, A Biography
  • Peter Carlson, Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey
  • Charles Sanders, While in the Hands of the Enemy


  • Stephen B. Oates, To Purge This Land With Blood: Biography of John Brown 
  • Lea VanderVelde, Mrs. Dred Scott, A Life on Slavery’s Frontier
  • Drew G. Faust, This Republic of Suffering  
  • Richard N. Current, Lincoln and the First Shot 
  • Benson Bobrick, Master of War: The Life of George H. Thomas
  • Shelby Foote, The Civil War, Vol. 1 (Fort Sumter to Perryville)
  • John J. Hennessy, Return to Bull Run
  • Adam Goodheart, 1861
  • Amanda Foreman, A World on Fire
  • Ulysses S. Grant, Memoirs 
  • Kenneth S. Greenberg, Nat Turner: A Slave Rebellion in History and Memory


  • Gary Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg
  • Jean Baker, Mary Todd
  • Catherine Clinton, Mrs. Lincoln: A Life
  • John Fabian Witt, Lincoln’s Code
  • David A. Nichols, Lincoln and the Indians
  • John S. Mosby, Memoirs of John S. Mosby
  • Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Bayonet! Forward! My Civil War