Looking for some good Civil War books to read.

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hello everyone, I am an avid bookreader, and I really want too read some good civil war books that cover the whole war, and I am also looking for some books that talk about the life, and tactics of the union and confederacy. Does anyone have any good reccomendations? I know that Shelby Foote wrote a good series of books on the civil war, and I want too get them and read them.
 

Paul Yancey

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I highly recommend the 3 volume series by Shelby Foote for a really good overview of the war. I find Foote to be very readable and enjoy his writing style. Just be aware that each volume is between 800 - 1,000 pages long, but well worth the effort.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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hello everyone, I am an avid bookreader, and I really want too read some good civil war books that cover the whole war, and I am also looking for some books that talk about the life, and tactics of the union and confederacy. Does anyone have any good reccomendations? I know that Shelby Foote wrote a good series of books on the civil war, and I want too get them and read them.
In many circles, Shelby Foote is considered a must read. As for books that cover the whole war, there are many, but they always paint a big picture to me. My recommendation would be to try out Foote, and read some of the many books on individual battles and campaigns to get a real good picture. Two books I'd recommend right off on the books covering individual campaigns and battles would be "Fields of Blood: The Prairie Grove Campaign" by William Shea and "Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg" by Timothy B. Smith, both are very good, informative books on actions during the war that are for the most part forgotten by most.

As for books on tactics and daily life, there are many, but for me I find memoirs and soldier's diary's to be the best reads, giving you their time in the war firsthand, with tactics and life covered well most of the time. Two I'd recommend at the drop of a hat would be "Footprints of a Regiment: A recollection of the 1st Georgia Regulars 1861-1865" by W.H. Andrews, 2st Sgt. Company M, and the other Rebel Private: Front and Rear" by William A. Fletcher. But those are personal favorites, one last one I'd say is an awesome read that is a must for seeing the war first hand is "Three Months in the Southern States" by Arthur Fremantle.

But of course the best direction I can point you is toward the "Standard Civil War Reference Works" thread, best place to find the titles on any book you would want to read- https://civilwartalk.com/threads/standard-civil-war-reference-works.84521/

Good luck on your search!
 
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Wallyfish

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For an over view of the major battles, I suggest Ed Bearss Fields of Honor. It is an informative but easy read. I am a Gettysburg fan and I have triple digit Gettysburg books. I believe it is best to decide which battles draw your most interest in and then research the books on the chosen battle(s). The Fields of Honor book uncovers just enough details of the major battles so that you can decide what your focus will be on.

On Gettysburg, I refer to Coddington's The Gettysburg Campaign -A Study of Command frequently.
Eric Wittenberg and JD Petruzzi's Plenty of Blame to go around JEB Stuart's controversial ride is a fascinating read. Tom Ryan's Spies, Scouts and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is a very good read. Scott Mingus' Confederate General William "Extra Billy" Smith from Va statesman to Gettysburg Scapegoat brings to life one of the CW true characters. Of course on Gettysburg, there are books that cover just about every minute of the 3 day battle, so one can go crazy like I have in reading hundreds of books. Good luck.
 

jackt62

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For an excellent military history of the war, I would recommend "How the North Won" by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones.
 
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scone

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The Eyewitness at the battle books by David R. Logsdon are great only handful I think but lot of quotes and info to the original source … Shiloh, Nashville, Franklin, Murfreesboro/Stones river , Perryville & Fort Donelson is all he did He has past on sadly but what he did for all those battles … Amazing I have 4 of them … quotes and stories from both sides … I think you will like them - regards
 
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scone

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I no very Little of Island no 10 but close to me but looking in to it.. I know of it but was looking into more of more my family was at!
thank you
Thank you! It's a fascinating battle that had far more significance in the overall outcome of the war than most people realize. It opened to the gateway into the South for the Union invasion in the west. It has the misfortune of happening a day before Shiloh, so most historians ignore it. I hope you enjoy the book!
 
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I cannot help but recommend McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. Easily my favorite one volume book account of the entire war. I love that he spends 1/3 of the book in the build up to the war. That was something I hadn't known much about and it was fascinating!
 
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Bruce Vail

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I cannot help but recommend McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. Easily my favorite one volume book account of the entire war. I love that he spends 1/3 of the book in the build up to the war. That was something I hadn't known much about and it was fascinating!
Battle Cry of Freedom is widely thought to be the best single-volume treatment of the war by the college professors who teach the Civil War year after year. It is assigned to thousands of students across the country every semester.
 
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For an over view of the major battles, I suggest Ed Bearss Fields of Honor. It is an informative but easy read. I am a Gettysburg fan and I have triple digit Gettysburg books. I believe it is best to decide which battles draw your most interest in and then research the books on the chosen battle(s). The Fields of Honor book uncovers just enough details of the major battles so that you can decide what your focus will be on.

On Gettysburg, I refer to Coddington's The Gettysburg Campaign -A Study of Command frequently.
Eric Wittenberg and JD Petruzzi's Plenty of Blame to go around JEB Stuart's controversial ride is a fascinating read. Tom Ryan's Spies, Scouts and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is a very good read. Scott Mingus' Confederate General William "Extra Billy" Smith from Va statesman to Gettysburg Scapegoat brings to life one of the CW true characters. Of course on Gettysburg, there are books that cover just about every minute of the 3 day battle, so one can go crazy like I have in reading hundreds of books. Good luck.
Thanks so much for the mention of my biography of Extra Billy. He was the oldest general at the battle of Gettysburg. Strange but interesting fellow!
 
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