The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock


Francis Augustin O'Reilly - 2002
    Burnside; embarrassed Abraham Lincoln; and distinguished Robert E. Lee as one of the greatest military strategists of his era. Francis Augustin O'Reilly draws upon his intimate knowledge of the battlegrounds to discuss the unprecedented nature of Fredericksburg's warfare. Lauded for its vivid description, trenchant analysis, and meticulous research, his award-winning book makes for compulsive reading.

Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War


David Detzer - 2001
     The six-month-long agony that began with Lincoln's election in November sputtered from one crisis to the next, and finally exploded as the soldiers at Sumter neared starvation. With little help from Washington, D.C., Major Robert Anderson, a soldier whose experience had taught him above all that war is the poorest form of policy, almost single-handedly forestalled the beginning of the war until he finally had no choice but to fight. Skillfully re-created from a decade of extensive research, Allegiance exposes the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and the individuals on both sides who changed American history forever.

Controversies & Commanders: Dispatches from the Army of the Potomac


Stephen W. Sears - 1999
      From an award-winning military historian and the bestselling author of Gettysburg, this is a wide-ranging collection of essays about the Army of the Potomac, delving into such topics as Professor Lowe’s reconnaissance balloons; the court-martial of Fitz John Porter; the Lost Order at Antietam; press coverage of the war; the looting of Fredericksburg; the Mud March; the roles of volunteers, conscripts, bounty jumpers, and foreign soldiers; the notorious Gen. Dan Sickles, who shot his wife’s lover outside the White House; and two generals who were much maligned: McClellan (justifiably) and Hooker (not so justifiably).   This lively book follows the Army of the Potomac throughout the war, from 1861 to 1865, painting a remarkable portrait of the key incidents and personalities that influenced the course of our nation’s greatest cataclysm.

Six Armies in Tennessee: The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns


Steven E. Woodworth - 1998
    The Federal success along the river opened the way for advances into central and eastern Tennessee, which culminated in the bloody battle of Chickamauga and then a struggle for Chattanooga. Chickamauga is usually counted as a Confederate victory, albeit a costly one. That battle—indeed the entire campaign—is marked by muddle and blunders occasionally relieved by strokes of brilliant generalship and high courage. The campaign ended significant Confederate presence in Tennessee and left the Union poised to advance upon Atlanta and the Confederacy on the brink of defeat in the western theater.Purchase the audio edition.

Terrible Swift Sword: The Life of General Philip H. Sheridan


Joseph Wheelan - 2012
    Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip H. Sheridan is the least known of the triumvirate of generals most responsible for winning the Civil War. Yet, before Sherman’s famous march through Georgia, it was General Sheridan who introduced scorched-earth warfare to the South, and it was his Cavalry Corps that compelled Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Sheridan’s innovative cavalry tactics and “total war” strategy became staples of twentieth-century warfare.After the war, Sheridan ruthlessly suppressed the raiding Plains Indians much as he had the Confederates, by killing warriors and burning villages, but he also defended reservation Indians from corrupt agents and contractors. Sheridan, an enthusiastic hunter and conservationist, later ordered the US cavalry to occupy and operate Yellowstone National Park to safeguard it from commercial exploitation.

To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13-25, 1864


Gordon C. Rhea - 2000
    Rhea continues his spectacular narrative of the initial campaign between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in the spring of 1864. May 13 through 25, a phase oddly ignored by historians, was critical in the clash between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. During those thirteen days -- an interlude bracketed by horrific battles that riveted the public's attention -- a game of guile and endurance between Grant and Lee escalated to a suspenseful draw on Virginia's North Anna River.From the bloodstained fields of the Mule Shoe to the North Anna River, with Meadow Bridge, Myers Hill, Harris Farm, Jericho Mills, Ox Ford, and Doswell Farm in between, grueling night marches, desperate attacks, and thundering cavalry charges became the norm for both Grant's and Lee's men. But the real story of May 13--25 lay in the two generals' efforts to outfox each other, and Rhea charts their every step and misstep. Realizing that his bludgeoning tactics at the Bloody Angle were ineffective, Grant resorted to a fast-paced assault on Lee's vulnerable points. Lee, outnumbered two to one, abandoned the offensive and concentrated on anticipating Grant's maneuvers and shifting quickly enough to repel them. It was an amazingly equal match of wits that produced a gripping, high-stakes bout of warfare -- a test, ultimately, of improvisation for Lee and of perseverance for Grant.

Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart


Jeffry D. Wert - 2008
    E. B. Stuart. Based on research in manuscript collections, personal memoirs and reminiscences, and regimental histories, this comprehensive volume reflects outstanding Civil War scholarship. James Ewell Brown Stuart was the premier cavalry commander of the Confederacy. He gained a reputation for daring early in the war when he rode around the Union army in the Peninsula Campaign, providing valuable intelligence to General Robert E. Lee at the expense of Union commander George B. McClellan. Stuart has long been controversial because of his performance in the critical Gettysburg Campaign, where he was out of touch with Lee for several days; this left Lee uncertain about the size and movement of the Union army, information that would prove decisive when the battle began. In an engagement with the cavalry of Union general Philip Sheridan in spring 1864, Stuart was killed. He was only thirty-one. Jeffry D. Wert provides new details about Stuart's childhood and youth, and he draws on letters between Stuart and his wife, Flora, to show us the man as he was: eager for glory, daring sometimes to the point of recklessness, but a devoted and loving husband and father. Stuart has long been regarded as the finest Confederate cavalryman and one of the best this country has ever produced. Wert shows how Stuart's friendship with Stonewall Jackson and his relationship with Lee were crucial; at the same time Stuart's relationships with his subordinates were complicated and sometimes troubled. Cavalryman of the Lost Cause is a riveting biography of a towering figure of the Civil War, a fascinating and colorful work by one of our finest Civil War historians.

Stonewall Jackson: A Biography


Donald A. Davis - 2007
    Lee, Stonewall Jackson assumed his nickname during the Battle of Bull Run in the Civil War. It is said that The Army of Northern Virginia never fully recovered from the loss of Stonewall's leadership when he was accidentally shot by one of his own men and died in 1863. Davis highlights Stonewall Jackson as a general who emphasized the importance of reliable information and early preparedness (he so believed in information that he had a personal mapmaker with him at all times) and details Jackson's many lessons in strategy and leadership.

A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War


Williamson Murray - 2016
    It combined the projection of military might across a continent on a scale never before seen with an unprecedented mass mobilization of peoples. Yet despite the revolutionizing aspects of the Civil War, its leaders faced the same uncertainties and vagaries of chance that have vexed combatants since the days of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. "A Savage War" sheds critical new light on this defining chapter in military history.In a masterful narrative that propels readers from the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox, Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh bring every aspect of the battlefield vividly to life. They show how this new way of waging war was made possible by the powerful historical forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, yet how the war was far from being simply a story of the triumph of superior machines. Despite the Union's material superiority, a Union victory remained in doubt for most of the war. Murray and Hsieh paint indelible portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and other major figures whose leadership, judgment, and personal character played such decisive roles in the fate of a nation. They also examine how the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the other major armies developed entirely different cultures that influenced the war's outcome.A military history of breathtaking sweep and scope, "A Savage War" reveals how the Civil War ushered in the age of modern warfare.

The American Heritage New History of the Civil War


Bruce Catton - 2001
    Fascinating sidebars and contemporary documents tells the story of the war in the voices of those who experienced it. The interactive CD-ROM features a multimedia Civil War strategy game. 800+ photos, many in color. 3-D maps. Printed endpapers. Full-cloth case.

Last of the Blue and Gray: Old Men, Stolen Glory and the Mystery that Outlived the Civil War


Richard A. Serrano - 2013
    Albert Woolson, 109 years old, slipped in and out of a coma at a Duluth, Minnesota, hospital, his memories as a Yankee drummer boy slowly dimming. Walter Williams, at 117 blind and deaf and bedridden in his daughter's home in Houston, Texas, no longer could tell of his time as a Confederate forage master. The last of the Blue and the Gray were drifting away; an era was ending. Unknown to the public, centennial officials, and the White House too, one of these men was indeed a veteran of that horrible conflict and one according to the best evidence nothing but a fraud. One was a soldier. The other had been living a great, big lie.

The Lincoln Assassination


John Butler Ford - 2015
    But there is far more to the story, including the bizarre scheme that Booth first concocted to kidnap Lincoln and trade him for Confederate soldiers held in Northern prisons. Here is the full story of the plot, the bumbling plotters that Booth recruited, Lincoln's lingering death, the manhunt for the assassin, and the trial of the conspirators. It is essential knowledge of a tragedy that shaped America for a century to come.

Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened The Mississippi


Michael B. Ballard - 2004
    The Union victory at Vicksburg was hailed with as much celebration in the North as the Gettysburg victory and Ballard makes a convincing case that it was equally important to the ultimate resolution of the conflict.

The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War


Donald Stoker - 2010
    In The Grand Design, Donald Stoker provides for the first time a comprehensive and often surprising account of strategy as it evolved between Fort Sumter and Appomattox. Reminding us that strategy is different from tactics (battlefield deployments) and operations (campaigns conducted in pursuit of a strategy), Stoker examines how Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis identified their political goals and worked with their generals to craft the military means to achieve them--or how they often failed to do so. Stoker shows that Davis, despite a West Point education and experience as Secretary of War, ultimately failed as a strategist by losing control of the political side of the war. Lincoln, in contrast, evolved a clear strategic vision, but he failed for years to make his generals implement it. And while Robert E. Lee was unerring in his ability to determine the Union's strategic heart--its center of gravity--he proved mistaken in his assessment of how to destroy it. Historians have often argued that the North's advantages in population and industry ensured certain victory. In The Grand Design, Stoker reasserts the centrality of the overarching plan on each side, arguing convincingly that it was strategy that determined the result of America's great national conflict.

Covered with Glory: The 26th North Carolina Infantry at Gettysburg


Rod Gragg - 2000
    In July 1863 the regiment's eight-hundred-plus troops--young men from North Carolina's mountains, farmlands, and hamlets--were thrust into the firestorm of Gettysburg, the greatest battle ever fought in North America. By the time the fighting ended, the 26th North Carolina had suffered what some authorities would calculate to be the highest casualties of any regiment in the Civil War.Following a bone-wearying march into Pennsylvania with the rest of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, the soldiers of the 26th found themselves in ferocious, almost face-to-face combat with some of the hardest-fighting troops in the Federal army--the heralded Iron Brigade. The bloody contest on McPherson's Ridge produced some of Gettysburg's fiercest fighting, and the troops involved--men from North Carolina, Michigan, and Indiana--established an enduring legacy of American fortitude and will.On Gettysburg's third day of battle, the 26th North Carolina was placed in the front ranks of Pickett's Charge. Following a massive artillery barrage, the tattered regiment was commanded to go the distance in what would prove to be the most famous assault of the war. At one point, as he watched the men of the 26th in battle, Brigadier General James J. Pettigrew dispatched a message to the regiment's commander: "Tell him his regiment haas covered itself with glory today."The story of the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg is an American saga of duty performed in the worst of warfare. It unfolds through the lives of key characters--the regiment'stwenty-one year old commander, Colonel Henry K. Burgwyn, Jr.; its second-in-command, twenty-six-year-old farmer-turned-lieutenant colonel John R. Lane; twenty-two-year-old Major John Jones, who had abandoned his college studies to join the army; and common soldiers like Private Jimmie Moore, a North Carolina mountain boy who had gone to war at the age of fifteen."Covered In Glory is an intensely personal narrative based on exhaustive research into the diaries, letters, memoirs, and official records of the men who struggled on the bloody field at Gettysburg. It is a powerful, moving account of American courage and sacrifice.