Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer

G. Moxley Sorrel - 1905
    He was even with Longstreet at the Battle of Wilderness when Longstreet was struck down by a bullet coming from their own men.As Longstreet’s right hand man through the war until 1864 Moxley Sorrel was put into contact with some of the most remarkable figures of the Confederate army, and they are all vividly portrayed within his memoirs.At Petersburg, during the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, he was wounded and feared mortally so, eventually he recovered but his military career ended here.The historian Douglas Southall Freeman wrote that Moxely Sorrel’s Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer contains “a hundred touches of humor and revealing strokes of swift characterisation.”Once the war ended Moxley Sorrel returned to the south where he entered business. His Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer was published in 1905. He died in 1901 in Roanoke, Virginia.

Recollections of a Private Soldier in the Army of the Potomac

Frank Wilkeson - 1896
     But what about the voices of the common soldier? Frank Wilkeson, when he wrote his account of the civil war, aimed to rectify this and reassert the importance of looking at the accounts of the men who carried the muskets, served the guns, and rode their saddles into the heat of battle. As he states in his preface, “The epauleted history has been largely inspired by vanity or jealousy, saving and excepting forever the immortal record”. Wilkeson and his fellow comrades who lived on the frontlines of the conflict had no need to rescue their reputations or assert their actions and thus their accounts provide a brilliant and unbiased alternative view of this bloody war. After lying about his age Frank Wilkeson was just sixteen when he joined the Union Army in 1864. Through the course of the next year he saw some of the ferocious battles of Grant’s Overland Campaign. Recollections of a Private Soldier in the Army of the Potomac is a wonderfully refreshing account of the American Civil War that takes the reader to the heart of what it would have been like to have served in the front ranks. “Wilkeson’s words have a robustness that remind us that colorful writing was in the American air, and contemporaries like Mark Twain didn’t come out of the blue (or the gray).” Robert Cowley, HistoryNet “deeply portrays the experience of the ordinary soldier on campaign and in battle.” Civil War Talk “[The memoir is] unlike most others by Civil War Veterans who tended to romanticize and sometimes glorify the experiences they went through . . . . His emphasis on the seamy, unheroic, horrific side of war is a healthy corrective to romanticism." James McPherson Frank Wilkeson was an American journalist, soldier, farmer and explorer. His memoir Recollections of a Private Soldier in the Army of the Potomac was first published in 1887 and he passed away in 1913.

Her Sunray in the Storm

Carol Colyer - 2019
    Her whole world and dreams are falling apart. She is broken-hearted, and cannot think of life with anyone else. When her parents insist on her getting married to a rich rancher in order to secure her future, will Abigail manage to find happiness in this man’s arms? When her thoughts get darker and darker how will an unexpected arrival brighten Abigail’s day? The only thing that allowed Edward Porter to survive the war was the thought of the girl he is in love with. However, this painful experience traumatized him for life. Now that he is finally free to go back home and ask Abigail in marriage, he feels ready to put everything behind and write a new chapter. To his misfortune, he will soon find out that Abigail is engaged to another man. Will he have the courage and strength to fight for her? Will he help her escape from her misery? Abigail and Edward would do anything to be back together. The circumstances though are far from ideal, and there are too many obstacles to overcome. What is the secret that will bring them closer? Is getting back together even an option or their fate has already been predetermined? "Her Sunray in the Storm" is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

Why They Fought: The Real Reason for the Civil War

David von Drehle - 2011
    What followed is the American epic, written in blue and gray and gore. So how is that 150 years later, we are still fighting over why the war was fought? Few historical questions stir up as much passionate confusion as that one—even though scholars consider it a settled question. In this ebook, veteran TIME writer, David Von Drehle explores process of forgetting, denying, and rediscovering the meaning of the Civil War.

The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy

William C. Davis - 1996
    And whilst widely-believed events pertaining to the victories and defeats of the South can be found widely throughout biographies, literature, TV and film, they are often far from accurate, or omit the truth altogether. One such gap between fact and fiction can be exemplified in the perception of the Confederacy’s president, Jefferson Davis. Many of his personal correspondences offer us an insight into the fundamental issues he suffered whilst forging relationships with his generals, for which the South’s move for independence undoubtedly suffered. Similarly, a cold, hard look at Stonewall Jackson soon exposes him as far less than the demigod that others would have us believe. Also misunderstood was the extent of the war west of the Appalachians. Largely ignored by historians until recently, the lack of appreciation for its scale does not make the level of its destruction any less real. William C. Davis’ collection of essays, written over twenty years, unveils the truth from underneath the façade of the history books and explores the impact of dispelling those myths on our understanding of the entire Confederate story. Praise for William C. Davis “A wonderful book, written by a man with full command of, and great love for, his subject. Davis grasps the war in its totality, decently and respectfully. He does not so much demolish myths as clarify and nuance them.” —Washington Times “Celebrated author William C. Davis here offers us stimulating essays full of provocative opinions. Will provoke plenty of healthy debate.” —Blue & Gray Magazine “A fine analysis of the way in which myth-making can distort history.” — Kirkus Reviews William C. Davis is an American historian and former Professor of History who specialises in the Civil War and Southern States. A prolific writer, he has written or edited more than forty works on the subject and is four-time winner of the Jefferson Davis Award.

Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction

Michael Perman - 1991
    This best-selling title, designed to be either the primary anthology or textbook for the course, covers the Civil War's entire chronological span with a series of documents and essays.

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.

“The Devil’s to Pay”: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour.

Eric J. Wittenberg - 2014
    Gen. John Buford and his First Cavalry Division troops, there is not a single book-length study devoted entirely to the critical delaying actions waged by Buford and his dismounted troopers and his horse artillerists on the morning of July 1, 1863. Award-winning Civil War historian Eric J. Wittenberg rectifies this glaring oversight with The Devil s to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour.This comprehensive tactical study examines the role Buford and his horse soldiers played from June 29 through July 2, 1863, including the important actions that saved the shattered remnants of the First and Eleventh Corps. Wittenberg relies upon scores of rare primary sources, including many that have never before been used, to paint a detailed picture of the critical role the quiet and modest cavalryman known to his men as Honest John or Old Steadfast played at Gettysburg. The Devil s to Pay also includes a detailed walking and driving tour of pertinent sites, complete with GPS coordinates. Three appendices address the nature of Buford s defense at Gettysburg, whether his troopers were armed with repeating weapons, and whether a feint by his men late in the day caused the Confederate infantry to form squares (a Napoleonic defensive tactic). Finally, 17 maps by Gettysburg cartographer Phil Laino, together with more than 80 images, several published for the first time, round out this study. The Devil s to Pay is a must-have for Gettysburg enthusiasts."

The Battle of Gettysburg

Craig L. Symonds - 2017
    Lee's retreat through Pennsylvania and escape across the Potomac. Award-winning historian Craig L. Symonds recounts the events of three hot, brutal days in July when Americans struggled battled one another across a dozen square miles of rolling Pennsylvania countryside. Symonds details the military strategy of both sides, including the Confederate decision to invade the North, the cat-and-mouse game in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and, finally, the terrible clash of arms on the hills and fields of Gettysburg. Firsthand accounts humanize generals and individual soldiers of the Blue and Gray who fought for their lives, their homes, and their convictions. This is the story of Gettysburg as it has never been told before.

None Died in Vain: The Saga of the American Civil War

Robert Leckie - 1990
    A fast-paced, compulsively readable one-volume narrative of the American Civil War, by the author of the acclaimed saga of World War II, "Delivered from Evil."

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.

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.

Madness Rules the Hour: Charleston, 1860 and the Mania for War

Paul Starobin - 2017
    No city was more fervently attached to slavery, and no city was seen by the North as a greater threat to the bonds barely holding together the Union. And so, with Abraham Lincoln's election looming, Charleston's leaders faced a climactic decision: they could submit to abolition--or they could drive South Carolina out of the Union and hope that the rest of the South would follow.In Madness Rules the Hour, Paul Starobin tells the story of how Charleston succumbed to a fever for war and charts the contagion's relentless progress and bizarre turns. In doing so, he examines the wily propagandists, the ambitious politicians, the gentlemen merchants and their wives and daughters, the compliant pastors, and the white workingmen who waged a violent and exuberant revolution in the name of slavery and Southern independence. They devoured the Mercury, the incendiary newspaper run by a fanatical father and son; made holy the deceased John C. Calhoun; and adopted "Le Marseillaise" as a rebellious anthem. Madness Rules the Hour is a portrait of a culture in crisis and an insightful investigation into the folly that fractured the Union and started the Civil War.

Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War

Elizabeth R. Varon - 2013
    But as Elizabeth Varon reveals in this vividly narrated history, this rosy image conceals a seething debate over precisely what the surrender meant and what kind of nation would emerge from war. The combatants in that debate included the iconic Lee and Grant, but they also included a cast of characters previously overlooked, who brought their own understanding of the war's causes, consequences, and meaning. In Appomattox, Varon deftly captures the events swirling around that well remembered-but not well understood-moment when the Civil War ended. She expertly depicts the final battles in Virginia, when Grant's troops surrounded Lee's half-starved army, the meeting of the generals at the McLean House, and the shocked reaction as news of the surrender spread like an electric charge throughout the nation. But as Varon shows, the ink had hardly dried before both sides launched a bitter debate over the meaning of the war. For Grant, and for most in the North, the Union victory was one of right over wrong, a vindication of free society; for many African Americans, the surrender marked the dawn of freedom itself. Lee, in contrast, believed that the Union victory was one of might over right: the vast impersonal Northern war machine had worn down a valorous and unbowed South. Lee was committed to peace, but committed, too, to the restoration of the South's political power within the Union and the perpetuation of white supremacy. Lee's vision of the war resonated broadly among Confederates and conservative northerners, and inspired Southern resistance to reconstruction. Did America's best days lie in the past or in the future? For Lee, it was the past, the era of the founding generation. For Grant, it was the future, represented by Northern moral and material progress. They held, in the end, two opposite views of the direction of the country-and of the meaning of the war that had changed that country forever.

Bloody Spring: Forty Days that Sealed the Confederacy's Fate

Joseph Wheelan - 2014
    When it was over, the Civil War's tide had turned.In the spring of 1864, Virginia remained unbroken, its armies having repelled Northern armies for more than two years. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had defeated the campaigns of four Union generals, and Lee's veterans were confident they could crush the Union offensive this spring, too. But their adversary in 1864 was a different kind of Union commander—Ulysses S. Grant. The new Union general-in-chief had never lost a major battle while leading armies in the West. A quiet, rumpled man of simple tastes and a bulldog's determination, Grant would lead the Army of the Potomac in its quest to destroy Lee's army.During six weeks in May and June 1864, Grant's army campaigned as no Union army ever had. During nearly continual combat operations, the Army of the Potomac battered its way through Virginia, skirting Richmond and crossing the James River on one of the longest pontoon bridges ever built. No campaign in North American history was as bloody as the Overland Campaign. When it ended outside Petersburg, more than 100,000 men had been killed, wounded, or captured on battlefields in the Wilderness, near Spotsylvania Court House, and at Cold Harbor. Although Grant's casualties were nearly twice Lee's, the Union could replace its losses. The Confederacy could not.Lee's army continued to fight brilliant defensive battles, but it never mounted another major offensive. Grant's spring 1864 campaign had tipped the scales permanently in the Union's favor. The war's denouement came less than a year later with Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.