American Civil War



One of my greatest historical deficiencies is the American Civil War.

A blogger friend, Jillian, whose love of all things Margaret Mitchell and Gone with the Wind has generously given me guidance for a personal American Civil War Challenge. I took many of her recommendations and created a list of categories I hope to accomplish over the next two years. I will continue to add to the list of books and other media throughout the challenge as I discover new titles. Some of the books I will review and add the urls here.

Please comment below if you have favorite titles to add to this project!

Mansion House Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia; formerly Greens Mansion House Hotel


1. Novels set during the American Civil War, published within the last fifty years
March, Geraldine Brooks

2. Classic novels set during the American Civil War, published prior to the last sixty years
~Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
~The Long Roll, Mary Johnston

3. Classic novels set after the American Civil War in which the subject is a prominent feature, published prior to the last sixty years
~The Bostonians, Henry James

4. Nonfiction from the viewpoint of an enslaved American

5. Nonfiction/fiction by or about a white abolitionist
~Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe

6. Nonfiction/fiction about black troops in the war

7. Memoirs or biographies of an infantry Confederate soldiersoldiers

8. Memoirs or biographies of an infantry Union soldier
~All for the Union: The Civil War Diary and Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes, Robert Hunt Rhodes, Ed.

9. Classic memoirs and contemporary nonfiction about the white female experience during the war (home front, spies, female soldiers, nurses, etc).

10. Memoirs and biographies about males positioned high in the war: Lee, Grant, Lincoln  

11. Books about women connected to a males positioned high in the war
~Civil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent Grant, Carol Berkin

12. Books on Lincoln: biographies, speeches, Lincoln-Douglas Debate

13. Classic writers write about the American Civil War
~From Battlefields Rising: How The Civil War Transformed American Literature, Randall Fuller

14. Nonfiction overviews of the War
Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson

15. Nonfiction of specific events or topics of the War: medical, technological
~The War of the Aeronauts : A History of Ballooning during the Civil War, Charles M. Evans
~The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, Victoria E. Bynum

16. Nonfiction account of something resulting from the war: Reconstruction, transformation of culture/literature, Civil Rights, Great Migration
~The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson

17. Nonfiction accounts of specific battles


18. Non American fiction/nonfiction on any aspect of the American Civil War

19. Read, research or write something about my state (California) and what was experienced, understood, thought about regarding the Civil War
~The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War, Leonard L. Richards

Films and TV
~The Free State of Jones
~The Civil War, Ken Burns, PBS
~Cold Mountain


5 thoughts on “American Civil War

  1. Jillian

    Hi Laurie! I’m really excited you’re doing this project. I cannot WAIT for you to read Mitchell!!! But I agree that the McPherson title is a great place to start. I’m reading North and South by John Jakes right now. Recommended by my mother. It’s a family saga about two guys who befriend one another at West Point and then end up as opposing generals in the war. They’re best friends, but one is from the South, and the other is from the Noorth. 🙂 Anyway, I actually saw this page this morning when I checked out your review of The Bostonians (which just leapt to the top of my TBR pile.) I didn’t want to intrude by commenting, but this all looks EXCELLENT. I think your list will build as you explore. I’ll be following along. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember Jake’s books when I was a booksellers eons ago. They sold very well. Should have picked one up then….sigh…. 🙂

      I was so surprised by the Civil War content in The Bostonians. I think it could be argued that the book IS about that and its repercussions. Anyway….see, now I want to know more about Henry James and the Civil War, which I just looked up and there is stuff and why this whole thing will probably take me all my life to complete!! Ack….

      Liked by 1 person

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s