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 Post subject: Civil War Books...
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:57 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 1:01 pm
Posts: 280
Location: USA
Just wondering about everyone's favorite books on the Civil War.

Best authors?
Biographies?
Campaigns?
Battles?

And why?

Thanks!



Col Thompson
1/3/VI
AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:49 am
Posts: 391
Location: USA
Favorite author: Bruce Catton

Best "battle" book: "Conquering the Valley; Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic"

Best Whole-War History: Shelby Foote

Best Campaign Series: Gordon Rhea (1864 Overland Campaign)

Sincerely,
Brig Gen Dwight McBride
V Corps/AOP/USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:23 am 
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Posts: 951
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Hi,

I agree that the best author I have read, strictly based on the quality of his prose, was Catton. I think Shelby Foote uses words well also. And Ed Bearss.

For biographies, nothing beats Lee's Lieutenants, by Douglas Southall Freeman, if you can call it a biography. The best analysis of the rise and fall of the ANV I have ever read. A Battle from
the Start, by Brian Steel Wills, isn't the easiest read but is probably the most thorough biography of N B Forrest.

For campaigns, Coddington's The Gettysburg Campaign is still my all time favorite. Be sure to read the footnotes; they are a large part of the book. A wealth of detail.

For battles (or parts of battles) Pfanz's books on Gettysburg offer perhaps the best picture of Civil War tactical combat I have read. I also liked the Antietam book by Priest, although some have accused him of faulty references.



MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:45 pm
Posts: 817
Location: USA
I forget who the author is but the book was called Killer Angels about the battle at Gettysburg. Read it in 1993.

Respectfully,
Maj. Gen. Gery Bastiani
II Corps, 3rd Div. Tarheel Division
AotM CSA

"If there is a shell or bullet over there destined for us, it will find us" - General James Longstreet


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:51 pm 
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<i><blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">I forget who the author is but the book was called Killer Angels about the battle at Gettysburg. Read it in 1993.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote"></i>

That would be Michael Shaara, whose son wrote "Gods and Generals" and other books using his dad's formula. Killer Angels was my favorite ACW novel, most of which leave me cold. I first read it in 1975. A novel I read back in the 60's, A History of Rome Hanks, is another piece of Civil War fiction I enjoyed. Also Red Badge of Courage.

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:19 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Wagoner, Oklahoma
<b><b>I Rode With Stonewall</b></b>
by Henry Kyd Douglas

Personal narrative of Stonwall's staff member Kyd Douglas. Written by Douglas and published by his son in 1940.



Fld. Lt. Alvin Baker
1st Bde, 4th(Cav)Div III Corps
Army of Georgia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:07 pm 
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Posts: 131
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Steven Sears' Landscape Turned Red on the Battle of Sharpsburg was great, but my favorites are Shelby Foote and Gordon Rhea. And ooh, there is Cozzen's 2-volume set on Chickamauga and Stones River. Best novel is Killer Angels by far.

BG Ken 'Muddy' Jones
1/1/XXIII Army of Ohio
USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 7:34 am
Posts: 399
Location: Oriskany, NY USA
I agree totally with Sir Muddy. In addition, Cozzens also has 2 other fine works on Chattanooga and Corinth (& Iuka). O'Reilly's "The Fredericksburg Campaign" is another one I liked greatly.

Lt.General Dale Lastowicka
VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:48 pm 
Those are all great books everyone has mentioned. How about the Time Life 28 volume set published in 1985. Easy read with a lot of great photos, maps and eyewitness accounts.

Lt. Col. Paul Luskin
3rd Brig/3rd Div/ II Corps/ AotM


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:07 pm 
I just gotta say that the most entertaining volumes i have read is the 8 or 4 volumes of Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. This covers the ENTIRE war from the prewar to the last battles written by the men involved in the wars. This series was orginally conceived in 1883 by the editors of the Century Company. It it authored by the commanders and their subordinates from both the Confederacy and the Union who actually fought, planned or were eyewitnesses to the events they describe. I have went to the series so many times that my four volume set is now in need of replacement. It is available in most every library. I suggest that anyone who is interested go down and browse through it.
It is truly an awesome series of writings and a delight to read.

Art "Razorback" Ingram
3rd Brig/3rd Div/I Crps
AotM/CSA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:06 am 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Sir Muddy</i>
<br />Steven Sears' Landscape Turned Red on the Battle of Sharpsburg was great (...)<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Actually I found it a bit dull compared to his later books on Chancellorsville and Gettysburg (best read in succession). Like everyone else, he learned writing by doing.

Gen. Walter, USA
<i>The Blue Blitz</i>
3/2/VIII AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:35 pm
Posts: 192
Location: USA
Best non-fiction/biography on a individual I would say is James I. Robertson, Jr.'s book <u>Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, the</u><u> Legend</u>. Copyright 1997.

Maj Gen Boyd Denner,
2nd Division Commanding
II Corps
ANV
"God Bless the Alabamians" Gen. Robert E. Lee - The Wilderness 1864


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:34 am 
I am always in a minority that finds Shelby Foote's 3 volume history to be not so good, notably because of numerous historic errors that it contains. It might be good reading, but it certainly isn't <i><b>accurate </b></i>reading...

For my money I love anything by Gordon Rhea (1864 Overland Campaign), Cozzens is very good (there are three books - not two - dealing with Stones River through Chatanooga), and Wiley Sword's "The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville". I also agree that Sear's books on Chancellorsville and Gettysburg were much better than Landscape Turned Red, which I find near the middle of the pack in regards to books about the Anteitam Campaign. But his book about the Peninsula and Anteitam are certainly worth a read.

For first person memoirs it is hard not to enjoy "Company Aytch" by Sam Watkins of the 1st Tennessee.


Regards,

Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn
Interim CSA CoA
CSA Chief of Staff
3rd Bgde, 3rd Cav Div, II Corps, AoA

God Bless <><


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:11 am 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 7:23 am
Posts: 111
Location: USA
Hi,

For those who want primary references:

The Medical and Surgical History of the War of Rebellion

The War of Rebellion: A complilation of the Official Records
of the Union and Confederate Armies

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War
of Rebellion

Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies

And then there are the thousands of letters held privately and publicly.



Brig. Gen. Phil Driscoll
1st Brigade/1st Division/VCorps/AoP


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2001 7:57 am
Posts: 40
Location: Norway
Looks like all my favourite writers have already been mentioned here, but I will mention them again anyway, just in case..... [:D]

Pfanz's books on Gettysburg are some of the finest battle studies of the ACW - very detailed, and well written. But, I must also mention

Martin's book on the first day at Gettysburg. This is my favourite book on the first day of fighting at Gettysburg. Highly recommended!

And then there are Cozzens <i></i>four<i></i> battle studies: Stones' River, Chickamauga, Chattanoga, and Iuka/Corinth. All very good and detailed books!

Hennessy's books on the First and Second Battle of Manassas.

Wiley Sword's books on Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Franklin.

Castel's book on the Atlanta Campaign.

Sears's books on Chancellorsville and Gettysburg (I did not like the others).

Rhea's studies of the Overland Campaign.

Burton's book on the Peninsula Campaign.

And my personal favourite: O'Reilly's book on the Battle of Fredericksburg.

I have probably forgot many major works, but here are at least some to get you started [8D]

MajGen Atle Jenssen
CO 2nd Division
XXth Corps
Army of the Cumberland
USA


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