Top 200 Civil War Books & Articles

The sheer volume of writings published on the Civil War dwarfs every other category of writing on American history, so that any effort to offer a working bibliography of Civil War books is hamstrung by the awesome bulk of thing to be listed, and the speed with which the compilation is rendered obsolete by fresh waves of Civil War books. On the other hand, the forest of Civil War books is so thick and extensive that everyone needs at least some descriptive map of the terrain. So, in that very limited spirit, this brief bibliography of the "top two hundred" offers the CWES 'best picks' in nine general categories.


1. Richard Beringer, et al, Why the South Lost the Civil War (1986)
2. Gabor S. Boritt, ed., Why the Confederacy Lost (1992)
3. David Donald, ed.. Why the North Won the Civil War (1960)
4. David J. Eicher, The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War (2001)
5. Shelby Foote, The Civil War (3 vols. 1958-74)
6. Michael Fellman, Lesley Gordon & Daniel E. Sutherland, This Terrible War: The Civil War and Its Aftermath (2005)
7. Herman S. Hattaway and Archer Jones, How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War (1983)
8. James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Era of the American Civil War (1988)
9. Allan Nevins, The War for the Union (4 vols., 1947-1971)
10. Philip S. Paludan, A People's Contest: The Union and Civil War (1988)
11. Peter J. Parish, The American Civil War (1975)
12. Russell F. Weigley, A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865 (2000)

13. Jean H. Baker, Affairs of Party: The Political Culture of the Northern Democrats in the Mid-Nineteenth Century (1983)
14. Dale Baum, The Civil War Party System: The Case of Massachusetts, 1848-1876 (1984)
15. Herman Belz, Abraham Lincoln, Constitutionalism, and Equal Rights in the Civil War Era (1998)
16. Herman Belz, A New Birth of Freedom: The Republican Party and Freedmen's Rights, 1861-1866 (1976, 2000)
17. William Blair & William Pencak, eds., Pennsylvania's Civil War (2001)
18. Frederick J Blue, Salmon P. Chase : A Life in Politics (1987)
19. Allan G. Bogue, The Congressman's Civil War (1989)
20. Allan G. Bogue, The Earnest Men: Republicans of the Civil War Senate (1981)
21. Gabor S. Boritt, ed., Lincoln the War President (1992)
22. Richard J. Carwardine, Lincoln (2003)
23. William C. Davis, Lincoln's Men: How President Lincoln Became Father to an Army and a Nation (1999)
24. David H. Donald, Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man (1970)
25. David H. Donald, Lincoln (1995)
26. Frank Freidel, ed., Union Pamphlets of the Civil War (2 vols., 1967)
27. William E. Gillette, Jersey Blue: Civil War Politics in New Jersey, 1854-1865 (1995)
28. Mark E. Steiner, An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln (2006)
29. William Harris, With Charity For All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (1997)
30. James M. McPherson, Abraham Lincoln and the Last Best Hope of Earth (1996)
31. E.S. Miers, ed., Lincoln Day-by-Day: A Chronology (1991)
32. Mark E. Neely, The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North (2002)
33. Mark E. Neely, The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (1991)
34. Phillip S. Paludan, The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (1994)
35. James A. Rawley, The Politics of Union: Northern Politics During the Civil War (1974)
36. Lex Renda, Running on the Record: Civil War-Era Politics in New Hampshire (1992)
37. Joel H. Silbey, A Respectable Minority: the Democratic Party in the Civil War Era (1977)
38. Bruce Tap, Over Lincoln's Shoulder: The Committee on the Conduct of the War (1998)
39. John M. Taylor, William Henry Seward: Lincoln's Right-hand Man (1991)
40. Hans L. Trefousse, The Radical Republicans: Lincoln's Vanguard for Racial Justice (1968)
41. Glyndon G. Van Deusen, William Henry Seward (1967)
42. Michael Vorenberg, Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment and the Abolition of Slavery (2001)
43. David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (2006)
44. William F. Zornow, Lincoln and the Party Divided (1954)
45. Mark R. Wilson, The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861-1862 (2006)
46. Michael F. Holt, "Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Union" in Abraham Lincoln and the American Political Tradition, ed John L. Thomas (1986)
47. T. Harry Williams, "Abraham Lincoln-Principle and Pragmatism in Politics: A Review Article" Mississippi Valley Historical Review 40 (1953)
48. Glenn M. Linden, "Radicals' and Economic Policies: The Senate, 1861-1873" Journal of Southern History 32 (May 1966)
49. Adam I. P. Smith, "Partisan Politics and the Public Sphere: The Civil War North", American Nineteenth Century History 2 (2001)
50. Edward L. Gambill, "Who Were the Senate Radicals?" Civil War History 11 (September 1965)


51. Thomas B. Alexander and Richard Beringer, The Anatomy of the Confederate Congress: A Study of the Influences of Member Characteristics on Legislative Voting Behavior, 1861-1865 (1972)
52. Stephen V. Ash, When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861-1865 (1995)
53. Douglas F. Ball, Financial Failure and Confederate Defeat (1991)
54. Michael B. Ballard, A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy (1997)
55. William Blair, Virginia's Private War: Feeding Body and Soul in the Confederacy, 1861-1865 (1998)
56. James Brewer, The Confederate Negro: Virginia's Craftsmen and Military Laborers, 1861-1865 (1969)
57. Martin Crawford, Ashe County's Civil War: Community and Society in the Appalachian South (2001)
58. Clement Eaton, A History of the Southern Confederacy (1954)
59. Paul D. Escott, After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism (1978)
60. Drew Gilpin Faust, Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (1996)
61. Gary W. Gallagher, The Confederate War (1997)
62. Gary W. Gallagher, Lee and His Army in Confederate History (2001)
63. Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 (1995)
64. John C. Inscoe and Gordon B. McKinney, The Heart of Confederate Appalachia; Western North Carolina in the Civil War (2000)
65. Mark A. Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (2006)
66. Paul D. Escott, Military Necessity: Civil-Military Relations in the Confederacy (2006)
67. Ervin L. Jordan, Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (1995)
68. Raimondo Luraghi, The Southern Navy: The Confederate Navy and the American Civil War (1995)
69. Larry E. Nelson, Bullets, Ballots and Rhetoric: Confederate Policy for the United States Presidential Contest of 1864 (1980)
70. George C. Rable, The Confederate Republic: A Revolt Against Politics (1994)
71. George C. Rable, Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism (1989)
72. Daniel E. Sutherland, Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community, 1861-1865 (1998)
73. Emory M. Thomas, The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience (1971)
74. Emory M. Thomas, The Confederate Nation, 1861-1865 (1979)
75. Michael J. O'Brien, Conjectures of Order: Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860, 2 vols (2004)
76. Brian Steel Wills, The War Hits Home: The Civil War in Southeastern Virginia (2002)
77. Stephen R. Wise, Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War (1988)
78. Steven E. Woodworth, Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West (1990)
79. Drew Gilpin Faust, "Altars of Sacrifice: Confederate Women and the Narratives of War," Journal of American History 76 (March 1990)
80. Eugene Genovese & Elizabeth Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders' Worldview (2005)
81. Ludwell H. Johnson, "Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln as War Presidents: Nothing Succeeds Like Success" Civil War History 27 (March 1981)

82. Michael C. C. Adams, Our Masters the Rebels: A Speculation on Union Military Failures in the East, 1861-1865 (1978)
83. Russell Beatie, Army of the Potomac: McClellan Takes Command, November 1861-February 1862 (2006)
84. Thomas L. Connelly & Archer Jones, The Politics of Command: Factions and Ideas in Confederate Strategy (1998)
85. Richard N. Current, Lincoln's Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy (1992)
86. Michael Fellman, Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War (1990)
87. William B. Feis, Grant's Secret Service: The Intelligence War from Belmont to Appomattox (2002)
88. Edwin C. Fishel, The Secret War for the Union: The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War (1996)
89. Ethan S. Rafuse, McClellan's War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union (2005)
90. Paddy Griffith, Battle Tactics of the Civil War (1989)
91. Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 (1995)
92. Edward Hagerman, The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare (1988)
93. Joseph L. Harsh, Confederate Tide Rising: Robert E. Lee and the Making of Southern Strategy, 1861-1862 (1998)
94. Richard M. McMurry, Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History (1989)
95. Grady McWhiney & Perry D. Jamieson, Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage (1984)
96. Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans (1993)
97. George E. Turner, Victory Rode the Rails: The Strategic Place of the Railroads in the Civil War (1992)
98. T. Harry Williams, Lincoln and His Generals (1952)
99. Daniel E. Sutherland, ed., Guerillas, Unionists and Violence on the Confederate Home Front (1999)
100. Mark E. Neely, "Was the Civil War a Total War?" Civil War History 37 (1991)
101. Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones, "Lincoln as Military Strategist," Civil War History 26 (December 1980)

102. Russel H. Beatie, Army of the Potomac: Birth of Command, November 1860-September 1861 (2002)
103. Larry J. Daniel, Days of Glory: The Army of the Cumberland, 1861-1865 (2004)
104. Dudley Taylor Cornish, The Sable Arm: Negro Troops in the Union Army (1956, 1966)
105. Joseph Allen Frank, With Ballot and Bayonet: The Political Socialisation of American Civil War Soldiers (1998)
106. Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers (1990)
107. Earl J. Hess, The Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combat (1997)
108. James G. Hollandsworth, The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience during the Civil War (1995)
109. Gerald Linderman, Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War (1987)
110. Thomas P. Lowry, The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War (1997)
111. James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (1997)
112. Reid Mitchell, The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home (1993)
113. Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers: The Expectations and their Experiences (1988)
114. Brent Nosworthy, The Bloody Crucible of War: Fighting Methods and Combat Experience of the Civil War (2003)
115. J. Tracy Power, Lee's Miserables Life in the Army of Northern Virginia from the Wilderness to Appomattox (1998)
116. Steven J. Ramold, Slaves, Sailors, Citizens: African-Americans in the Union Navy (2002)
117. James I. Robertson, Soldiers Blue and Gray (1988)
118. Kent Masterson Brown, Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign (2005)
119. Bell I. Wiley, The Life of Billy Yank (1952)
120. Bell I. Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb (1943)
121. Noah Andre Trudeau, Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865 (1999)
122. Ira M. Rutkow, Bleeding Blue and Gray: The Untold Story of Civil War Medicine (2005)
123. Steven E. Woodworth, While God is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers (2001)
124. Stephen R. Taafe, Commanding the Army of the Potomac (2006)
125. Drew Gilpin Faust, "Christian Soldiers: The Meaning of Revivalism in the Confederate Army", Journal of Southern History 53 (1987)

126. Richard Franklin Bensel, Yankee Leviathan: the Origins of Central State Authority in America, 1859-1877 (1990)
127. Joan Cashin, ed., The War Was You and Me: Civilians in the American Civil War (2003)
128. David B. Chesebrough, God Ordained This War: Sermons on the Sectional Crisis, 1830-1865 (1991)
129. Paul A. Cimbala and Randall Miller, eds., Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front: Wartime Experiences, Postwar Adjustments (2002)
130. Paul A. Cimbala and Randall Miller, eds., An Uncommon Time: The Civil War and the Northern Home Front (2002)
131. Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber, ed., Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War (1992)
132. Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865 (2001)
133. J. Matthew Gallman, The North Fights the Civil War: the Home Front (1994)
134. Paul Wallace Gates, Agriculture and the Civil War (1965)
135. James W. Geary, We Need Men: The Union Draft in the Civil War (1991)
136. Earl J. Hess, Liberty, Virtue and Progress: Northerners and Their War for the Union (1989)
137. Harold M. Hyman, A More Perfect Union: The Impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on the Constitution (1973)
138. Frank L. Klement, The Copperheads in the Middle West (1960)
139. Ella Lonn, Desertion During the Civil War (1928)
140. James Marten, The Children's Civil War (1998)
141. Joan Cashin, First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis's Civil War (2006)
142. Eugene C. Murdock, One Million Men: The Civil War Draft in the North (1971)
143. Grace Palladino, Another Civil War: Labor, Capital and the State in the Anthracite Regions of Pennsylvania, 1840-1868 (1988)
144. Philip Paludan, "A People's Contest": The Union and Civil War, 1861-1865 (1988)
145. Bert W. Rein, An Analysis and Critique of the Union Financing of the Civil War (1962)
146. Heather Cox Richardson, The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policy during the Civil War (1997)
147. Anne C. Rose, Victorian America and the Civil War (1992)
148. Maris A. Vinovskis, Towards a Social History of the American Civil War (1990)
149. William J. Rohrbaugh, "Who Fought for the North in the Civil War? Concord, Massachusetts, Enlistments," Journal of American History 73 (1986)
150. Maris A. Vinovskis, "Have Social Historians Lost the Civil War? Some Preliminary Demographic Speculations," Journal of American History 76 (1989)

151. Ira Berlin et al, Slaves No More: Three Essays on Emancipation and the Civil War (1992)
152. David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass' Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (1989)
153. James H. Brewer, The Confederate Negro: Virginia's Craftsmen and Military Laborers, 1861-1865 (1969)
154. LaWanda Cox, Lincoln and Black Freedom: A Study in Presidential Leadership (1981)
155. Eric Foner, Nothing But Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy (1983)
156. Noralee Frankel, Freedom's Women: Black Women and Families in Civil War Era Mississippi (1999)
157. Louis Gerteis, From Contraband to Freedmen: Federal Policy Toward Southern Blacks, 1861-1865 (1973)
158. Gabor S. Boritt, The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech Nobody Knows (2006)
159. Ervin L. Jordan, Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (1995)
160. Winthrop D. Jordan, Tumult and Silence at Second Creek: An Inquiry into a Civil War Slave Conspiracy (1993)
161. Leon F. Litwack, Been In the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (1979)
162. William S. McFeely, Frederick Douglass (1991)
163. James M. McPherson, The Negro's Civil War: How American Negroes Felt and Acted During the War for the Union (1965, 1991)
164. Clarence L. Mohr, On the Threshold of Freedom: Master and Slaves in Civil War Georgia (1986)
165. David Montgomery, Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862-1872 (1967)
166. Lynda J. Morgan, Emancipation in Virginia's Tobacco Belt, 1850-1870 (1992)
167. Willie Lee Rose, Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment (1964)
168. V. Jacques Voegli, Free But Not Equal: The Midwest and the Negro during the Civil War (1967)
169. Forrest Wood, Black Scare: The Racist Response to Emancipation and Reconstruction (1968)
170. Ira Berlin, "American Slavery in History and Memory," Journal of American History 90 (March 2004)
171. Eric Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction (2005)
172. Peter S. Field, "The Strange Career of Emerson and Race," American Nineteenth Century History 2 (Spring 2001)
173. Katharine Adams, "Freedom and Ballgowns: Elizabeth Keckley and the Work of Domesticity," Arizona Quarterly 57 (Winter 2001)

174. R.J.M. Blackett, Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War (2000)
175. Lynn M. Case and Warren F. Spencer, The United States and France: Civil War Diplomacy (1970)
176. David P. Crook, The North, the South and the Powers (1974)
177. Charles M. Hubbard, The Burden of Confederate Diplomacy (1998)
178. Brian Jenkins, Britain and the War for the Union (2 vols, 1974-1980)
179. Howard M. Jones, Union in Peril: The Crisis over British Intervention in the Civil War (1992)
180. Howard M. Jones, Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War (1999)
181. R.J.M. Blackett, "The Transatlantic Address to Lincoln: Birmingham and the American Civil War" American Nineteenth Century History 3 (Fall 2002)

182. A.J. Barker, The Vainglorious War, 1854-1856 (1970)
183. John Baynes, Morale: A Study of Men and Courage (1967)
184. John Bigelow, The Principles of Strategy Illustrated Mainly from American Campaigns (1891)
185. Eric Dorn Brose, The Kaiser's Army: The Politics of Military Technology in Germany During the Machine Age, 1870-1918 (2001)
186. Silas Casey, Infantry Tactics (1862)
187. Stig Forster and Jorg Nagler, eds. On the Road to Total War and the German Wars of Unification, 1861-1871 (1997)
188. G.F.R. Henderson, Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War (1898)
189. Richard Holmes, Acts of War: The Behavior of Men in Battle (1986)
190. Richard Holmes, Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket (2001)
191. Michael Howard, ed., The Theory and Practice of War (1975)
192. John Keegan, The Face of Battle (1976)
193. Francis J. Lippett, The Special Operations of War (1868)
194. Francis J. Lippett, A Treatise on the Tactical Use of the Three Arms (1865)
195. S.L.A. Marshall, Men Against Fire (1947)
196. Sir Frederick Maurice, War (1891)
197. Dennis Hart Mahan, A Complete Thesis on Field Fortifications (1836)
198. Bruce W. Menning, Bayonets Before Bullets: The Imperial Russian Army, 1861-1914 (1992)
199. H.L. Scott, Military Dictionary (1861)
200. Emory Upton, Infantry Tactics, Double and Single Rank (1874)