What are the best civil war books?

asked by Anonymous
336 contributors
30 solutions
  1. 57

    #1The Red Badge of Courage

    The Red Badge of Courage
    Praised by both Union and Confederate veterans as a very accurate representation of the Civil War, this 1895 book is written under a soldier's perspective. In it, he narrates the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the consequences this traumatic event had in his posterior life. 





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    Donna McDonald
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "This is a great fiction book that really captures the time period. It would be a good introduction to the Civil War."
  2. 51

    #2The Killer Angels (Civil War Trilogy)

    The Killer Angels (Civil War Trilogy)
    This historical novel is a recreation of the Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest four days in the American Civil War where two opposing armies fought for a way of life. Rather than focusing on the battle, the book explains the lives the combatants left behind. 




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    Robert Marshall
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "the novel is very interesting liked it the content and the script and the flow of the events are very awesome "
  3. 46

    #3Mary Chesnut's Civil War

    Mary Chesnut's Civil War
    Written by a Southern aristocrat, this book narrates the American Civil War from a very personal point of view, recording the downfall and destruction of the Confederacy and the abolition of slavery. 
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    Sara Harvey
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "'ve been meaning to read this book for years! I knew it was a classic--basically the diary kept by a wealthy woman who grew up in antebellum South Carolina until her world was turned upside down by the outbreak of the Civil War. She loved to write anyhow, so Mary decided to write about the war and how it affected not just her life, but the lives of everyone around her. She spent years chronicling everything from family issues to her own opinions to the progress of the war--but somehow it is never boring. (Maybe because she WAS a born writer, after all!) It gives us insight into a long vanished world that I don't think we would be able to access in any other way. Mary was recording history AS IT HAPPENED--you cannot be bored or boring when writing about such momentous events, and Mary never was. A fascinating, INSIDE look at one Southern woman's experiences before, during, and after the Civil War. This is history recorded live. I recommend it very highly!"
  1. 35

    #4Two Girls of Gettysburg

    Two Girls of Gettysburg

    Two Girls of Gettysburg is a dramatic historical novel written by Lisa Klein for pre-teens and young adults. It was first published in 2008. It is about cousins who are on either side of the Civil War. 

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    Ethan Williamson
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "Book is very cheap and can bought at amazon. Can be good fun to read"
  2. 28

    #5Pink and Say

    Pink and Say

    Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco is a fiction children's literature originally published in 1994. This novel was written and illustrated by Polacco and was released by Philomel Books. It follows the story of two American Civil war soldiers.

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    Albert Gomez
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "The books by Patricia Polacco are great for kids of any ages. These books are about two different American people that were in the civil war. So if you want your kid to be learning about these types of things then you should think about getting the books called Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco."
  3. 25

    #6Soldier's Heart

    Soldier's Heart

    Soldier's Heart is a coming-of-age, dramatic, action novel written by Newbery Honor winner Gary Paulsen. The book was first published in September 2000. It is about a 15-year-old boy learning the real horrors of the Civil War.

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    George Hall
    Written on April 5, 2018
    "This is about the Civil War but it is more historical fiction than history. I am looking for a nice single volume Civil War history book and this is not at all what I need."
  4. 24

    #7The Widow of the South

    The Widow of the South
    This book, based on a true story, narrates how a plantation became an army hospital during the Civil War. Many wounded soldiers who seek healing arrive there, where Carrie, the owner of the land, meets them and gives them shelter. One of these soldiers, named Zachariah Cashwell, will make her feel something she already forgot it existed during those terrible war days. 





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    Jack Wells
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "Absolutely one of the best Civil war books on the market today hands down. It's all based on actual facts and it really gives the reader as serious in depth look at what life was like in that era of time. Anyone that likes history will absolutely enjoy this book and re visit it again."
  5. 13

    #8Gods and Generals (The Civil War Trilogy)

    Gods and Generals (The Civil War Trilogy)

    Renowned historical novelist Jeff Shaara's Gods and Generals is the first novel from his Civil War Trilogy. The novel served as a prequel to his father Michael Shaara's 1974 novel The Killer Angels. The book was published in the year 2000 by Birlinn. 

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    Jacob Perry
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "A wonderful look at history"
  6. 9

    #9Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    In this book, popular historian Doris Kearns Goodwin explains what made Abraham Lincoln such a political genius: the 16th president of the United States, had the ability to put himself in the place of other men, something that allowed him to lead the United States through the Civil War. 

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    Jason Duncan
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "As a young boy, I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. While the Daley administration grew, I was surprised at how the state's political landscape had changed so drastically since the days of Lincoln. The uninformed do not know that he was born in Kentucky, or that he was a Republican. Throughout my adulthood, I was deeply entrenched in the Republican party. There was a time when the Republican platform was resolute in financial conservatism and social enlightenment. Goodwin does a superb job of showing us that we are not wrong when we long for the "good ole days". Just as Lincoln was denigrated, so was Obama. The goosebumps she generates, compels us to be better, provokes us to renew our faith in the Republic and rather than party."
  7. 8

    #10Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

    Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
    The Pulitzer-prize winning Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson is a 900-page narrative about the American Civil War. It encapsulates the woes of a divided society within two decades of conflict.

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    Ananya Shah
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "an excellent, well researched, and in-depth look at the U.S. Civil war. The book is particularly excellent in its detailed and fascinating look at the political buildup to the war. A very good and in depth description of the Civil War Era. It could qualify as one of the best due to it's thorough discussion of the political build up to the Civil war. There are a few minor problems, for instance the book states that Grant was forced to leave the antebellum army because of drinking, which is not supported by the evidence . Grant had a drinking problem, but he was not "forced" to resign. So it is interpretive in some respects. "
  8. 5

    #11Salvador

    Salvador

    Salvador is a book of an essay which centers on the height of the civil war in El Salvador that took place between 1979 and 1992, wherein it deconstructs the assumption people know about the war in El Salvador is all about.

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    Emma Baker
    Written on April 6, 2018
    "I've always been a big history buff and love reading about the civil war in particular. I came across this book, "Salvador", and decided to give it a shot. From the first page, I was hooked. It breaks down a lot of misconceptions about the civil war in El Salavador and really opened my eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about the civil war."
  9. 4

    #12Retreat from Gettysburg

    Retreat from Gettysburg

    Retreat from Gettysburg is a dramatic but action-packed novel for pre-teens authored by Kathleen Ernst. It is set on the days after the Confederate Army lost at Gettysburg.The book contains actual photos of the time period.

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    Billy Stanley
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "I don't know this book or author, but it is very much what I want to see for this search criteria. There is only one user review, but it is very positive. So, while there are many books on the Civil War, this could be a potentially good choice among them, but I'd love to see more opinions before I consider it."
  10. 1

    #13The Girls of Gettysburg

    The Girls of Gettysburg

    The Girls of Gettysburg is an adventure and coming-of-age novel for pre-teens and teens written by Bobbi Miller. It is set in the peak of the Civil War and revolves around three girls who joined the war effort for various reasons.

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    Christina Han
    Written on April 5, 2018
    "This is an interesting coming-of-age novel for teens about the girls during the Civil War. Informative about what was going on during that period of time. "
  11. 0

    #14Grant Rises in the West

    Grant Rises in the West
    Grant Rises in the West: From Iuka to Vicksburg, 1862-1863 is a non-fiction history book written by Kenneth P. Williams. This book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in1997 by Bison Books. 
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    Donna Wood
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "A well reviewed book about the civil war. Exactly what the question here wanted, perfect fit. "
  12. 0

    #15Pemberton

    Pemberton

    Pemberton: The General Who Lost Vicksburg is a non-fiction history book written by Michael B. Ballard. This book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in 1991 by University Press of Mississippi. 

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    Jerry George
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "Pemberton is a historically accurate book about the Civil War. I gave it to a friend of mine who does Civil War Reenacting and he says it's pretty accurate. It's very interesting. I'm a big fan of everything about the Civil War, and I loved reading this book. It gave me a lot of insight on what life was like at the time."
  13. 0

    #16Champion Hill

    Champion Hill
    Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg is a non-fiction history book written by Timothy B. Smith. This book is first published in 2004 by Savas Beatie and won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Nonfiction. 
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    Henry Bradley
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Champion Hill is a wonderful civil war era book. Highly rated off the amazon website and a must read for any history fan."
  14. 0

    #17The Most Glorious Fourth

    The Most Glorious Fourth

    The Most Glorious Fourth: Vicksburg and Gettysburg, July 4th, 1863 is a non-fiction history book written by Duane P. Schultz. This book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in 2001 by W. W. Norton & Company. 

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    Shirley Mason
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "There is so much out there to read on the Civil War, but I would not pass this one up. It is really informative, but does not read like an encyclopedia. "
  15. 0

    #18Crescent City

    Crescent City

    Crescent City by Belva Plain tells a classic narration on a military history of the female protagonist during the Civil War. This book is about loyalties and forbidden love.

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    Jack Wells
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I love this story. You can really feel the nostalgia and time period as you read along. I felt like I was in New Orleans during the civil war."
  16. 0

    #19Ghost Cadet

    Ghost Cadet

    Ghost Cadet is a young adult historical fiction book written by Elaine Marie Alphin. This Civil War fiction novel is first published in 1991 by Scholastic Paperbacks.

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    Gerald Hudson
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Really intersting civil war book that I just couldn't but down."
  17. 0

    #20A Short History of Reconstruction

    A Short History of Reconstruction

    A Short History of Reconstruction is a nonfiction history book written by Eric Foner which is the conclusive study of the aftermath of the Civil War. This has won awards such as the Bancroft Prize, Avery O. Craven Prize and more. 

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    Philip Gardner
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "A Short History of Reconstruction is a wonderful book about what happened after the civil war was over and kind of what we had to do to move past it."
  18. 0

    #21Covered with Glory

    Covered with Glory
    Covered with Glory: The 26th North Carolina Infantry at the Battle of Gettysburg is a history book written by Rod Gragg. It was released in paperback in 2010. It is about the 26th North Carolina Infantry's impact in Gettysburg.
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    Parakram Mehra
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This is a historical book, but it reads like a novel. Very interesting and worth reading."
  19. 0

    #22A Blaze of Glory (The Civil War in the West)

    A Blaze of Glory (The Civil War in the West)

    New York Times Bestselling author Jeff Shaara's A Blaze of Glory is the first novel in a trilogy featuring the re-creation of the Civil War in the 1860s. The novel was published on May 29th, 2012 by Ballantine Books.

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    Joseph Stewart
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "Jeff Shaara’s historical fiction novels are well researched and put the reader into the mind of both the leaders and the men on the ground during the key events of the wars.Another great book in Mr. Shaara's trilogy of the Civil War. Best civil war book works for this one."
  20. 0

    #23The Smoke at Dawn (The Civil War in the West)

    The Smoke at Dawn (The Civil War in the West)
    Another masterpiece from renowned historical novelist, Jeff Shaara is New York Times Bestseller, The Smoke at Dawn. This novel is the last from Shaara's series of stories about the Civil War in the West. The novel was published on June 3rd, 2014 by Ballantine Books.
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    Marilyn Schneider
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "If you need a good civil war book then I would get The Smoke at Dawn. The author, Jeff Shaara, is a master at writing these historical books. "
  21. 0

    #24Spain in Our Hearts

    Spain in Our Hearts
    Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939 is a non-fiction book written by Adam Hochschild which explains the different opinions engaged in the fight for Republican Spain.
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    Nicole Fox
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "For any history buff, this is a must read. I was really intrigued with how well the author told the story about the Civil War. The characters are very memorable and I felt the novel really caught what was going on in that time period. There were things going on at home and at the front that no novel can really capture it all until now. "
  22. 0

    #25A Chain of Thunder (The Civil War in the West)

    A Chain of Thunder (The Civil War in the West)
    Jeff Shaara's A Chain of Thunder, a New York Times Bestseller, is a continuation of the author's books on the Civil War in the West. The book was published on May 21st, 2013 by Ballantine Books.
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    George Han
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "Shaara has a distinct style of writing about historical battles. His works are detailed and intelligent. Well-told story."
  23. 0

    #26Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi

    Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi
    Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi is a non-fiction history book written by Michael B. Ballard. This book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in 2004 by University of North Carolina Press. 
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    Phillip Davidson
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "I love historical novels and the stories that they reveal. Unfortunately I don't really like a ton of Civil War stories they all seem to be generic and this is no exception."
  24. 0

    #27Triumph and Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign

    Triumph and Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign
    Triumph and Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign is a non-fiction history book written by Terrence J. Winschel. This book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in 1999 by Casemate Publishers.
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    Charles Webb
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "I've always been quite interested in the Civil War period and Triumph and Defeat was a thoroughly entertaining account by all means. The Vicksburg campaign is described in such a fashion that I really felt like I was there reliving the events as they happened. I absolutely have been stunned by the historical accuracy presented here."
  25. 0

    #28Vicksburg (Voices of the Civil War)

    Vicksburg (Voices of the Civil War)

    Vicksburg (Voices of the Civil War) is a non-fiction history book written by Time-Life Books. This reference book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in 1997 by Time-Life Books.

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    Amber Ren
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "Vicksburg (Voices of the Civil War) gives a detailed account of events that transpired during the Civil War. I would not call it the best. It is no different than every other book related to the battle of Vicksburg. Same information just presented somewhat differently. "
  26. 0

    #29Grant's Lieutenants

    Grant's Lieutenants

    Grant's Lieutenants: From Cairo to Vicksburg is a non-fiction history book written by Steven E. Woodworth. This book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in2001 by University Press of Kansas. 

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    Tammy Thomas
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "This book is great for all history lovers! This non-fiction book is easy to read and understand. I found it really interesting!"
  27. 0

    #30Vicksburg Is the Key

    Vicksburg Is the Key
    Vicksburg Is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River is a non-fiction history book written by William L. Shea and Terrence J. Winschel. This book is about the Americal civil war and it is first published in 2003 by Bison Books. 
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Summary

Best What are the best civil war books
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Red Badge of CourageBooks 57 Paid
2The Killer Angels (Civil War Trilogy)Books 51 Paid
3Mary Chesnut's Civil WarBooks 46 Paid
4Two Girls of GettysburgBooks 35 Paid
5Pink and SayBooks 28 Paid
6Soldier's HeartBooks 25 Paid
7The Widow of the SouthBooks 24 Paid
8Gods and Generals (The Civil War Trilogy)Books 13 Paid
9Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnBooks 9 Paid
10Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War EraBooks 8 Paid
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