Reading List

Recommended Civil War Reading and Resources

Suggested by Fred Kiger ’74

Battles and Leaders of the Civil War edited by Ned Bradford 
Great primary source. Be with some discretion as these authors have a rather interesting and invested perspective.

Any of the works by Bruce Catton
Many works are out there. He writes of history as an ongoing element of drama and intrigue. Does write from a Northern perspective.

Civil War Times Illustrated
Magazine dedicated to the conflict. There are issues specifically dealing with the above battles and siege. Highly detailed. If you want lots of tactics and specifics, these editions will help “set the table.”

The Civil War: A Narrative  3 Volumes by Shelby Foote
An entire adult life’s work. This is a standard; a classic from the UNC alumnus. Written to read as a novel, Foote’s work is greatly detailed and involved. If you have the time, these are a must for an overall look or simply read only of the battlefields that we will visit. Very anecdotal.

Antietam and Gettysburg by William Frassanito
Excellent look at these places of “hallowed ground” through the eyes of this photographic historian. A must before going to these sites. Wonderful preparation for your mind and mind’s eye.

Confederate Miliary History, Volume IV: North Carolina
by D.H. Hill Jr. 
Primary source written through the eyes of one of North Carolina’s most famous Civil War officers. Once again, read with discretion. An interesting account of Tar Heel efforts in the conflict.

The Civil War Battlefield Guide by Frances H. Kennedy 
Interesting read about many of the sites we will visit. Information, anecdotes, maps. A nice little guide that offers insight and helps prepare you for your journey through time.

Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson
Since Catton’s passing, McPherson’s stock has been high Award-winning treatment/text of the entire build-up, explosion of war and military/civilan events. Want the contemporary story of the war? This is it.

Landscape Turned Red by Stephen W. Sears
Well-written, researched account of the bloodiest day of the war. One of the best treatments of that significant and terrible day in September of 1962.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Pulitzer Prize winning historical novel that was the basis for Ted Turner’s Gettysburg. Reads incredibly well. An absolute must before going to Gettysburg.

Pickett’s Charge by George R. Stewart  
The greatest infantry charge of the war lasted only about 45 minutes and yet here’s a whole work on those incredible moments at Gettysburg. If you want detail, take a look.

High Tide at Gettysburg by Glenn Tucker
It’s been around for 40 years and still stands the test of time. A fine treatment of the bloodiest battle on American soil.

Voices of the Civil War edited by Richard Wheeler
A wonderful collection of battles from the Civil War conveyed through the eyes and words of the men who were there. Taken from their diaries and tied together by Wheeler’s commentary.

The Life of Billy Yank or The Life of Johnny Reb by Bell Irvin Wiley
Two classics – thorough investigation of the common soldier.

Civil War: A Fandex Family Guide by Fred Kiger


The Civil War produced by Ken Burns

Gettysburg produced by Ted Turner