Civil War Stories

A Soldier's Book

By Joanna Higgins

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Ira Cahill Stevens, a young Union soldier taken captive by Confederates during the Battle of the Wilderness in May of 1864, finds himself fighting a new battle as the novel opens. One waged within the head and heart against "the dead nothingness of despair."
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Andersonville

By MacKinlay Kantor

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"Before there were The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals there was Andersonville. MacKinlay Kantor won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1955 for this novel, an epic account of the notorious prison camp in Macon County, Georgia. Though many of his characters are fictional, many are based on historical figures. Even some of the minor characters who appear as suffering prisoners of war are historical. Writing in the early fifties it was perhaps inevitable that Kantor drew subtle echoes of the Nazi concentration camps as he told this grim story of the greatest of Confederate war crimes. Kantor spent most of his life studying and writing about the Civil War. His emphasis was always on the small-town, ordinary citizens confronted with the horrors of Civil War.'

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Coal Black Horse

By Robert Olmstead

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"When Robey Childs's mother has a premonition about her husband, a soldier fighting in the Civil War, she does the unthinkable. She instructs her only child to retrieve his father from the battlefield and bring him home. Just fourteen and ill-prepared for the journey, Robey sets off wearing the coat his mother sewed to ensure his safety: blue on one side, gray on the other. However, it is the gift of an uncommon horse that changes Robey's destiny--a coal black horse that becomes his only companion, guide, and protector. In the tradition of 'The Red Badge of Courage,' Olmstead has created a brutually honest portrait of what war does to men and how it allows--even compels--them to love what they should hate."
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Cold Mountain

By Charles Frazier

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A Confederate soldier's trek brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign, as he makes his way to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains.

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Dead March

By Ann McMillan

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"Though the War Between the States is in its infancy, Richmond, Virginia, is not free of violent death, as two astute and courageous women from opposite ends of society discover when a grave is robbed, yielding the murdered body of a young slave woman. The silk scarf left carelessly with her body leads to suspects from every echelon of Richmond society -- and to more deaths. Narcissa Powers, a young white widow, begins to investigate and is soon aided by Judah Daniel, a free black herbalist and conjure woman. As the War's casualties begin to pour into the city and the "Dead March" echoes through the streets, the mystery deepens, and Narcissa and Judah must risk their lives to find the killer -- or killers -- and save the life of an innocent child."

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Enemy Women

By Paulette Jiles

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For the Colleys of southeastern Missouri, the War between the States is a plague that threatens devastation, despite the family’s avowed neutrality. For eighteen-year-old Adair Colley, it is a nightmare that tears apart her family and forces her and her sisters to flee. The treachery of a fellow traveler, however, brings about her arrest, and she is caged with the criminal and deranged in a filthy women's prison.

But young Adair is sustained by a strong heart, and love can live even in a place of horror and despair. Her interrogator, a Union major, falls in love with her and she finds herself reciprocating his feelings in spite of herself. The major vows to return for her when the fighting is over, and before he rejoins the war, he leaves her with a precious gift: freedom. Weakened in body but not in spirit, Adair must now travel alone through dangerous unknown territory - an escaped 'enemy woman' surrounded by perils and misery.

Also available on audio.

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Faded Coat of Blue

By Owen Parry

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A British immigrant to the United States is hired to serve as a confidential agent to Union General George McClellan and quickly finds himself investigating the death of a Union officer while the Civil War rages all around him

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Fredericksburg: A Novel of the Irish at Marye's Heights

By Kirk Mitchell

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"A riveting, historically accurate account of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. This gritty novel of the brutal fight wall chronicles the lives of six Irish-Americans, revealing their sufferings and aspirations in both the Old World and the New World."

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Gods and Generals

By Jeff Shaara

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"...Jeff Shaara traces the lives, passions, and careers of the great military leaders from the first gathering clouds of the Civil War. Here is Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a hopelessly by-the-book military instructor and devout Christian who becomes the greatest commander of the Civil War; Winfield Scott Hancock, a captain of quartermasters who quickly establishes himself as one of the finest leaders of the Union army; Joshua Chamberlain, who gives up his promising academic career and goes on to become one of the most heroic soldiers in American history; and Robert E. Lee, never believing until too late that a civil war would ever truly come to pass."

 

On Film:
Historical fiction doesn't get any closer to home than this! The Gods and Generals movie is a must see for locals.

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Gone with the Wind

By Margaret Mitchell

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Spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara never stops loving the married Ashley Wilkes even as she faces the hardships of life during the Civil War and the changes brought about by Reconstruction.
 

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