Virginia History Books

Browse selected volumes on popular topics, such as the Civil War, the American Revolution, Fredericksburg, and the surrounding counties. These titles are updated frequently, so check back often for more recommendations. Most books can be requested and checked out from your home library branch. Use the menu below to limit your search to areas that interest you.

For students wanting historical tales--true and otherwise--check out our lists of Virginia History Books for Kids.

Civil War Medicine: Care and Comfort of the Wounded

By Robert E. Denney

Go to catalog

First-hand accounts from letters, journals, reports, and diaries from both sides of the conflict tell the story of the struggle to treat the wounded in the Civil War. Items are arranged chronologically from January 1862 to October 1865. Includes black and white photos.

Reserve this title

Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs

By Alfred Jay Bollet

Go to catalog

Bollet compares Civil War medicine to that used during the Crimean War (shortly before) and during the Franco-German War (immediately after) and comes to the somewhat surprising conclusion that the Americans were doing extremely well compared to their European counterparts. Lengthy and with many statistics.

Reserve this title

Civil War Weather in Virginia

By Robert Krick

Go to catalog

Serious Civil War historians should find Robert Krick's book to be a very useful reference as weather is always a factor in battle. The former park service historian has compiled official information along with anecdotal references taken from soldiers' books, diaries, and letters as well as newspapers. Includes sunrise and sunset data from a period almanac.

Reserve this title

Civil War Women: Their Quilts, Their Roles, and Activities for Re-enactors

By Barbara Brackman

Go to catalog

History buffs as well as quilters will enjoy these accounts of quilting-related experiences during the Civil War from women in both the North and the South. Brackman also includes instructions and full-size patterns for nine projects adapted from Civil War quilts, as well as suggestions for using today's reproduction fabrics.

Reserve this title

Classic Georgian Style

By Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

Go to catalog

A thorough detailing of the landscaping and interior design that defined Georgian style. Includes an overview of the Georgian and Regency periods (1714 to 1830), a glossary, and a design directory of the masters of Georgian style, such as Palladio, Chippendale, and Repton.

Reserve this title

Colonial Churches of Virginia

By Don W. and Sue Massey

Go to catalog

A beautiful and beautifully-written work that does a good job of giving the history and architectural highlights of more than 50 historic churches in the Old Dominion. Most are Anglican or Episcopal, but representative early churches can also be found for Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Mennonite, and Lutheran congregations. Current service times are noted for each church. Locally, readers can visit Yeocomico Church in Westmoreland County, Aquia Church in Stafford County, as well as St. Paul's Church and Lamb's Creek Church in King George County.

Reserve this title

Colonial Virginia Cookery

By Jane Carson

Go to catalog

Cooking methods and recipes as done by Virginia's colonists. Recipes are drawn from period cookbooks by Mrs. Custis, Mrs. Randolph, Mrs. Glasse, and numerous others. Dressing trout, stewing oysters, making ice cream, dressing mutton, and layering trifles were part and parcel of colonial cooking.
Also available to check out.

Reserve this title

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War

By Tony Horwitz

Go to catalog

"Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance... . Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War."

Reserve this title

Conserving the Commonwealth: The Early Years of the Environmental Movement in Virginia

By Margaret T. Peters

Go to catalog

Environmentalism and historic preservation have their own histories, and it's the former that's presented in this new book. What were the struggles and who were the heroes of the movement in Virginia? This is the story of how the Old Dominion's state parks, historic easement programs, and environmental foundations came to be in the 20th century.

Reserve this title

Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans

By James Melvin Washington

Go to catalog

Beautiful words from slaves, writers, preachers, and theologians of color who sound out their faith in God's justice through poetry, prayers, hymns, and stories.

Slavery and the eclipse of the African Gods, 1760-1860 -- The crucible of the Anglo-African conscience, 1861-1893 -- The vale of tears, 1894-1919 -- The new Negro, 1920-1955 -- The Civil Rights ethos, 1956-1980 -- Postmodern African-American worlds, 1981-1994.

Reserve this title