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.

Hidden in Plain View: The Secret Story Of Quilts And the Underground Railroad

By Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard

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Jacqueline Tobin tells the story African American quilter Ozella Williams handed down to her, describing how slaves made coded quilts and used them to navigate their escape on the Underground Railroad.

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Historic Churches of Fredericksburg: Houses of the Holy

By Michael Aubrecht

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Recalls stories of rebellion, racism and reconstruction as experienced by Secessionists, Unionists and the African American population in Fredericksburg's landmark churches during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
Using a wide variety of materials compiled from the local National Park archives, author Michael Aubrecht presents multiple perspectives from local believers and nonbelievers who witnessed the country's "Great Divide." Learn about the importance of faith in old Fredericksburg through the recollections of local clergy such as Reverend Tucker Lacy; excerpts from slave narratives as recorded by Joseph F. Walker; impressions of military commanders such as Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson; and stories of the conflict over African-American membership.
From the publisher's description

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Historic Sail: The Glory of the Sailing Ship from the 13th to the 19th Century

By Stephen Howarth

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Attractive drawings and interesting explanatory notes on 91 ships, from “a Danish cog of the 13th century” to a Scottish tea merchant of 1869. Plates 56 and 57 feature a fluyt, the same type as the Godspeed. Fluyts were popular merchant vessels from roughly 1595 to 1670. Historic sources for the illustrations are noted.

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Historic Virginia Gardens: Preservation Work of the Garden Club of Virginia, 1975-2007

By Margaret Page Bemiss

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"For more than seventy-five years, The Garden Club of Virginia has undertaken garden research and preservation work at numerous historic sites across the Old Dominion, restoring and creating beautiful landscapes for the education and enjoyment of all, from backyard gardeners to design professionals. Historic Virginia Gardens documents in breathtaking fashion this important contribution to the Commonwealth's botanical and architectural heritage. Picking up where an earlier volume, dedicated to the period from 1930 to 1975, left off, this new book brings the Club's work from the period 1975 to 2007 to life through a graceful and informative text by Margaret Page Bemiss, a host of historical and contemporary drawings, extensive native and heritage plant lists, and 125 splendid new color photographs from the award-winning garden photographer Roger Foley."
(From the publisher's description)
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Historic Virginia Gardens: Preservations by the Garden Club of Virginia

By Dorothy Hunt Williams

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Read about some of the many historic sites that the Garden Club of Virginia has preserved through the years.

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History of Fredericksburg, Virginia

By Alvin T. Embrey

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This history of the town was first published in 1937.

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Holiday Fare: Favorite Williamsburg Recipes

By John R. Gonzales

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Clear step-by-step directions for more than 60 recipes from Colonial Williamsburg's Christmastime festivities.
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Home Building and Woodworking in Colonial America

By C. Keith Wilbur

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Tells how different styles of colonial buildings were constructed using hewn logs, hand tools, and wooden pegs. Many detailed illustrations of tools and methods of construction

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Hospital Days: Reminiscence of a Civil War Nurse

By Jane Stuart Woolsey

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This gathering of memories from 98 Union nurses was first published in 1895.
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Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott

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Louisa's account of her time in a Washington hospital is full of her signature empathy and humor--with shades of Jo March coming to the fore. She contracted a dangerous illness while nursing there that was to plague her the rest of her life.

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