Civil War - U.S.

Southern Quilts: Surviving Relics Of the Civil War

By Bets Ramsey and Merikay Waldvogel

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This is a wonderful history of the tradition and techniques of quilt making in the antebellum South. It includes lots of color photographs and the oral histories of 29 Southern quilts that survived the Civil War.

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

By Barbara Brackman

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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.

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Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series Begins Thursday, February 10

Library of Congress Picture of Fugitive Slaves Crossing the Rappahannock

Civil War Sesquicentennial programs at the library kick off with a lecture series, "The Civil War Comes to Stafford," to be presented at the England Run branch. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Historians will bring the Civil War to our backyard.

Join us for the first lecture in this series:

The Crossing: Slaves, Stafford, and the Great 1862 Exodus to Freedom, lecture by John Hennessy

England Run, Thursday, February 10, 7-8pm

In the spring and summer of 1862, Fredericksburg and Stafford witnessed one of the greatest flights to freedom in American history. As many as 10,000 slaves fled homes, farms, and plantations in nearby counties, bound for the Union army along the Rappahannock River. For individual slaves, the exodus represented an immense risk and an uncertain journey into freedom. For white residents, the exodus meant rapid and profound social change--the end of a labor system more than 200 years old. And for the army and federal government, the flood of freedom seekers--months before the  Emancipation Proclamation--raised a profound and simple question for: what now? This program will look at the great 1862 exodus across the Rappahannock from the human level, men and women forcing change on a community, state, and nation unprepared.

Find out more about Civil War Sesquicentennial events and resources.

The Civil War Sesquicentennial

CRRL & Civil War Sesquicentennial

The CRRL is proud to partner with area historians, museums, tourism agencies, organizations, churches, and scholars to provide programs and information that can promote understanding of the events that exploded here in the 1860s and their far-reaching impact.

Over the next four years the community will be invited to commemorate-through lectures, re-enactments, exhibits, film screenings, and musical performances-the extraordinary fact that we were a war zone from 1861-1865.


On the Road to Lake Anna

Lake Anna State Park is a favorite local destination for campers, boaters, and families who just want to spend a summer day at the lakeside beach. For most of us, the way to the lake runs down Lawyers Road. These days, there’s not much to take in with the view from this one-lane road, which passes through as quiet a stretch of Spotsylvania countryside as remains in the 21st century. But in centuries past, the western part of the county was the scene for tribal wars, slave labor, religious awakenings, whiskey barrel politics, gold mining, and Civil War armies on the march.

Bleeding Blue and Gray: Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine

By Ira M. Rutkow

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"...surgeon and medical historian Rutkow argues that it is impossible to grasp the realities of the Civil War without an awareness of the state of medicine at the time. The use of ether and chloroform remained crude, and they were often unavailable--so many surgical procedures were performed without anesthesia, on the battleground or in a field hospital. This meant that "clinical concerns were often of less consequence than the swiftness of the surgeon's knife." Also, the existence of pathogenic microorganisms was still unknown, as was disinfection. From the soldiers who endured the ravages of combat to the government officials who directed the war machine, from the good Samaritans who organized aid commissions to the nurses who cared for the wounded, this book presents a story of suffering, politics, character, and, ultimately, healing."
(From the publisher's description)

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In Hospital and Camp: The Civil War through the Eyes of Its Doctors and Nurses

By Harold Elk Straubing

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Nurses' and doctors' own words add an additional poignancy to a history which often relies on statistics and formal reports. Includes selections from Louisa May Alcott and Walt Whitman, both of whom served as nurses.

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Hospital Transports: A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862

By Natalie Babbitt and Laura L. Behling

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The care of the sick, wounded, and dying during the American Civil War was a complex endeavor that brought ordinary men and women into contact with the terror of the battlefield. Hospital Transports is a compilation of letters and other papers written by physicians and nurses serving aboard the Union hospital steamboat Daniel Webster in the summer of 1862. The text details sleeping arrangements, cooking and feeding schedules, medical practices, and the incorporation of liberated slaves from the Lee plantation into the daily work of the ship. Clearly described are the emotional, visceral reactions of the corps of medical personnel who, as their ship makes its way along the Potomac picking up casualties, question the philosophies at the root of war, and the metaphysical questions concerning the definitions of life and death.
This eBook was originally published in 1863. Click here for more information on how to access eBooks in our collection.

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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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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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