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Kafka
USA Fan
I am the moral conscience of TD
Member since Jul 2007
92219 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
quote:

What does being a southern man have to do with it?
because a southern man don't need you around anyhow


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PJinAtl
Auburn Fan
Atlanta
Member since Nov 2007
9181 posts
 Online 

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
Certainly start with the Foote series. It can be daunting, but it will give you a solid foundational footing for the entire conflict. Once you are there, I would go to Company Aytch, as it gives you a view of a typical front line soldier. Burns uses quotes from this book a good bit in the documentary.

If you have ancestors who fought and know which regiments they were a part of, try to find books on those particular units. I find it makes a much more personal connection if you can read about what your ancestors were doing and where they saw action. These books can also give a better aspect of the feelings of the soldiers - why were these particular men fighting, what was their overarching reason for going to war? I have over 30 Johnny Rebs and a handful of Billy Yanks in my family tree, and I have several books on those specific units.

The Shaara trilogy is a great read, and Jeff's four book series on the western theater is really good - although I thought he missed out by writing around Chickamauga and Atlanta and not including them


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Lakeboy7
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2011
13705 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
I'm not a "big book' about the civil war guy. I like studying battles and the units that fought there. That is also a good way to see which leaders you may want to deep dive on.

And I'm biased, when I go to Vicksburg I drive through the Union bull shite so I can get to the good stuff!


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Ash Williams
LSU Fan
South of i-10
Member since May 2009
13534 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
I'd start with the Shaara books

they're very entertaining reads that puts you in the minds of these historical figures

I found that by reading these books i connected to the "characters" much more and i was more interested in reading the straight historical texts on them afterwards


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Palo Gaucho
Benton
Member since Jul 2013
3112 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
Rebel Yell is great


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beerJeep
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Nov 2016
9505 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
For what it's worth, the Wilkinson County museum/library has a collection of Davis family books/journals/letters if you want to get a look into the President of the Confederacy personal and home life.

I'm currently up at our family land digging around the library. Wish my great grandma wouldn't have given leased them to the museum. All I'm stuck with is 1800s magazines, almanacs, and other not so interesting books.


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Drank
Winthrop Fan
Member since Dec 2012
5977 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
quote:

Foote's books


Are a narrative, not necessarily a history. There IS a difference. While they are a wonderful and expansive read, they are not necessarily all fact. Keep that in mind. However, I will never hesitate to recommend them.

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson is a great, though somewhat dry (compared to Foote) read the covers the expansie of the conflict. Can't go wrong with this one either.
This post was edited on 12/26 at 1:22 pm


beerJeep
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Nov 2016
9505 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
Also a lot of generals/leaders on both sides wrote memoirs after the war. So those are a great first hand source (although with the typical bias and slight embellishments one could expect in a self authored memoir)
Lee, Grant, etc. Hell, I have a first Ed. Of admiral semmes memoirs.

Hell, my copy was given to Jefferson davis' nephew, William, from his father (whos last name is also Davis) who married Lucinda (Jeff Davis' sister)


Rockbrc
LSU Fan
Attic
Member since Nov 2015
4048 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
That's a wonderful piece of history


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jrenton
New Orleans Saints Fan
Houston
Member since Mar 2007
1834 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
Team of Rivals by Dorris Goodwin
Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American by B.H. Liddell Hart


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TigerFanInSouthland
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2012
11899 posts

re: I want to learn about the Civil War
quote:

I have ancestors who fought in Forrest's cavalry


There's a book called The Raiding Winter, it's about Forrest's cavalry raids during the war. Very interesting read.


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