The american civil war, 1861-1865



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READING LIST FOR THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, 1861-1865

Laurence Schiller

The following is the suggested text.

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom

This may be ordered from the book store in Norris or is available through Amazon.


“I do recommend the McPherson to be read as we go along, as it is, in my opinion, the best one volume work on Mid-19th Century America. The rest are on a variety of topics that will add to your understanding of the broad colors that we must paint in covering so much territory in just 10 lectures. Further, I have only included a couple of military histories. If you are interested in specific battles, leaders, or units, see David J. Eicher. The Civil War in Books and other internet sources….” Laurence Schiller

The following are books and films that relate to the topic of the week.

MARCH 29: Introduction (Louis Room)

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom

Webb Garrison, The Encyclopedia of Civil War Usage.

Carol Berkin, A Brilliant Solution: Inventing The American Constitution

Stephen B. Oates, The Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861

William C. Davis, The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy

William W. Freehling, The Road To Disunion: Vol. 1: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854

FILM: Ken Burns, The Civil War (PBS Series)



APRIL 5: Arguing About Slavery

William Lee Miller, Arguing About Slavery

James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, Slavery and the Making of America

Solomon Northup, Twelve Years A Slave

James Oakes, The Ruling Race

William L. Andrews and Henry Louis Gates Jr., Slave Narratives

Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market

APRIL 12: The Meteor of the Age (Barber Theater)

Edward L. Ayers, In the Presence of Mine Enemies

Stephen B. Oates, The Whirlwind of War: Voices of the Storm, 1861-1865

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

William W. Freehling, The Road to Disunion: Vol. 2: Secessionists Triumphant

William C. Davis, A Government of our Own: The Making of the Confederacy

Drew Gilpin Faust, The Creation of Confederate Nationalism

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals

Phillip Shaw Paludan, The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

Norman B. Ferris, Desperate Diplomacy: William H. Seward’s Foreign Policy, 1861

William C. Davis, Battle at Bull Run

APRIL 26: 1862: The War Turns Serious (Barber Theater)

Brent Nosworthy, The Bloody Crucible of Courage: Fighting Methods and Combat Experience of the Civil War

Russ A. Pritchard Jr., Civil War Weapons and Equipment

Time-Life Books, Echoes of Glory

Richard Current, Lincoln’s Loyalists

O. Edward Cunningham, Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862

Stephen Sears, To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign

Kathleen Ernst, Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign

Stephen Sears, Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam

May 3: 1863: The Pivotal Year

Edwin B. Coddington, The Gettysburg Campaign

Gregory A. Coco, A Strange and Blighted Land: Gettysburg: The Aftermath of a Battle

Garry Wills, Lincoln At Gettysburg

Steven E. Woodworth, Davis & Lee at War

Michael B. Ballard, Vicksburg

Michael R. Bradley, Tullahoma

Peter Cozzens, This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga

Wiley Sword, Mountains Touched with Fire: Chattanooga Besieged, 1863.

Bell Wiley, The Life of Billy Yank

Bell Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb

FILM: Gettysburg



MAY 10: The Home Fronts Josephine Louis Theater

Daniel E. Sutherland, Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community

Paul Z. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller, An Uncommon Time: The Civil War and the Northern Home Front

Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering

Daniel Sutherland, Guerrillas, Unionists, and Violence on the Confederate Home Front.

Mary Livermore, My Story

George Rable, Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism

Mary Elizabeth Massey, Women in the Civil War

Catherine Clinton, The Women’s War in the South

Walter Sullivan, The War the Women Lived: Female Voices from the Confederate South

Iver Bernstein, The New York City Draft Riots

MAY 17: GLORY! Black Confederates and Afro Yankees (Barber Theatre)

Ervin Jordan, Black Confederates and Afro Yankees in Civil War Virginia

Robert Gould Shaw, (Russell Duncan, ed.) Blue Eyed Child of Fortune.

Dudley Cornish, The Sable Arm

Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers

FILM: Glory!



MAY 24: 1864: Total War!

Charles Royster, The Destructive War

Albert Castel, Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864

William A. Frassanito, Grant and Lee: The Virginia Campaigns of 1864-1865

Wiley Sword, Embrace an Angry Wind: The Confederacy’s Last Hurrah – Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville

MAY 31: 1865: “Victory Sits on the Flag of the Free”

Anthony Pitch, They Have Killed Papa Dead

Jay Winik, April 1865

Joseph T. Glatthaar, The March to the Sea and Beyond

William Davis, Jefferson Davis: the Man and His Hour

Andre Trudeau, The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865

JUNE 7: Reconstruction and Conclusion

Leon Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery

James McPherson, The Struggle for Equality

James McPherson, Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction

Eric Foner, Reconstruction

Eric Foner, Forever Free

Victor Hicken, Illinois in the Civil War


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