Seeing how little activity there has been here recently, and presuming that it is attributable to the fact that grading time has also descended on the other Civil Warriors, I thought I would kick in with a “fun” activity: a list of ten really good Civil War books. This list assumes that one has already read a general history of the war, such as McPherson’s Ordeal By Fire, does not include secondary works older than 30 years, and does not include multivolume works. Anyway, at the risk of offending friends and colleagues—to preempt charges of nepotism I am leaving off works by other “Civil Warriors”—here is my list, in no particular order:
- Ethan S. Rafuse, McClellan’s War
- Ethan S. Rafuse, George Gordon Meade and the War in the East
- Ethan . . .
- Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones, How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War (Urbana: University of Illinois Press., 1982)
- Phillip S. Paludan, “A People’s Contest”: The Union and the Civil War, 1861-1865 (New York: Harper and Row, 1988).
- Albert Castel, Winning and Losing in the Civil War: Essays and Stories (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996)
- Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885)
- Joseph L. Harsh’s Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1999)
- Gary W. Gallagher, ed. Lee the Soldier (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995)
- David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995)
- Earl J. Hess, Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005)
- Gerald Linderman, Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War (New York: Free Press, 1987)
- Mark Neely, The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002)
I know I am going to be smacking my head within ten seconds after posting this and saying to myself, “How could I forget . . . ?”
Anyway, what do you think? Did I pick the wrong week to stop sniffing glue?