Guest Post: Civil War Book Gems from the Past

**Huge thank you to Jon, one of our listeners, for this first guest blog post!**

If you are of a certain age your parents or grandparents had either one of these two

books or something very similar. As the nation approached the Centenary of the

American Civil War, publishers were quickly printing books of dubious historical

valve. Some were like these two picture books offering a little text and a lot of Civil

War imagery. Others were removing part from the Official Records and publishing

them with very little extra commentary, dry but useful reading. Yet these were

meaningful to many. For me I cut my eyeteeth on these books. I bring this up as I

have carried these from house to house over the years; they were the detritus from

my adoptive father’s father life. When he passed away my grandmother proceeded

to rid the home of all of his stuff and so I picked up two books and an

Squadron/Signal model catalogue (which cost me plenty over the years).

Now these are not great books, lets be honest if I saw these at a book show I would

of moved on, but as a child of the 70s and an interest in history this was gold. I

owned two Civil War books. Now over the years I have added to my collection like a

bulimic academic adding and purging my collection, often with regrets. Now with e-

books and server space my collection is honestly out of hand, not that I will admit it.

This is not a 7-step session were I am looking for help, hell no. As Erasmus said,

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and


So what is this rambling about? Look at your bookshelves. Do you have a Civil War

gem from the past that you have carried from place to place? Do you have a

paperback Bruce Catton? How about the ever-present Time Life Civil War series?

Maybe it is The Centennial History of the Civil War or The American Heritage The

Civil War. We are all fellow travelers looking for the next great, or even good book

that supports an existing interest. Yes I will buy more books about Gettysburg or the

Peninsula Campaign, but I have also looked at picking up a couple off books on the

Mine Run Campaign and Bristoe Station, a topic that is new to me. Please take the

time and offer up the gems that got you started on the forum or our social media

pages. We really want to know.

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