Notable fictional treatments of the war are Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage (1896) and Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1936), and there is one outstanding work in verse—Stephen Vincent Benét's John Brown's Body (1928). The quantity of historical literature on the Civil War is enormous, and there is no single, adequate bibliographical guide. For bibliographies, see Allan Nevins et al., ed., Civil War Books: A Critical Bibliography (2 vol., 1967–69).
On the causes of, and events leading up to, the war, see A. C. Cole, The Irrepressible Conflict, 1850–1865 (
History of American Life series, Vol. VII, 1934; rev. ed. 1938, repr. 1971); G. F. Milton, The Eve of Conflict (1934); A. O. Craven, The Coming of the Civil War (1942, new ed. 1957) and Civil War in the Making (1959, repr. 1968); C. B. Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War (2001).
Standard, older works on the military phase are C. C. Buel and R. U. Johnson, ed., Battles and Leaders of the Civil War (4 vol., 1877; new ed. 1956); J. C. Ropes, The Story of the Civil War (2 vol., 1898–99; completed by W. R. Livermore, 1913); and F. Maurice, Statesmen and Soldiers of the Civil War (1926). R. E. Lee: A Biography (4 vol., 1934–35) and Lee's Lieutenants (3 vol., 1942–44), both by D. S. Freeman, and Lincoln Finds a General (5 vol., 1949–59), by K. P. Williams, are definitive in their respective fields.
See also T. L. Livermore, Numbers and Losses in the Civil War in America, 1861–1865 (1901; new ed. 1957, repr. 1969); J. F. Rhodes, History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 (1917, new ed. 1961); J. B. McMaster, A History of the People of the United States during Lincoln's Administration (1927); E. C. Smith, The Borderland in the Civil War (1927, repr. 1970); R. S. Henry, The Story of the Confederacy (1931, rev. ed. 1957); C. R. Fish, The American Civil War: An Interpretation (1937); M. Leech, Reveille in Washington (1941); A. Nevins, Ordeal of the Union (8 vol., 1947–71); B. Catton, A Stillness at Appomattox (1953) and other studies; B. Quarles, The Negro in the Civil War (1953, repr. 1968); L. M. Starr, Bohemian Brigade (1954); J. B. Mitchell, Decisive Battles of the Civil War (1955); R. S. West, Jr., Mr. Lincoln's Navy (1957); S. Foote, The Civil War (3 vol., 1958–74); M. M. Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary (1959); American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War (ed. by R. M. Ketchum et al., 1960); R. F. Nichols, The Stakes of Power (1961); V. Jones, The Civil War at Sea (3 vol., 1960–62); J. M. McPherson, The Negro's Civil War (1965); J. G. Randall, The Civil War and Reconstruction (2d ed., with D. Donald, 1969); E. Foner, Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War (1980); E. B. and Barbara Long, The Civil War Day by Day (1971, repr. 1985); J. McPherson, Battlecry of Freedom (1988) and For Cause and Comrades (1997); E. Forbes, Thirty Years After (1994); H. Holzer and M. E. Neely, Jr., Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (1994); G. W. Gallagher, The Confederate War (1997) and The Union War (2011); J. M. Perry, A Bohemian Brigade: The Civil War Correspondents (2000); A. Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South (2001); D. W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001); D. J. Eicher, The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War (2001); W. A. McDougall, Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era, 1829–1877 (2008); C. B. Flood, 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History (2009); J. Keegan, The American Civil War: A Military History (2009); D. Stoker, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War (2010); G. C. Rable, God's Almost Chosen People: A Religious History of the Civil War (2010); D. W. Blight, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era (2011); B. Fawcett, How to Lose the Civil War: Military Mistakes of the War between the States (2011); A. Foreman, A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War (2011); D. Goldfield, America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation (2011); A. Goodheart, 1861: The Civil War Awakening (2011); P. Johnson, Civil War America: 1850–1870 (2011); J. I. Stokesbury, A Short History of the Civil War (2011); H. Zinn, The Other Civil War: Slavery and Struggle in Civil War America (2011); A. C. Guelzo, Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction (2012); C. L. Symonds, The Civil War at Sea (2012); J. M. McPherson, War on the Waters (2012); P. J. Brownlee et al., Home Front (2013); M. Humphreys, Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War (2013); B. Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848–1877 (2013); E. R. Varon, Armies of Deliverance (2019). See also the bibliographies in separate articles on the major events of the war.
Sections in this article:
- The Election of 1860
- Sumter to Gettysburg
- Naval Engagements
- The War in the West
- The Emancipation Proclamation
- Turning Point
- Grant and Sherman
- The Election of 1864
- Lee's Surrender
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History