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United States Civil War -- Personal Narratives

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is the United States Civil War.


Six Superlative Sources

· Edward Porter Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander, ed. Gary W. Gallagher (University of North Carolina Press, 1989). The best memoir relating to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

· Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston, "Journal of a Secesh Lady": The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston, 1860-1866, ed. Beth G. Crabtree and James W. Patton (North Carolina Division of Archives and History , 1979). A splendid home front account from a slaveholding woman who lived in eastern North Carolina.

· James Henry Gooding, On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front, ed. Virginia M. Adams (University of Massachusetts Press, 1991). An excellent set of letters from an African American soldier who experienced a good deal of campaigning.

· Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, 2 vols. (C. L. Webster, 1885; many reprint editions, including a very good recent one-volume edition from the University of Nebraska Press, 1996). The detailed account of the North's most famous and important commander.

· George Templeton Strong, Diary of George Templeton Strong, ed. Allan Nevins, 4 vols. (Macmillan, 1952). A rich source for material on the northern home front from a prominent resident of New York City.

· Sam Watkins, Company Aytch, or, a Side Show of the Big Show (Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1882; reprinted many times, including by Broadfoot Publishing Company in the 1990s). A classic, if occasionally romanticized, account of army life from the perspective of a common soldier who fought in most of the great campaigns in the Western Theater.

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"The Infography about Personal Narratives from the United States Civil War"
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