Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Civil War Bookshelf (Center of Military History)

Civil War Bookshelf (Center of Military History) – http://www.history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/resmat/civil_war/index.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How many times did President Lincoln change either his overall commander or his commander of the Army of the Potomac?
  • What were the positions of Union and Confederate troops at the Battle of Bull Run?
  • What did military ambulances look like during the Civil War?


The Civil War Bookshelf is one of the most developed online bookshelves from the Army’s Center of Military History. This may be related to the recent 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War or due to the proximity of many Civil War battlefields to the Center.

In addition to the usual tabs for “published material” and “archival material” found on other “online bookshelves”, this site features a timeline, a set of images and links to additional resources.

There are really two timelines in the “Timeline” section. The first is a detailed PDF file with many specific dates with activities. The second is a set of campaign summaries that deal with specific battles or geographies in a chronological matter. Writers will find these very helpful pegs to hang their civil era stories on.

The images come from a tab labeled “Artwork and Photos”, although they appear to be mostly paintings. Some of the paintings happened during the war and some after. They may be useful in getting the sense of a scene, though they ought to be used with caution.

The “Published Materials” section features a number of articles about each year of the Civil War as well as maps and an article about Union African-American soldiers. The “Archival Materials” section features letters from Civil War soldiers.


Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: