Civil War Books

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Are you a Civil War buff? Maybe you’re writing a paper about the war or are curious about an ancestor who fought in the war, or maybe you have become intrigued by some aspect of the topic. Let the North Carolina Collection's interesting books about the Civil War answer your questions.

North Carolina had an important role in the war, with a larger percentage of its men fighting for the Confederacy than any other state. Much of the state was under Union domination for a large part of the war.

Browse the North Carolina Collection’s section on the Civil War (973.7s) to discover books that will give you new insights. In many cases, there will be circulating copies of the books for you to enjoy at home.

Six of the many books you won’t want to miss are:

1.  Arnett, Ethel Stephens. Confederate Guns Were Stacked; Greensboro, North Carolina. Greensboro: Piedmont Press, 1965. 

Here's the history of events in Greensboro during March, April, and May of 1865. Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet came here from Richmond. Wounded Confederate soldiers were brought to Greensboro for care in temporary hospitals. Meanwhile, other soldiers came for supplies or to be discharged from the Army. And then along came the Union Army! The one-mile-square village, with its usual population of about 1,800 people, suddenly had to absorb more than 90,000 people in the town and the surrounding area.

2.  Barrett, John G. The Civil War in North Carolina. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1963.

This book is in the North Carolina history section, not the Civil War section. It’s a standard history, covering the war in about 400 pages.

3.  Clark, Walter. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina, in the Great War, 1861-’65. Raleigh: E. M. Uzzell, 1901. 

Here are stories about our fighting Tar Heels.

4. Foley, Bradley R., ed., with Adrian L. Whicker. The Civil War Ends, Greensboro, April 1865: a Historical Study of the Civil War in Guilford County. Greensboro: Guilford County Genealogical Society, 2008.

Brad Foley is a librarian who worked at Greensboro Public Library before taking his current position at Randolph County Public Library. This book, including many illustrations, maps, and documents, tells about the Civil War in Guilford County. A Civil War tour of Greensboro in 2008 helps the reader to find the present-day locations of sites from the Civil War era.

5.  Sloan, John A. Reminiscences of the Guilford Grays, Co. B, 27th NC Regiment. Washington, DC: R. C. Polkinhorn, 1883.

Civil WarHere's the story of a local regiment.

6.  Johnson, Clint. Touring the Carolinas’ Civil War Sites. Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1996.

This book includes detailed directions for finding Civil War sites, along with interesting stories about them. The book is arranged geographically.

The North Carolina Collection includes some older Civil War books that don’t focus on North Carolina but are housed in the collection because they're too fragile for circulation. It can be fascinating to read about the war as seen by those who lived through it or knew people who did. These are shelved along with the books focusing on North Carolina.