Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Thursday, August 04, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Growing up as the child of an Air Force colonel with a passion for military history, I have traveled to almost every battlefield in the United States. Thus, there is a special place in my heart for Revolutionary and Civil War history. As this year is the Civil War's 150th anniversary, I've been celebrating in my own way, by reading as many related Google eBooks as I can download.

Last week, I read about Fort Sumter and its eventual surrender to South Carolina in Reminiscences of Fort Sumter and Moutrie in 1860-'61,. Right now, I'm reading a fascinating book called Woman's Work in the Civil War. Interestingly, the author only decided to write this book after searching for a different book and discovering the heroic sacrifices and bravery that many women had shown, but were not remembered for.

I also found a rare firsthand account from Abner Doubleday that provides a riveting perspective of a staunch Unionist. In his narrative he claims to have been the only officer of the garrison who actually wanted Lincoln to win the presidential election.

While surfing through lists of Civil War books, I stumbled upon Manassas: a novel of the war by revered author Upton Sinclair. This novel provides a very detailed description of life before the war, focusing on a young Southern man’s life in the Union army.

Toward the middle of 1861, the North had increased its naval strength and began a blockade of the South. The South’s efforts to create small and fast ships that could outmaneuver the North is detailed in Three Years on the Blockade: a naval experience.

Next on my tour of the Civil War is The Uprising of a Great People: The United States in 1861. This translated novel presents the perspective of a French citizen on events and slavery in the US during the war.

From there, I plan on following the 150th anniversary of different Civil War events. I can't wait to begin reading about Confederate "Stonewall" Jackson's defeat of the Union forces in 1862, and Lincoln's preliminary announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Till next year, I'll satiate my curiosity by searching through general Civil War books and reading personal accounts from both Confederates and Unionists.


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