The singular purpose of the Civil War soldier was to fight a battle and
Unlike the soldiers who fought in most international disputes and wars,
the Civil War soldier, whether from the North (Union) or South (Confederacy), had much in common. Some opposing soldiers,
for example, including high ranking generals and lowly privates, spoke the same language, enjoyed the same
music, food and hobbies, claimed the same home state, attended the same university, had the same surname, and were even
raised in the same house. Some soldiers were brothers but found themselves standing firm and on opposing sides
of the battlefield, causing many to refer to the conflict as the Brothers War. Soldiers' motives for fighting in the conflict varied, as well as the war's
causes, divisions, and sectional strife that led to the four year Civil War. See also Causes and Origins of the American Civil War.
Recommended Reading:The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (444
pages) (Louisiana State University Press) (Updated edition) (November 2007) Description: The Life of Johnny Reb
does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier. Rather, it provides an intimate
history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced, the reasons he
fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official records to construct this frequently poignant,
sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb. In a new foreword for this updated edition, Civil War expert James I.
Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell Irvin Wiley, who championed the common folk, whom he saw as ensnared
in the great conflict of the 1860s. Continued below...
About Johnny Reb:
"A Civil War classic."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"This book deserves to be on the shelf of every Civil War modeler and enthusiast."--Model
"[Wiley] has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate
private. . . . It is a picture that is not only by far the most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind
we ever shall have."--Saturday Review of Literature
Reading:Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier
of the Union (488 pages) (Louisiana State University Press). Description:
This fascinating social history reveals that while the Yanks and the Rebs fought for very different causes, the men on both
sides were very much the same. "This wonderfully interesting book is the finest memorial the Union soldier is ever likely
to have. . . . [Wiley] has written about the Northern troops with an admirable objectivity, with sympathy and understanding
and profound respect for their fighting abilities. He has also written about them with fabulous learning and considerable
pace and humor.
Reading:The Fighting Men of the Civil
War, by William C. Davis (Author), Russ A. Pritchard (Author). Description:"A must for any Civil War library!" The sweeping histories of the
War Between the States often overlook the men in whose blood that history was written. This account goes a long way toward
redressing the balance in favor of the men in the ranks. The reader follows the soldiers from enlistment and training to campaigning.
Attention is also given to oft-forgotten groups such as the sailors and black troops. Continued below...
No effort has
been spared to include rare war era photographs and color photos of rare artifacts. Engagingly written by William C. Davis,
the author of more than thirty books on the American Civil War. Award winning author and historian James M. McPherson states:
"The most readable, authoritative, and beautifully designed illustrated history
of the American Civil War."
Hardtack & Coffee or The Unwritten Story of Army Life.Description: Most histories of the Civil War focus on battles and top brass. Hardtack and Coffee
is one of the few to give a vivid, detailed picture of what ordinary soldiers endured every day—in camp, on the march,
at the edge of a booming, smoking hell. John D. Billings of Massachusetts enlisted in the
Army of the Potomac and survived the hellish conditions as a “common foot soldier”
of the American Civil War. "Billings describes
an insightful account of the conflict – the experiences of every day life as a common foot-soldier – and a view
of the war that is sure to score with every buff." Continued below...
authenticity of his book is heightened by the many drawings that a comrade, Charles W. Reed, made while in the field. This
is the story of how the Civil War soldier was recruited, provisioned, and disciplined. Described here are the types of men
found in any outfit; their not very uniform uniforms; crowded tents and makeshift shelters; difficulties in keeping clean,
warm, and dry; their pleasure in a cup of coffee; food rations, dominated by salt pork and the versatile cracker or hardtack;
their brave pastimes in the face of death; punishments for various offenses; treatment in sick bay; firearms and signals and
modes of transportation. Comprehensive and anecdotal, Hardtack and Coffee is striking for the pulse of life that runs through
Recommended Reading:Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished
Civil War.Description:Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz returned from years of traipsing through
war zones as a foreign correspondent only to find that his childhood obsession with the Civil War had caught up with him.
Near his house in Virginia, he happened to encounter people
who reenact the Civil War--men who dress up in period costumes and live as Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. Intrigued, he wound
up having some odd adventures with the "hardcores," the fellows who try to immerse themselves in the war, hoping to get what
they lovingly term a "period rush." Horwitz spent two years reporting on why Americans are still so obsessed with the war,
and the ways in which it resonates today. Continued below...
In the course of his work, he made a sobering side trip to cover a "murder that was provoked by the display
of the Confederate flag," and he spoke to a number of people seeking to honor their ancestors who fought for the Confederacy.
Horwitz has a flair for odd details that spark insights, and Confederates in the Attic is a thoughtful and entertaining
book that does much to explain America's continuing obsession with the Civil War.
Reading:Tracing Your Civil War
Ancestor (Hardcover). Description:It is tantalizing
to speculate about the role your ancestors may have played in the great national drama of the Civil War. But family records
are often inaccurate, or provide precious few leads on where to begin the search. Now, experienced historian Bertram Hawthorne
Groene shows you how easy it is to trace your forbearers' role in the war, where and how long they fought, whether they were
Union or Rebel, soldier or sailor -- even with a minimum of information. Continued below...
Civil War Ancestor provides you with:
-- The names
and addresses of all state archives.
-- Names and
addresses of institutions that hold microfilmed service records from the national archives.
-- Names and
publishers of useful regional Civil War reference books.
-- Names and
publishers of sourcebooks for identifying Civil War weapons and accoutrements.
-- And much
genealogists, antique dealers, and collectors of Civil War artifacts will find this concise guidebook of great value. But
most of all it is of inestimable practical value to family historians, North and South, who are discovering the pleasure and
satisfaction of compiling an accurate family history.
War Collector's Encyclopedia: Arms, Uniforms and Equipment of the Union and Confederacy.
Description: This comprehensive
and exhaustive reference identifies and describes the use and application of more than 800 items. Arranged alphabetically
by topic, subjects range from artillery accouterments and boats to tools and patriotic sheet music. "Everything an interested
reader would want to know . . . A must-have book." — Antiques & Auction News. Over 350 rare illustrations. Continued
The Civil War buff and even serious
collector of Civil War arms, uniforms and equipment should purchase the Civil War Collector's Encyclopedia: Arms, Uniforms
And Equipment Of The Union And Confederacy as an indispensable reference and core guide in this specialized area of military
antiques and collectibles with noted authority Francis A. Lord covering almost everything to do with Civil War memorabilia--from
equipment to Union and Confederate uniforms.
Editor's Picks and Recommended Reading for "The American Civil War
Soldier; Causes and Motives of the American Civil War Soldier; Soldiers of the American Civil War; Why They Fought."
Tags:Life as an American Civil War Soldier
History, What was it like to be a Civil War Soldier, Experiences of a Civil War Soldier, Photo, Photos, Photographs, Pictures,
List of Female Civil War Soldiers, Picture Amputee, Amputees' Limbs, Limb, Arm, Arms, Leg and Legs, Civil War Medal of