Central Wisconsin History Collaborative

The Civil War

Titles in red are scholarly publications.  Books recommended for the classroom follow below.

  • Edward Hagerman, The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare (1988).
  • Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers: Their Expectations and Experiences (1988).
  • Clarence Mohr, On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia (1986).
  • Drew Gilpin Faust, The Creation of Southern Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South (1988).
  • Wilfred Knight, Red Fox: Stand Waite and the Confederate Indian Nations During the Civil War Years in Indian Territory (1988).
  • Elizabeth Leonard, All the Daring of the Solider: Women of the Civil War Armies (1999).
  • Patricia Polocco. (1994) Pink and Say. Philomel Books.  Chronicles the friendship of Pink, a fifteen-year-old African-American Union soldier, and Say, his poor white comrade, as one nurses the other back to health from a battle wound and the two of them are imprisoned at Andersonville. Based on a true story. Rd Lvl: 4.9
  • Jim Murphy. (1993) The Boys' War : Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War. Clarion Books. Includes bibliographical references (p. 103-106) and index. Includes diary entries, personal letters, and archival photographs to describe the experiences of boys, sixteen years old or younger, who fought in the Civil War.  Rd Lvl: 7.8
  • Wisler, G. Clifton. (1997) Mr. Lincoln's Drummer. Puffin Books. A fictional account of the courageous exploits of Willie Johnston, an eleven-year-old Civil War drummer, who became the youngest recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. RL: 6.4


  • Gauch, Patricia Lee. (2003) Thunder at Gettysburg.  Boyds Mills Press.  Fourteen-year-old Tillie is sent to accompany a neighbor to Weikert's farm when the fighting at Gettysburg gets too close to home, and instead finds herself trapped in the battle that raged for three days, from July 1-3, 1863. RL: 5.7 
  • Paulsen, Gary. (1998) Soldier's heart: being the story of the enlistment and due service of the boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers : a novel of the Civil War.  Delacorte Press.  Includes bibliographical references (p. 105-106). Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat. RL: 5.9
  • Marrin, Albert, Commander in Chief, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, Dutton   Children’s Books: 1997.  Brings Lincoln to life by placing him in the context of his own personal background and the larger circumstances of the country's greatest conflict.  RL 7.6


Charley Skedaddle
  • Beatty, Patricia, Charley Skedaddle, Morrow Junior Books: 1987  Fighting is important to Charley Quinn, 12, a street-tough New York Bowery Boy who runs away from his Irish-Catholic home to join the Union forces in Virginia. But war proves much more horrible than he'd thought so terrible, in fact, that he deserts, giving himself the disparaging name "Skedaddle." Afterward, Charley takes refuge in the mountains with Granny Bent, a midwife with her own secret loyalties. This well-crafted, somewhat episodic novel makes the point that fighting brings honor, and cowardice, shame. The settings from the Bowery, to the battlefield, to Granny's cabin are quite powerful. 


  • Hesse, Karen, A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Scholastic, Inc. 1999  In 1860 and 1861, while working in her father's lighthouse on an island off the coast of Delaware, fifteen-year-old Amelia records in her diary how the Civil War is beginning to devastate her divided state.  RL 5.3


  • Reeder, Carolyn, Shades of Gray, Avon Books: 1989  At the end of the Civil War, twelve-year-old Will, having lost all his immediate family, reluctantly leaves his city home to live in the Virginia countryside with his aunt and uncle.  RL 5.3


  • Graves, Kerry A., Going to School During the Civil War: the Confederacy, Blue Earth Books, 2002  Discusses what it was like to attend school during the Civil War in the South including what subjects were studied, what was used for writing, and what games were played.  RL 6.4


  • Ransom, Candice, Children of the Civil War, (Picture of the American Past), Carolrhoda Books, 1998  Explores the lives of children during the Civil War, including those who joined armies, others who stayed home, and the large numbers made homeless because of the conflict.  RL 4.1


  • Meltzer, Milton, Voices from the Civil War, Thomas Y. Crowell: 1989  Letters, diaries, memoirs, interviews, ballads, newspaper articles, and speeches depict life and events during the four years of the Civil War.  RL 9


  • Lincoln, Abraham, The Gettysburg Address. Houghton Mifflin Co.: 1995  The words of Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, accompanied by illustrations and an afterward by Michael McCurdy about his great-grandfather who fought at Gettysburg.  RL 4.3

The 1850's An Increasingly Divided Union
The Valley of the Shadow: Living the Civil War Pennsylvania and Virginia
United States Civil War Center
Library of Congress Civil War Documents and Photographs
Civil War Timeline
Gilder Lehrman Special Exhibits Gallery at Gettysburg


Gilder Lehrman Institute Collection



Revised 08/25/2008  


University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 (608) 785-8351

All material Copyright © 2007 by the University of Wisconsin and the Board of Regents of 

the University of Wisconsin System