Good morning, afternoon or evening, where ever you are and whenever you’re reading this! I’m thrilled to have you back here at Life of Heritage Corner! This post was originally supposed to be put up next month, but on a whim, I decided to do it now. It has been requested that I share some of the books that I get my information from, specifically for my series, The Battle for Heritage, set during the War Between the States. 📚 So today, I’m going to share 6 of the books that really helped me get my series together, specifically for The Land of Cotton!
Very early on in my work, a dear man gave me over a dozen books from his personal collection. These books have helped me a lot! In fact, three of them made this list! So, here are my top six research books.📝
1. The Civil War by Bruce Caton ©1988 by American Heritage Inc. edition.
Now, I disagree with Mr. Caton on his view of the War Between the States, but the main thing I used this book for (which was very well researched; he’s known as the Civil War Authority of his day) was the special bonuses at the end of the book. Part 1 is a Chronology of the Civil War, dividing the events up by year, month and day. I relied heavily on this while plotting my series and still refer to it constantly. Part II is the Index to the Chronology. This listed all the battles alphabetically, then in small print listed the month, day and year it took place, so you could look it up in the chronology. Very helpful! Part III is The Leading Participants. Alphabetically, the political and military leaders of both sides are listed, with a paragraph telling who they are, what they did in the war, when they did it, if they were wounded and when, what battles they fought in, what command position they held and when, and when they died (if applicable). It is a gold mine! To be honest, I’ve yet to actually read the book…I’ve only used the bonus indexes!😆
2. The Time-Life History of the Civil War (I don’t have my copy down right now, so I’m not sure what edition it is, but click here to see it.)
I read parts of this book, depending on what battle I was currently working on. It gave quotes from soldiers as well as times and places when things happened. But mostly, I used it for the pictures. There were drawings✏, photos📸 , and paintings🖌, some more modern and some made during the war. I used these for inspiration for characters, activities and battle sequences.
3. A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore, Edited, with an Introduction by B.A. Botkin ©1960 by B.A. Botkin, 1993 Promontory Press Edition
Warning: It does need some editing…there are a few bad words and a few stories that need to be taken out!
This book is exactly what it sounds like, Tales, legends, folklore, letters and journals written by the people who actually experienced the war! Now, the title insinuates that not everything in the book is 100% accurate, which is true, but there really isn’t a lot of “Tall-Tales”. Most of the content is history written down by the multiple authors. You get a great look at what the men fought for, what camp life was like, what it was like back home and what was going on in the officers and politicians’ heads. There are news articles as well. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the time period, the language and the mindset of the people. You hear from both the famous and the unheard of, and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it!
4. Beloved Bride by Bill Potter ©2002-2012 by Vision Forum (Read a full review here!)
This book is beautiful! 😍 It’s one of the books that made me fall in love with General Stonewall Jackson. And yes, most of what I wrote about Stonewall came from reading this book (his dialogue is based off his actual patterns of speech, things he really said and the way he responded to situations.) It’s one of my very favorite non-fictions! Read it, just go read it! ❤
5. A Pocket History of the Civil War by Martin F. Graham ©2011 by Martin F. Graham Osprey Publishing Edition
Oh, wow! I found this book at Ollie’s on sale and it was truly my pocket guide! Again, I didn’t agree with this author’s take on the war, but I found for the most part, it seemed pretty neutral. The statistics were very helpful as well as the breakdown of how to load a rifle. If you read The Land of Cotton, the scene where the boys are going through the process of joining up and the scene where one of the boys is loading his gun, both came from this book. It’s a very comprehensive guide. I also got a lot of information for my Soldier Life // Privates post from this book! Definitely a book to pick up if you are writing about the War Between the States or if you want a little more than a basic overview of the war. My only hang up with this story is that they say the only reason the South went to war was over slavery, which wasn’t a reason at all. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything…
6.The Civil War for Kids by Janis Herbert ©1999 by Janis Herbert, Chicago Review Press 1st Edition
This book gave me the idea to include loading the rifle in my book, though I used #5 to get a clearer understanding. It also inspired me to include espionage in my book. Even though it’s biased for the Union, you’ll find it jammed packed with information and activities. 📒There’s also fun bonus facts about the war, like what names of places mean, who named what battles, biography sketches, etc. If you’ve read Our Heritage to Save, you may remember the scene where Titus dives into the breakdown of the army’s companies, regiments, etc. I got all that from this book. I highly recommend it!
So that’s it for now! Hope this has given you something to springboard off of. In the future I hope to tell you about some of my Confederate resources, more histories and even some documentaries that help me! If you have any questions about these books, please let me know and someone from my team (aka me or my family!) will answer them for you!
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
II Timothy 4:12
(King James Bible)
Until Next Time,
*Emoji provided by Emoji One
Christian. American. Southern. Author.