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Civil War and Reconstruction Pathfinder

Encyclopedias and Overviews

Here is a good place to explore a research paper. The first two are multi-volume sets and entries are written by scholars.

Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. (Ref. E 487 .E55 1993)

Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social and Military History. (Ref. E 468 .E53 2000)

The Encyclopedia of Southern History. (Ref. F 207.7 .E52)

Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. (Ref. F 209 .E53 1989)

Reconstruction:The Challenge of Freedom Lenthy essay on Lincoln,Grant ,Radicals,KKK etc

Women During the Civil War An Encyclopedia ( Ref E 628 H37 2004)

Reconstruction Era of the United States
Wiki essay.

Dunning School Wiki

Encyclopedia of the American Civil War

American Civil War Wiki essay.


Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction. (Ref. E 668 .T66 1991) This book was edited by a very able scholar, Hans Trefousse. How reliable? Well, if you look under Freedman’s Savings Bank you will find a reference to CARL OSTHAUS. The entries are about two pages long and include sources.

Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery. (Ref. E 441 .D53 1988)

The Civil War Dictionary. (Ref. E 468 .B7 1988) This is a reference classic and many of the entries are longer than a dictionary format.


Biographical Dictionary of the Union: Northern Leaders of the Civil War. (Ref. E 467 .B56 1995)

Generals in Gray. (Ref. E 467 .W3)

More Generals in Gray. (Ref. E 467 .A4 1995)

Generals in Blue. (Ref. E 467 .W29)

Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy. (Ref. E 467 .W2)

Leaders of the American Civil War. (Ref. E467 .L43 1998) This title is the best of the lot in terms of authority, comprehensiveness and scholarship.

Who Was Who in the Civil War. (Ref. E 467 .S56 1988) This book lists 2500 entries on both military and civilian leaders.

Civil War High Commands. (Ref. E467 .E35 2001) There is no narrative in this book: birth and death dates and listing of commands.

The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference. (Ref. E 468 .L58 2002) This book is arranged by broad topic, such as Weaponry or The Home Front. Good for quick look-ups.

The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research. (Ref. E 456 .A1 A47 1996) This book is broadly arranged by topic, such as Lincoln, The Home Front, Reconstruction, etc. Each chapter is written as an essay that traces and evaluates the literature. The chapters are written by leading historians. Be sure to also look at Part I, which sites classic reference sources.

The Dark and Bloody Ground of Reconstruction Historiography


Selected Civil War maps, reproduced from originals made by the U. S. Coast Survey, 1861-1865.
(Docs. C 4.9/2:C 49/3) In Government Documents.

Official Atlas of the Civil War. Introduction by Henry Steele Commanger. (Ref. G 1201 .S5 U6 1958)

Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865. (Ref. G 1281 .F8 M3 1994)

Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Published under the direction of the... secretaries of war, by Maj. George B. Davis... Mr. Leslie J. Perry... Mr. Joseph W. Kirkley... board of publication. Compiled by Capt. Calvin D. Cowles. (Spec. Coll. Springer E 464 .U61)

A Battlefield Atlas of the Civil War. (Ref. G 1201 .S5 S9 1983a)

The Routledge Historical Atlas of the American South. (Ref. G 1281 .S5 1999)

The American South: A Historical Bibliography. (Ref. F 209 .A45 1985) Two vols. Vol. 1 is organized by period. Each entry contains a citation and abstract of article.
Primary Sources

New York Times Historical 1851-2005. 1851-

Harper's Weekly 1857-1912

Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (Ref. AI3 .P7 1958)

Palmer’s Index to the Times Newspaper. (British) (Ref. AI 21 .T52)


Selected Civil War Photographs

Documenting the American South - This site is good for electronic texts, the southern homefront and slave narratives.

Know Southern History - Use for biographies, a timeline of southern history and links to cultural sources.

American South.org - Use for identifying primary sources in southern history.

The American Civil War Homepage - This is an outstanding source. Click on Resources and you will get links to the following:

  • Outline of Resources
  • General Resources
  • The Secession Crisis and Before
  • Images of Wartime
  • Biographical Information
  • Histories and Bibliographies
  • Documentary Records
  • State/Local Studies -- by State
  • Battles & Campaigns
  • Rosters & Regimental Histories
  • Other Military Information
  • Civil War Reenactors
  • Civil War Round Tables
  • Fictional Accounts of Wartime

Nineteenth Century Documents Project - Links to the following topics: Early National Politics, Slavery/Sectionalism, Nebraska Bill, Sumner Caning, Dred Scott Decision, John Brown/Harper's Ferry, 1850s Statistical Almanac, 1860 Election, Secession/War, Post Civil War, Text Analysis Tools, Related Sites.

Civil War and Reconstruction - Links to the following topics:

  • WWW sites
  • Full text Histories
  • Scholarly Articles and Reviews
  • Primary sources
  • Coming of the War 1850-59
  • Political Crisis 1860
  • Secession
  • Lincoln Administration
  • Homefront South
  • Homefront North
  • Emancipation & Freedmen
  • Military: Topics
  • Military: Battles
  • Soldiers & Veterans
  • Graphics & Sound
  • Teaching Aids
  • Reconstruction

Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)

Links to:

  • Africans in America: Judgment Day, 1831-1865 - An illustrated narrative about the period, a resource bank containing biographies, primary sources, commentary from modern historians, and a teacher's guide. The companion to the PBS series.
  • The American Civil War - Current, comprehensive, and well-organized set of links on Civil War topics such as battles, music, and women in the war. Maintained by Jim Janke at Dakota State University.
  • The American Civil War Home Page - Gateway to Internet resources on the American Civil War. Includes public and personal documents, visual documents, and maps. Maintained by George Hoemann at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
  • American Civil War Collections - The University of Virginia presents six collections of Civil War letters, including letters from both Confederate and Union soldiers.
  • American Visionaries: Frederick Douglass - An introduction to Douglass's life and work, illustrated with photographs of Douglass, his home, and various possessions. From the National Park Service.
  • Andrew Johnson Impeachment Trial - Detailed information about the impeachment, from Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School.
  • The Civil War in the Classroom - This companion site to the Ken Burns documentary provides ready-to-use lesson plans, including lessons on researching the Civil War in the local community.
  • Civil War @ Smithsonian - This site provides access to many of the Smithsonian's resources on the Civil War.
  • Civil War Women - The papers of three women who lived during the Civil War—a spy, a Union Army recruiter, and a schoolgirl. From Duke University.
  • Crisis at Fort Sumter - Detailed background information is provided to assist users in solving the dilemmas facing President Lincoln in the events surrounding the fall of Fort Sumter. From Richard Latner of Tulane University.
  • Emancipation Proclamation - Transcript of the document and an essay by noted historian John Hope Franklin.
  • Eye of the Storm - The drawings and journal of Union soldier Knox Sneden, newly discovered in the 1990s and made available by the Virginia Historical Society.
  • Freedmen and Southern Society Project - Essays and many primary source documents related to emancipation of American slaves. Among the tools on the site is a Chronology of Emancipation During the Civil War. From the University of Maryland.
  • HarpWeek - Cartoons, photographs, magazine covers, and articles published in the mid-19th century. Some products must be purchased, but many others are available free on the site.
  • Index of Civil War Information Available on the Internet - A searchable index provided by the United States Civil War Center at Louisiana State University.
  • Lincoln/Net - Northern Illinois University focuses on "the Illinois years" (through 1861), providing historical essays and such primary source documents as transcripts of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
  • Making of America - A large collection of books and journal articles from the period 1850-1877. A project of the University of Michigan.
  • North American Slave Narratives - Part of the University of North Carolina's Documenting the American South site, this page presents more than 200 narratives by slaves and former slaves, many published between 1850 and 1877.
  • Papers of Jefferson Davis - Selected primary sources from the papers of the CSA's president.
  • Stratford Plantation: The Birthplace of Robert E. Lee - Extensive information about Robert E. Lee and the Lee family, including primary source documents.
  • The Underground Railroad - A site for young people provided by National Geographic.
  • The Valley of the Shadow Project: Living the Civil War in Virginia and Pennsylvania - A unique web site containing many types of primary sources on the Civil War relating to two communities — one North and one South. Maintained by the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia.

Index of Civil  War Information Available on the Internet Extensive A-Z listing of sites. Links to primary sources such as diaries.

Primary Documents in American History. Civil War and Reconstruction

Civil War Maps

Library Contact
Picture: Dan Ring

Dan Ring
Reference Librarian


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