100 books like Fredericksburg!

By George C. Rable,

Here are 100 books that Fredericksburg! fans have personally recommended if you like Fredericksburg!. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Desertion During the Civil War

Lesley J. Gordon Author Of A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War

From my list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading, researching, writing, and teaching Civil War military history for nearly thirty years. I first became interested in soldiers and their experiences as a teen, and went on to earn a PhD in American History at the University of Georgia. I’ve always been fascinated by the anti-hero, and the ways in which everyday people coped (or failed to cope) with this violent conflict. I am currently writing a book about regiments accused of cowardice and how those searing allegations cast a shadow over their military record. From 2010-2015, I served as editor of the scholarly journal Civil War History, and I was recently elected President of the Society for Civil War Historians (2022-2024).

Lesley's book list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it

Lesley J. Gordon Why did Lesley love this book?

Despite this book’s age—almost a century in print—it still stands as a seminal work on an important topic: desertion and its devastating effects on both armies. Lonn was born in 1879 in Indiana, and earned her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the few female historians at the time to do so. She was not immune to the racism of her day nor the cloying ideology of the Lost Cause, yet she told her readers she wanted to understand “the ugly and sordid sides of war.” Her book offers readers a wealth of information and insight to better understand the myriad of reasons why soldiers deserted.

By Dr. Ella Lonn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Desertion During the Civil War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Desertion during the Civil War, originally published in 1928, remains the only book-length treatment of its subject. Ella Lonn examines the causes and consequences of desertion from both the Northern and Southern armies. Drawing on official war records, she notes that one in seven enlisted Union soldiers and one in nine Confederate soldiers deserted.

Lonn discusses many reasons for desertion common to both armies, among them lack of such necessities as food, clothing, and equipment; weariness and discouragement; noncommitment and resentment of coercion; and worry about loved ones at home. Some Confederate deserters turned outlaw, joining ruffian bands in the…


Book cover of Hood's Texas Brigade: The Soldiers and Families of the Confederacy's Most Celebrated Unit

Lesley J. Gordon Author Of A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War

From my list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading, researching, writing, and teaching Civil War military history for nearly thirty years. I first became interested in soldiers and their experiences as a teen, and went on to earn a PhD in American History at the University of Georgia. I’ve always been fascinated by the anti-hero, and the ways in which everyday people coped (or failed to cope) with this violent conflict. I am currently writing a book about regiments accused of cowardice and how those searing allegations cast a shadow over their military record. From 2010-2015, I served as editor of the scholarly journal Civil War History, and I was recently elected President of the Society for Civil War Historians (2022-2024).

Lesley's book list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it

Lesley J. Gordon Why did Lesley love this book?

Ural tackles a unit history, but this time a brigade and one of the most famous ones: Hood’s Texans. She showcases not just why and how they became renowned for their fighting effectiveness, but how these men—white southerners—were unapologetic in their support of slavery and the Confederacy. It is “new military history” at its best—combining astute military analysis with social and cultural understandings of the people and the times in which they lived.

By Susannah J. Ural,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hood's Texas Brigade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most effective units to fight on either side of the Civil War, the Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia served under Robert E. Lee from the Seven Days Battles in 1862 to the surrender at Appomattox in 1865. In Hood's Texas Brigade, Susannah J. Ural presents a nontraditional unit history that traces the experiences of these soldiers and their families to gauge the war's effect on them and to understand their role in the white South's struggle for independence.

According to Ural, several factors contributed to the Texas Brigade's extraordinary success: the unit's strong self-identity…


Book cover of Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War

Lesley J. Gordon Author Of A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War

From my list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading, researching, writing, and teaching Civil War military history for nearly thirty years. I first became interested in soldiers and their experiences as a teen, and went on to earn a PhD in American History at the University of Georgia. I’ve always been fascinated by the anti-hero, and the ways in which everyday people coped (or failed to cope) with this violent conflict. I am currently writing a book about regiments accused of cowardice and how those searing allegations cast a shadow over their military record. From 2010-2015, I served as editor of the scholarly journal Civil War History, and I was recently elected President of the Society for Civil War Historians (2022-2024).

Lesley's book list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it

Lesley J. Gordon Why did Lesley love this book?

This book, first published in 1987, was (and is) harshly attacked by some scholars including James McPherson who blasted the book for its overreliance on postwar, published sources. Yet Linderman’s central thesis, that war negatively affected Civil War soldiers and for some, alienated them from families and communities at home, remains valid. It is not true that all Civil War soldiers were negatively affected by war, but many were, and Linderman was one of the first to challenge the mythology of the all-heroic and stoic Civil War soldier. For a book that makes you think differently about the war and the mythologies that continue to linger about it, I’d still go back to Linderman.

By Gerald Linderman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Embattled Courage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Linderman traces each soldier's path from the exhilaration of enlistment to the disillusionment of battle to postwar alienation. He provides a rare glimpse of the personal battle that raged within soldiers then and now.


Book cover of On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front

Lesley J. Gordon Author Of A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War

From my list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading, researching, writing, and teaching Civil War military history for nearly thirty years. I first became interested in soldiers and their experiences as a teen, and went on to earn a PhD in American History at the University of Georgia. I’ve always been fascinated by the anti-hero, and the ways in which everyday people coped (or failed to cope) with this violent conflict. I am currently writing a book about regiments accused of cowardice and how those searing allegations cast a shadow over their military record. From 2010-2015, I served as editor of the scholarly journal Civil War History, and I was recently elected President of the Society for Civil War Historians (2022-2024).

Lesley's book list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it

Lesley J. Gordon Why did Lesley love this book?

There are many published letters and diaries of Civil War soldiers, but far fewer from black men. This collection, penned by James Henry Gooding, a member of the famed 54th Massachusetts regiment, highlights the military service of a black man, born into slavery but later freed, educated, and keenly observant of the world around him. He enlisted in February 1863, recording his experiences in letters first published in the New Bedford Mercury. Here, they are assembled with insightful editing, illustrations, and an appendix featuring Gooding’s efforts to obtain equal pay for black troops. In September 1863, Gooding wrote President Lincoln, asking pointedly: “Are we Soldiers, or are We Labourers?” Gooding was later captured in battle and sent to Andersonville Prison where he died. His story and his words are invaluable windows into this tumultuous time.

By James Henry Gooding,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Altar of Freedom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The letters featured in this book were sent by Corporal James Henry Gooding, a member of Company C., of the 54th Massachusetts regiment. They were sent to the New Bedford (Massachusetts) ""Mercury"" and published. He was described as a ""truthful and intelligent correspondent, and a good soldier"".


Book cover of A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation

Brian Matthew Jordan Author Of A Thousand May Fall: An Immigrant Regiment's Civil War

From my list on laying bare the human ordeal of the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the Civil War my entire life. As a boy, I met a man in my Ohio hometown who spent his own youth visiting with the last, wrinkled survivors of the Union armies. His memories at once made the Civil War real and immediate for me. I soon devoured every book and walked every battlefield I could find. After earning an undergraduate degree in Civil War Studies at Gettysburg College, I completed my Ph.D. at Yale. I have authored six books on the conflict—one of which was a runner-up for the Pulitzer in History—and teach courses on the Civil War at Sam Houston State University.   

Brian Matthew's book list on laying bare the human ordeal of the Civil War

Brian Matthew Jordan Why did Brian Matthew love this book?

John Matteson is a deft prose stylist who once more delivers in this engrossing narrative of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of five key protagonists—including the poet Walt Whitman and a young Louisa May Alcott. The characters wind up on the murderous battlefields and teeming hospital wards of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The title is admittedly deceptive; readers expecting an operational or tactical history of Ambrose Burnside’s rout on the Rappahannock won’t find it here. On the other hand, those interested in a searing meditation on all that the war did to individual human bodies and minds—and the collective American soul—will savor this haunting, smart, and elegant book.  

By John Matteson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Worse Place Than Hell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

December 1862 drove the United States towards a breaking point. The Battle of Fredericksburg shattered Union forces and Northern confidence. As Abraham Lincoln's government threatened to fracture, this critical moment also tested five extraordinary individuals whose lives reflect the soul of a nation. The changes they underwent led to profound repercussions in the country's law, literature, politics and popular mythology. Taken together, their stories offer a striking restatement of what it means to be American. Guided by patriotism, driven by desire, all five moved towards singular destinies. A young Harvard intellectual steeped in courageous ideals, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr confronted…


Book cover of The Burnside Expedition in North Carolina: A Succession of Honorable Victories

Dwight Sturtevant Hughes Author Of Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862

From my list on the naval history of the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lover of the sea, ships, seamen, and their histories, particularly of navies in the Civil War. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy (1967) with a history major, I served twenty years as a surface warfare officer (ship driver) on most oceans in ships ranging from destroyer to aircraft carrier and with river forces in Vietnam. I earned an M.A. in Political Science and an M.S. in Information Systems Management. Now as a historian, author, and speaker, I’m committed to communicating our naval heritage in an educational and entertaining manner for old hands and new generations. Writing about ships is the next best thing to driving them.

Dwight's book list on the naval history of the American Civil War

Dwight Sturtevant Hughes Why did Dwight love this book?

Renowned naval engagements such as New Orleans and Mobile Bay are well covered by campaign studies and general histories but the Burnside Expedition is a neglected and fascinating operation described in this engaging work. With no precedent, procedures, or practice in massive joint operations, the frequently maligned General Ambrose Burnside teamed with Flag Officer Louis M. Goldsborough—commanding the Atlantic Blockading Squadron—to integrate Burnside’s “coastal division” with naval units and rag-tag merchant vessels into the first dedicated, rapid-deployment, amphibious force. In a series of engagements from February to April 1862 behind the barrier islands and in the sounds of North Carolina, they planned and executed textbook landings without a textbook, capturing the strategically vital region for the Union. With aggressive follow-up, the campaign might have shortened the conflict.

Book cover of The Last Full Measure

Philip Duke Author Of The Village: A Novel of Wartime Crete

From my list on wartime historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired professor of anthropology. I was first drawn to archaeology after a high-school presentation by a Classics master on the ruins of Paestum. I have enjoyed exploring the past but have a special passion for Greece. Because of my working-class origin in Liverpool, England, class struggle and the fight for human dignity has been a leitmotif of first my academic and now my fiction writing. My books explore how war inevitably changes the lives of the characters. I have bachelors and graduate degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Calgary. I'm a Fellow of the Society of Antiquities. I hope you enjoy the books on my list!

Philip's book list on wartime historical fiction

Philip Duke Why did Philip love this book?

I actually think that Shaara has outdone his father. Both, of course, weave the story around actual historical events, although Shaara Junior’s introduction of fictional characters livens the narrative up. I’ve enjoyed all of Shaara’s books, regardless of their historical setting, but I chose this one because it was a good way for me to learn more about the Civil War post-Gettysburg and also have a really good read.

By Jeff Shaara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Full Measure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Pulitzer prize–winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time. In the bestselling Gods and Generals, Shaara’s son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father’s vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning conclusion in a novel that brings to life the final two years of the Civil War.
 
As The Last Full Measure opens, Gettysburg is past and the war advances to its third brutal year. On the Union side, the gulf between the politicians…


Book cover of Robert E. Lee: A Biography

John Reeves Author Of A Fire in the Wilderness: The First Battle Between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee

From my list on understanding Robert E. Lee.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee and A Fire in the Wilderness: The First Battle Between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. I’ve been a teacher, editor, and writer for over twenty-five years. The Civil War, in particular, has been my passion since I first read Bruce Catton’s The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War as an elementary school student in the 1960s. My articles on Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant have been featured in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and on the History News Network.

John's book list on understanding Robert E. Lee

John Reeves Why did John love this book?

This book remains the best one-volume biography of Robert E. Lee almost twenty-five years after its publication. Thomas is far more balanced than either Lee’s critics or devotees. Early on, he offers fascinating material about Lee’s parents and private life in general. His discussion of Lee’s father, Light-Horse Harry Lee, is particularly riveting. Despite being born into one of Virginia’s leading families, young Robert E. Lee grew up in an insecure environment after losing his father at a young age. Throughout the book, Thomas provides concise, though somewhat limited, summaries of Lee’s military exploits.

By Emory M. Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Robert E. Lee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The life of Robert E. Lee is a story not of defeat but of triumph-triumph in clearing his family name, triumph in marrying properly, triumph over the mighty Mississippi in his work as an engineer, and triumph over all other military men to become the towering figure who commanded the Confederate army in the American Civil War. But late in life Lee confessed that he "was always wanting something."

In this probing and personal biography, Emory Thomas reveals more than the man himself did. Robert E. Lee has been, and continues to be, a symbol and hero in the American…


Book cover of A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War

Dwight Sturtevant Hughes Author Of Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862

From my list on the naval history of the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lover of the sea, ships, seamen, and their histories, particularly of navies in the Civil War. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy (1967) with a history major, I served twenty years as a surface warfare officer (ship driver) on most oceans in ships ranging from destroyer to aircraft carrier and with river forces in Vietnam. I earned an M.A. in Political Science and an M.S. in Information Systems Management. Now as a historian, author, and speaker, I’m committed to communicating our naval heritage in an educational and entertaining manner for old hands and new generations. Writing about ships is the next best thing to driving them.

Dwight's book list on the naval history of the American Civil War

Dwight Sturtevant Hughes Why did Dwight love this book?

Although the Civil War was principally a land conflict, naval contributions were fundamental, not just peripheral or supporting. This excellent operational and campaign overview examines social, political, and technological revolutions in Western warfare leading to and through the struggle. It deals primarily with terrestrial warfare, but unlike many such works, places waterborne operations in context and gives the navy its due. Steam propulsion and industrial superiority produced massive Union naval power for a strangling blockade, fortress-busting warship squadrons, and an unprecedented riverine fleet. The Confederacy’s coasts and seaports constituted a third major theater while in the west, rivers were avenues of invasion and conquest. Chapter 5 contains a cogent discussion of “The Unfulfilled Promise of Joint [Army-Navy] Operations.” Highly recommended as a well-integrated military-naval history.

By Williamson Murray, Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Savage War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How the Civil War changed the face of war

The Civil War represented a momentous change in the character of war. It combined the projection of military might across a continent on a scale never before seen with an unprecedented mass mobilization of peoples. Yet despite the revolutionizing aspects of the Civil War, its leaders faced the same uncertainties and vagaries of chance that have vexed combatants since the days of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. A Savage War sheds critical new light on this defining chapter in military history.

In a masterful narrative that propels readers from the first…


Book cover of Traveller

Warren Gill Author Of Princess of Horses

From my list on featuring animals for readers who are love animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been passionate about animals all my life. I was raised on and currently help operate the family farm near Petersburg, Tennessee. I have a doctorate in animal science and joined Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) as a Professor of Animal Science and Department Chair on August 1, 2007, after retiring from a 25-year career with the Extension Service (University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky). I enjoy participating in community activities such as the Petersburg Community Cultural Coalition, Petersburg Lion’s Club, and serving as President of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Retiree’s Association. I have written two books, Cane Creek Days and Princess of Horses.

Warren's book list on featuring animals for readers who are love animals

Warren Gill Why did Warren love this book?

Many years ago, I fell in love with Watership Down, Richard Adams’ iconic book about the trials and triumphs of rabbits, from the rabbit’s point of view.

With my doctorate in animal science, I know that neither rabbits nor horses can act, react or think like humans. Giving animals human-only abilities is called anthropomorphism and is not considered scientifically acceptable. That doesn’t matter when Richard Adams fuses his writing skills with a delightful concept of how animals face amazing challenges.

Traveller, Robert E. Lee’s famous war horse, narrates his view of a tragic general fighting in an epic failure of the human spirit. 

By Richard Adams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Traveller as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This ironic, revisionist view of the Civil War is seen through the eyes of Robert E. Lee's horse, Traveller. Told in a series of monologues directed at a tomcat, his story depicts battles, retreats and casualties. But Traveller's idealization of his rider does not allow him to recognize or even understand defeat. Richard Adams has written "Watership Down", "Shardik", "The Plague Dogs", "The Girl in a Swing" and "Maia".


5 book lists we think you will like!

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