100 books like Shiloh

By Shelby Foote,

Here are 100 books that Shiloh fans have personally recommended if you like Shiloh. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Killer Angels

Rebecca Branch Author Of The Summer of '71: A Romance of Youth in Timeless Rome

From my list on adventure, love, lust, and life’s lessons through time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am all the characters in this and every book I have written. I grew up in Rome, teach Roman art and architectural history, and am a practicing architect. My books are suffused with the things I love, from culture to cuisine, pace of life, love of consort, affection for children and animals, to the adventures I have been so fortunate to enjoy through my fifties. Reading has been a big part of my education. I have many interests and loves to share. These five book recommendations are but the tip of the iceberg. I became an author so I could write what remains unwritten and read the stories I wish to tell.

Rebecca's book list on adventure, love, lust, and life’s lessons through time

Rebecca Branch Why did Rebecca love this book?

I have never been brought so close to a battle and a battlefield experience as when reading this book.

The horror, tension, excitement, valor, and regret of warfare are clearly depicted. The motivations for fighting for a terrible cause are examined. The determination to see things through to the bitter end is in evidence. It is a blueprint for writing warfare and helps the reader understand the excitement and tension in leading troops to the fear and futility of being on the line.

Best of all, Shaara has been able to bring life to Lee, who so often is referred to as a marble man. Here, he’s been humanized, and this alone makes our reading of history so much more personal and relevant.

By Michael Shaara,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Killer Angels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“My favorite historical novel . . . a superb re-creation of the Battle of Gettysburg, but its real importance is its insight into what the war was about, and what it meant.”—James M. McPherson
 
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation’s history, two armies fought for two conflicting dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty…


Book cover of Cold Mountain

David L. Robbins Author Of War of the Rats

From my list on love and war and describing both battlefields.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve penned (so far) seventeen novels, most set during some historical conflict or other, all of them revolving around intense personal relationships (loyalty, love, betrayal, those sorts of profound truths). I tend to read the sorts of books I wish to write. I also teach creative writing at a university (VCU); I tell my students that if they want to really know what a character is made of, shoot at them or have them fall in love. In my own work, I do both.

David's book list on love and war and describing both battlefields

David L. Robbins Why did David love this book?

When Inman decides he’s had enough of the Civil War, he takes a very long walk home. Along his path, he encounters the detritus of the conflict in shattered land and people. Meanwhile, his love, Ada, tries to cobble together some remnants of her former life.

Maybe a book out of fashion these days because it’s set in the defeated South, and that I understand. However, it remains a masterclass in style, vision, plot, and insight. 

By Charles Frazier,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Cold Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1997, Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history when it sailed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list for sixty-one weeks, won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award, and went on to sell over three million copies. Now, the beloved American epic returns, reissued by Grove Press to coincide with the publication of Frazier’s eagerly-anticipated second novel, Thirteen Moons. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, a Confederate soldier named Inman decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains to Ada, the woman he loves.…


Book cover of Gone With the Wind

Lynn Shurr Author Of Lady Flora's Rescue

From my list on historical novels picked by a librarian.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a reference librarian, I love doing research for myself and others. By reading a well-written historical novel, we can learn about the past and compare and contrast it to our present. All but the last of my choices have strong female characters who must overcome the customs of their time. The struggle goes on today. Let these books remind you of how far we have come and how far we have to go.

Lynn's book list on historical novels picked by a librarian

Lynn Shurr Why did Lynn love this book?

I know it is no longer PC to love this book, but Mitchell did do awesome historical homework concerning the antebellum and reconstruction eras in Georgia.

It is far more than the romance between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler; rather, it is a portrait of a woman who goes from being a spoiled belle to one who will do anything to save her heritage—at the cost of love. It is not a romance, for sure.

By Margaret Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Gone With the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the tempestuous romance between Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara is set amid the drama of the Civil War.


Book cover of The Widow of the South

Carolyn P. Schriber Author Of Damned Yankee

From my list on what historians don’t tell you on the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve experimented with many careers during my adult life. I’ve been a nanny, high school Latin teacher, noontime talk-show hostess, computer instructor, college history professor, and president of a four-state charitable organization. But nothing has so occupied my passion as exploring and writing stories about America’s Civil War. Becoming an author was a career choice I made after I retired at the age of 65. I began with a small collection of letters written by my great uncle shortly before his death on a Civil War battlefield. My continuing inspiration comes from the enthusiasm of my readers who want to learn more than their history books offer. 

Carolyn's book list on what historians don’t tell you on the American Civil War

Carolyn P. Schriber Why did Carolyn love this book?

Beyond the usual five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—a sixth stage of heavy responsibility may develop when someone dies in the service of a great cause. As the Battle of Franklin played out in the yard of her Carnton Plantation, Carrie MccGavock felt that sense of obligation to the 9000 soldiers who died in that battle. It is in that sense that Carrie called herself the “Widow of the South.” She disinterred over 1000 anonymous bodies, identified them, reburied them in her own cemetery, and sought to give their families a sense of closure. This moving novel, based on a true story, reminds us that the Civil War was more than maps and casualty statistics. It is a story of heartbreak and devotion.

By Robert Hicks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Widow of the South as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tennessee, 1864. On a late autumn day, near a little town called Franklin, 10,000 men will soon lie dead or dying in a battle that will change many lives for ever. None will be more changed than Carrie McGavock, who finds her home taken over by the Confederate army and turned into a field hospital. Taking charge, she finds the courage to face up to the horrors around her and, in doing so, finds a cause.

Out on the battlefield, a tired young Southern soldier drops his guns and charges forward into Yankee territory, holding only the flag of his…


Book cover of March

Pamela Redford Russell Author Of The Woman Who Loved John Wilkes Booth: The Diary of Mary Surratt

From my list on portrayals of real people in historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to read and write historical fiction—seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling the past—revealing the thoughts and emotions of characters real and imagined through psychological insights. My mentor Fawn Brodie wrote non-fiction, specifically psychobiography. Her Thomas Jefferson: an Intimate History introduced the world to the enslaved Sally Hemings. The seeds of my first novel The Woman Who Loved John Wilkes Booth were sown in Fawn Brodie’s UCLA lecture hall. I can only imagine what her historical fiction might’ve been. Now I wait for novels from historians Imani Perry South to America and Isabel Wilkerson Caste. Meantime there are so many wonderful novelists writing history. 

Pamela's book list on portrayals of real people in historical fiction

Pamela Redford Russell Why did Pamela love this book?

When recommending Geraldine Brooks’ multi-layered and intricately crafted March, another book must always be mentioned. Louisa May Alcott’s Little WomenMarch is the Pulitzer Prize-winning historical fiction rooted in Alcott’s classic novel that’s been read and loved for centuries. The March of the title is Jo March’s father in Little Women. In real life, his name was Amos Bronson Alcott. And he was the father of Louisa May Alcott. Brooks tells March’s fictitious story masterfully and with great historical acumen. Her depictions of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson are truly historic. Geraldine Brooks is not a historian. Her husband Tony Horwitz was. In Brooks’ case it seems that to fall in love with a historian is to fall in love with history as well. March is the beautiful proof.

By Geraldine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of the acclaimed YEAR OF WONDERS, a historical novel and love story set during a time of catastrophe, on the front lines of the American Civil War. Set during the American Civil War, MARCH tells the story of John March, known to us as the father away from his family of girls in LITTLE WOMEN, Louisa May Alcott's classic American novel. In Brooks' telling, March emerges as an abolitionist and idealistic chaplain on the front lines of a war that tests his faith in himself and in the Union cause when he learns that his side, too,…


Book cover of Andersonville

Terry Roberts Author Of That Bright Land

From my list on that will bring the American Civil War alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a native of the mountains of Western North Carolina. My direct ancestors include six generations of mountain farmers, as well as the bootleggers, preachers, and soldiers who appear in my novels. These generations include at least six family members who fought in the Civil War. I came to understand that the war itself began primarily over slavery, one of the most shameful and hideous aspects of our history. As a reader, I admire the complexity and power of these novels. As a writer, I sought to create a story of my own that offered a form of narrative healing to those, Black and white, who suffered through the horrific years of the war. 

Terry's book list on that will bring the American Civil War alive

Terry Roberts Why did Terry love this book?

Andersonville was a groundbreaking novel about the war because it told the tragic story of the infamous Andersonville Prison (official name: Camp Sumter), located in Andersonville, Georgia. Andersonville was only in operation for a little over a year; however, during that time 45,000 Union soldiers were imprisoned there, and nearly 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure. In this remarkable novel, Kantor revealed a little-known aspect of the war that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of Civil War soldiers and their families. The prison camps in both the north and south were inhumane and even cruel institutions, often more deadly than the battles themselves. Kantor’s novel explores this phenomenon through the use of multiple points of view (like several of the novels on this list).

By Mackinlay Kantor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The greatest of our Civil War novels" (New York Times) reissued for a new generation

As the United States prepares to commemorate the Civil War's 150th anniversary, Plume reissues the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel widely regarded as the most powerful ever written about our nation's bloodiest conflict. MacKinlay Kantor's Andersonville tells the story of the notorious Confederate Prisoner of War camp, where fifty thousand Union soldiers were held captive-and fourteen thousand died-under inhumane conditions. This new edition will be widely read and talked about by Civil War buffs and readers of gripping historical fiction.


Book cover of Time of Drums

Terry Roberts Author Of That Bright Land

From my list on that will bring the American Civil War alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a native of the mountains of Western North Carolina. My direct ancestors include six generations of mountain farmers, as well as the bootleggers, preachers, and soldiers who appear in my novels. These generations include at least six family members who fought in the Civil War. I came to understand that the war itself began primarily over slavery, one of the most shameful and hideous aspects of our history. As a reader, I admire the complexity and power of these novels. As a writer, I sought to create a story of my own that offered a form of narrative healing to those, Black and white, who suffered through the horrific years of the war. 

Terry's book list on that will bring the American Civil War alive

Terry Roberts Why did Terry love this book?

Time of Drums is a personal favorite of mine because it explores the Civil War through the first-person voice of Colonel Owen Wright, who is a native of the mountains of Western North Carolina, my own birthplace and home. Ehle masterfully interweaves the story of Wright’s career in the Confederate army with the volatile and tragic events on the home front in the Southern mountains. In addition, the national conflicts are simultaneously played out in the private lives of the characters in a deeply personal and moving way. Time of Drums is one of the most underrated Civil War novels and deserves a much wider readership. My own civil war book, That Bright Land, was dedicated to John Ehle for this reason.

By John Ehle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

John Ehle's classic civil war novel, Tome of Drums, returns to print as a Press 53 Classic. Book three in his seven-book Appalachian series. Borden Deal said: "There have been many books about the Civil War; none of them, with the exception of The Red Badge of Courage, have comes close to the dusty, bloody, grinding truth that John Ehle writes about. Time of Drums is not only the story of men launched into a war with uncertain loyalties, but more important, it continues the Wright saga that John Ehle began with The Land Breakers and promises to expand into…


Book cover of Shiloh 1862

Robert C. Plumb Author Of Your Brother in Arms: A Union Soldier's Odyssey

From my list on the heart of the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I graduated from undergraduate studies with a BA in history. Virtually all of my history courses taken to obtain my degree were in the European area. When I began writing my book Your Brother in Arms, I spent my research time immersed in Civil War history. This took the form of archival research, reading scores of Civil War history books, and visiting every major Civil War battlefield where the Army of the Potomac fought. These experiences, along with time spent with Civil War historians over five years, resulted in an intellectual, physical, and emotional involvement in the American Civil War that took hold of me and never let go.

Robert's book list on the heart of the American Civil War

Robert C. Plumb Why did Robert love this book?

The Battle of Shiloh has been the subject of a number of distinguished historians, but only Winston Groom is able to capture the 170 individual fights between regiments with clarity and skill. The sheer numbers are daunting—100,000 soldiers fighting in 12 square miles. But Groom has told the complex Shiloh story effectively without getting bogged down in “minute detail and technical aspects” as he reports in his beginning notes. Groom’s writing is enhanced by ten detailed maps that bring lucency and specificity to the narrative. Shiloh, fought in 1862, had a deeper impact that foretold the future. In Groom’s words: “It was as if at Shiloh they had unleashed some giant, murderous thing that was now going to drench the country in blood, just as Sherman had predicted back in 1860.”     

By Winston Groom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shiloh 1862 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this gripping telling of the first "great and terrible" battle of the Civil War, Groom describes the dramatic events of April 6 and 7, 1862, when a bold surprise attack on Ulysses S. Grant's encamped troops and the bloody battle that ensued would alter the timbre of the war.


Book cover of Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862

David Powell Author Of Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign

From my list on the American Civil War in the western theater.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the American Civil War since I was 8 years old. I have been a serious student of the subject since my college years, where I majored in American History. I have played and designed boardgames concerning battles of the war, including a number of games on battles in the Western Theater, I have been a living historian and reenactor, and now, an author-published by both academic and popular presses. The battle of Chickamauga became a serious interest as early as 1979.

David's book list on the American Civil War in the western theater

David Powell Why did David love this book?

Several books have been written about the Battle of Shiloh, fought on April 6 and 7, 1862. This is no surprise, as the battle was one of the very first large-scale engagements of the war, with more than 100,000 combatants and producing 23,000 casualties. That staggering butcher’s bill stunned the nation and created a deep-rooted interest in remembering the contest. A National Cemetery was created in 1866, and Shiloh was one of the five original military parks established by Congress in 1895. The park’s interpretive thrust has shaped the outline of the traditional narrative of the battle ever since.

In the 1960s, Edward Cunningham offered a corrective to that traditional narrative, in an unpublished academic thesis. Discarding long-held, preconceived notions, Cunningham hewed closer to the primary sources to provide a deeply insightful new interpretation of the battle. Unfortunately, he never found a publisher for that thesis—until 2009. Though Cunningham had…

By O. Edward Cunningham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The stunning Northern victory at Shiloh in 1942 thrust Union commander Ulysses S. Grant into the national spotlight, claimed the life of Confederate commander Albert S. Johnston, and forever buried the notion that the Civil War would be a short conflict.

Anxious to attack the enemy, Johnston began concentrating Southern forces at Corinth, a major railroad center just below the Tennessee border. His bold plan called for his Army of the Mississippi to march north and destroy General Grant's Army of the Tennessee before it could link up with another Union army on the way to join him.

On the…


Book cover of Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

William Barney Author Of Rebels in the Making: The Secession Crisis and the Birth of the Confederacy

From my list on an offbeat look at the Confederacy.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a youth devouring the books of Bruce Catton to my formative years as a historian, I’ve been fascinated by the Civil War, especially the thinking and experiences of southerners who lived through the cataclysmic war years. In my teaching and writing, I’ve tried to focus on the lived experiences, the hopes and fears, of southerners who seemingly embraced secession and an independent Southern Confederacy in the expectation of a short, victorious war only to become disenchanted when the war they thought would come to pass turned into a long, bloody stalemate. The books I’ve listed share my passion for the war and open new and often unexpected windows into the Confederate experience.

William's book list on an offbeat look at the Confederacy

William Barney Why did William love this book?

Few images of the Confederacy are as enduring as that of the selfless sacrificing and unbounded enthusiasm of southern women for the Confederate cause. This groundbreaking study peels away this mythic image to reveal the conflicted feelings of elite white women as they struggled to cope with a crush of new responsibilities for which they were ill-prepared and longed for the return of their husbands and sons. The letters they sent President Davis and their men in the war registered a growing disillusionment with the Confederacy and a yearning to return to the comfort of their pre-war privileged positions.

By Drew Gilpin Faust,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis, when every part of these women's lives became vexed and uncertain.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America, and Tennessee?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America, and Tennessee.

The American Civil War Explore 296 books about the American Civil War
The Confederate States Of America Explore 57 books about the Confederate States of America
Tennessee Explore 63 books about Tennessee