100 books like The Iron Brigade

By Alan T. Nolan,

Here are 100 books that The Iron Brigade fans have personally recommended if you like The Iron Brigade. 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.

Who am I?

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 Fort Sumter to Perryville

David Michael Dunaway Author Of Angry Heavens: Struggles of a Confederate Surgeon

From my list on celebrating an author’s literary style.

Who am I?

I'm a lifetime, passionate reader. During the summer vacations, my brother and I would often ride with our father to his job in downtown Mobile and walk to Mobile Public Library, where we would spend all day exploring and reading. Well-written novels with remarkable but believable characters—such as those I've noted here are my passion. I have included novels in my list where I can identify personally with the protagonist. My list of books is varied. They have one thing in common: believable characters who struggle with life—authored by legitimate wordsmiths. When I wrote Angry Heavens as a first-time novelist, it was my history as a reader that I used as a writer.

David's book list on celebrating an author’s literary style

David Michael Dunaway Why did David love this book?

Whether one is a Civil War buff, or a fan of Sun Tzu’s military strategy, you will find plenty of both in this three-volume set. Volume 1 is: Fort Sumter to Perryville. Volume 2 is: Fredericksburg to Meridian, and Volume 3 is: Red River to Appomattox.  

Shelby Foote’s work provided most of the background of Ken Burn’s PBS epic, The Civil War. Anyone who watched that masterpiece and heard the knowledge of Shelby Foote spoken in the most lovely Southern drawl, will not be disappointed in this collection. 

The Civil War: A Narrative – 3 volume box set provided significant detail and motivation for me as I wrote my own book.  When I had a question about a date, geography of a battle, written correspondence between fighters or allies, or conversations such as took place at Appomattox Courthouse between Generals Grant and Lee, I went immediately to Shelby Foote’s three-volume…

By Shelby Foote,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Fort Sumter to Perryville as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This first volume of Shelby Foote's classic narrative of the Civil War opens with Jefferson Davis’s farewell to the United Senate and ends on the bloody battlefields of Antietam and Perryville, as the full, horrible scope of America’s great war becomes clear. Exhaustively researched and masterfully written, Foote’s epic account of the Civil War unfolds like a classic novel. 
 
Includes maps throughout.
 
"Here, for a certainty, is one of the great historical narratives…a unique and brilliant achievement, one that must be firmly placed in the ranks of the masters."—Van Allen Bradley, Chicago Daily News

"A stunning book full of color,…


Book cover of Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers

Steve Magnusen Author Of To My Best Girl: Courage, Honor, and Love in the Civil War: The Inspiring Life Stories of Rufus Dawes and Mary Gates

From my list on home life during the Civil War.

Who am I?

Steve Magnusen is an officer in the Indianapolis Civil War Roundtable and holds associate membership in three other roundtables in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. He enjoyed a nationally recognized engineering and public works administration career in north suburban Chicago after receiving his degree from Purdue University. He has led several professional and non-profit organizations and served fifteen years as an infantry and armor officer in the US Army Reserve.

Steve's book list on home life during the Civil War

Steve Magnusen Why did Steve love this book?

This memoir has long been considered a classic, referenced by scores of Civil War authors over many decades. The editor of the 1961 edition, historian and author Alan T. Nolan, noted the following: “Its excellence is the product of three factors: the character and abilities of the author; the historical techniques and the materials which he used, and the events in which he and his regiment participated. These factors – author, technique and events – combine to make the book a superb document of its kind.

By Rufus R. Dawes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. We have represented this book in the same form as it was first published. Hence any marks seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.


Book cover of Co. Aytch: Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment Or, a Side Show of the Big Show

Steve Magnusen Author Of To My Best Girl: Courage, Honor, and Love in the Civil War: The Inspiring Life Stories of Rufus Dawes and Mary Gates

From my list on home life during the Civil War.

Who am I?

Steve Magnusen is an officer in the Indianapolis Civil War Roundtable and holds associate membership in three other roundtables in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. He enjoyed a nationally recognized engineering and public works administration career in north suburban Chicago after receiving his degree from Purdue University. He has led several professional and non-profit organizations and served fifteen years as an infantry and armor officer in the US Army Reserve.

Steve's book list on home life during the Civil War

Steve Magnusen Why did Steve love this book?

“High Private” Sam Watkins wrote his memoir from memory eighteen years after the war. His account of life and death as a rebel soldier is gripping, shocking, and tragic, yet often humorous. He dutifully followed orders, was dedicated to his cause, saw many friends killed close by, and killed enemy soldiers close up – young men in a different uniform much like himself. His attitude and prejudices reflect those of the average Confederate enlisted man. The reader experiences in intimate detail the often-desperate life of the common soldier.

By Sam R. Watkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Of the 120 men who enlisted in "Company H" (Or Co. Aytch as he calls it) in 1861, Sam Watkins was one of only seven alive when General Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee surrendered to General William Tecumseh Sherman in North Carolina on April, 1865. Of the 1,200 men who fought in the First Tennessee, only 65 were left to be paroled on that day. "Co. Aytch: A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War" is heralded by many historians as one of the best war memoirs written by a common soldier of the field. Sam R. Watkin's writing style…


Book cover of A Full Blown Yankee of the Iron Brigade: Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers

David A. Welker Author Of The Cornfield: Antietam's Bloody Turning Point

From my list on the Civil War’s Battle of Antietam.

Who am I?

As a child my grandmother shared that we had ancestors who had served during the Civil War, a momentary conversation that set me on a lifetime quest to connect with those men and their experiences.  My professional work as a historian and military analyst for the US Government helped build the skills that enabled this quest and each of my books, articles, and videos seek to understand and share both the “what” of those experiences and the “why” of the war’s many battles and conflicts.  

David's book list on the Civil War’s Battle of Antietam

David A. Welker Why did David love this book?

I found Major Rufus Dawes' first-hand account of Antietam to be perhaps the best, most readable of the many soldier accounts available. Not only does Dawes write clear narrative accounts of what he experienced at Antietam, but he offers his own feelings and thoughts on the fighting that take the reader beyond the movements and action. Another thing that I appreciated about Dawes' account is that he frequently offers wider context for the fighting and movements that gives the reader a deeper understanding of why he was experiencing these events (and unlike many other postwar accounts, Dawes avoids using this hindsight to cast blame). Although it naturally only gives the Union side and a small portion of the battle, Dawes' experiences probably generally reflect what it was like to “be there.”

By Rufus R. Dawes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Full Blown Yankee of the Iron Brigade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I have been so wholly engrossed with my work for the last week or I should have responded sooner to your question: 'Are you going?' If a kind Providence and President Lincoln will permit, I am. I am Captain of as good, and true a band of patriots as ever rallied under the star spangled banner."-Rufus R. Dawes. A Full Blown Yankee of the Iron Brigade combines the personal experiences of Rufus R. Dawes with a history of the regiment in which he served. The Iron Brigade was the only all-Western brigade that fought in the eastern armies of the…


Book cover of Murder in the Crypt

Amy M. Reade Author Of Cape Menace: A Cape May Historical Mystery

From my list on mysteries that make you wish you had a time machine.

Who am I?

I’ve been a lover of historical mysteries ever since I realized it’s possible to read mystery fiction and learn history at the same time. Every time I pick up a mystery set in the past, whether it’s the ancient past, the more recent past, or somewhere in between, I know I’m going to be intrigued and challenged by a great story and come away with a greater understanding of the people, culture, customs, and events of that time period. It’s a win-win. I write historical mysteries because I want to share with readers what I’ve learned about a particular time or place in a way that’s compelling and engaging. 

Amy's book list on mysteries that make you wish you had a time machine

Amy M. Reade Why did Amy love this book?

I know I keep beating the same drum, but just try to take a look at that cover and tell me the story doesn’t look intriguing (and yes, I do see the similarities between this cover and that of The Murder on Black Swan Lane). 

Like any self-respecting English mystery, this one begins with a main character discovering he’s received a bequest of an English estate and its accompanying title. This particular main character is Jason Redmond, a Captain and doctor in the Union Army during the American Civil War. At the end of the war, he returns home to find his sweetheart has married his best friend during his absence. When he receives news of the bequest, having no one to marry and still experiencing haunting memories of the tragedies he witnessed during the war, he heads to England to dispose of the estate (at least, that’s his…

By Irina Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Murder in the Crypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the body of a young man is found stuffed into the tomb of a medieval knight, Parish Constable Daniel Haze is tasked with investigating his first solo murder case. Suspicion instantly falls on the only stranger to arrive in the village of Birch Hill just before the crime took place, but the American captain proves to be an unexpected asset. A former soldier and a skilled surgeon, Jason Redmond is not only willing to assist Haze with the investigation but will risk his own safety to apprehend the killer.With no suspects, no motive, and few leads to follow, Redmond…


Book cover of Banners at Shenandoah: A Story of Sheridan's Fighting Cavalry

John J. Miller Author Of The First Assassin

From my list on the American Civil War and 5 novels to immerse yourself within it.

Who am I?

John J. Miller is director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College, a writer for National Review, and the host of two book-themed podcasts, The Great Books and The Bookmonger. His books include The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football and Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas. He lives on a dirt road in rural Michigan.

John's book list on the American Civil War and 5 novels to immerse yourself within it

John J. Miller Why did John love this book?

Catton was one of the Civil War’s great historians, best known for bringing the stories of individual soldiers into otherwise sweeping accounts of the American Iliad. Amid this work, he also wrote this little-known short novel, published in 1955, which today probably would be filed in the “young adult” section of your favorite bookstore. It tells the tale of Bob Hayden, a Michigan boy who lies about his age to join a volunteer company and rises to manhood while serving in Virginia with Gen. “Fighting Phil” Sheridan.

By Bruce Catton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enlisting in the Union Army, a seventeen-year-old from Michigan ends up in the cavalry under "Fighting Phil" Sheridan headed for Virginia.


Book cover of The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce

Justin Martin Author Of A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

From my list on for experiencing the vivid reality of the Civil War.

Who am I?

My specialty is American history, meticulously researched, but delivered in a narrative style that’s akin to fiction. My latest book, A Fierce Glory, is about Antietam, a battle that occupied a single day in 1862, yet remains one of history’s most consequential events. Of course, there are countless military histories of Antietam–or any Civil War battle, for that matter–focusing on troop movements and tactics. I wanted to get at the emotional heart of this epic showdown: the confusion, terror, sadness, along with some startling and selfless acts of heroism. To do so, I drew inspiration from some of my favorite fictional works.

Justin's book list on for experiencing the vivid reality of the Civil War

Justin Martin Why did Justin love this book?

Unlike so many writers, Bierce had actual Civil War experience, as a Union soldier who saw action in a number of key battles. His stories are characterized by a rigorous attention to detail. But Bierce enjoyed serving up verisimilitude with a twist. A strong sense of the macabre, rivaling Poe, is present in some of Bierce’s finest stories such as “Chickamauga,” “One of the Missing,” and “Parker Adderson, Philosopher.” His timeless “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” features one of the most mind-bending twists in all of fiction.

By Ambrose Bierce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

American journalist and satirist Ambrose Bierce is probably best known for his short stories about the American Civil War. The author's craft for story-telling is exemplified by his famous "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge", which is the story of Peyton Farquhar, a Confederate sympathizer condemned to die by hanging upon the Owl Creek Bridge. That great short story along with 96 others forms this exhaustive edition of "The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce."


Book cover of A Prayer for the Dying

McKenna Miller Author Of Wyrforra (Wyrforra Wars)

From my list on with weird writing styles.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading and writing stories for as long as I can remember—and the weird ones have always been my favorite. I discovered many of my favorite books by wandering into my local library, telling the librarian about my strange reading interests, and allowing them to set me up with literary masterpieces of the most unusual kind. Once I knew how to bend the rules of genre and form to create something original, I took to creating my own weird stories, and have been doing so ever since in my novels, short stories, D&D characters, and bedtime stories for my bird.

McKenna's book list on with weird writing styles

McKenna Miller Why did McKenna love this book?

A Prayer for the Dying is the only full-length novel I’ve ever read entirely in second-person perspective—which makes for a white-knuckle-grip adventure as the narrator drags the reader along a dark, haunted path, which is also a little bit on fire.

This ghost story full of living people (at first) follows a hard-working and dedicated protagonist who tries to protect his little town of Friendship as it faces disaster after horrible disaster. The narrative of the story unfurls like a tidal wave—terrifying, yet impossible to look away from as it sweeps away everything in its path. This scary story is definitely not for the faint of heart.

By Stewart O'Nan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Prayer for the Dying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in a leafy Wisconsin town just after the American Civil War, this story opens one languid summer's day. Only slowly do events reveal themselves as sinister as one neighbour after another succumbs to a creeping, fatal disease.


Book cover of This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War

Prit Buttar Author Of The Reckoning: The Defeat of Army Group South, 1944

From my list on changed my view of history.

Who am I?

"History can become a dull and uninteresting subject, but the stories of the past are far more interesting and inspiring than the very best fiction. These stories tell us about how our world came to be, and the paths that our predecessors travelled; and they show us that, despite the decades and centuries that separate us, they were driven and inspired by the same factors that drive and inspire us today." Prit Buttar was a doctor, first in the British Army and then a GP, until retiring in 2019. Less than a year later, he volunteered to go back to work during the current pandemic.

Prit's book list on changed my view of history

Prit Buttar Why did Prit love this book?

I picked up this book while on a study course in the United States – I was based in Washington DC and intended to visit some of the nearby Civil War battlefields, and decided that I needed to know more about the conflict. It was perhaps the first American history book I had read, and immediately I was struck by the very different style of writing when compared with European works.

For a single-volume account of a terrible conflict that did so much to shape the United States, this is probably unmatched. The people involved, from those in high-level political positions to the men and women caught up in the fighting, are brought to life in an unforgettable way.

By Bruce Catton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic one-volume history of the American Civil War simultaneously captures the dramatic scope and intimate experience of that epic struggle, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Bruce Catton.
 
Covering events from the prelude of the conflict to the death of Lincoln, Catton blends a gripping narrative with deep, yet unassuming, scholarship to bring the war alive on the page in an almost novelistic way. It is this gift for narrative that led contemporary critics to compare this book to War and Peace, and call it a “modern Iliad.” Now over fifty years old, This Hallowed Ground remains one of the best-loved and…


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Interested in the American Civil War, the Union Army, and Wisconsin?

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 Union Army, and Wisconsin.

The American Civil War Explore 284 books about the American Civil War
The Union Army Explore 8 books about the Union Army
Wisconsin Explore 50 books about Wisconsin