Exploring the Civil War

Exploring the Civil War

Grant and Lee

General Ulysses S. Grant: the Soldier and the Man

cover photo: General Ulysses S. Grant: the Soldier and the Man by Edward G. Longacre B G763L

Ulysses Grant's destiny took him from West Point to a generalship to the Presidency. This biography details it all, from Grant's campaign triumphs to his personal misfortunes. Longacre examines Grant's alcohol issues and deep religious convictions and explains how these personal matters had an effect on his battlefield conduct. For similar material, consult the various editions of Grant's memoirs available at Kanawha County Public Library.

search Novelist® Plus

Robert E. Lee: Virginia Soldier, American Citizen

cover photo: Robert E. Lee: Virginia Soldier, American Citizen by James I. Robertson B qL479Ro

Born to fortune and led to a military career partially through his veneration for George Washington, Robert E. Lee embodied the pathos and contradictions prevalent in the Southern cause. After a stint in the Mexican-American War, he returned to Virginia and freed his slaves, but, when war loomed, he declined leadership of the federal forces and instead opted to command the Army of Virginia. This biography details Lee's life from youth to death with plenty of emphasis upon his activity during the Civil War.

search Novelist® Plus

The Training Ground: Grant, Lee, Sherman, and Davis in the Mexican War, 1846-1848

cover photo: The Training Ground: Grant, Lee, Sherman, and Davis in the Mexican War, 1846-1848 by Martin Dugard 973.62 D86t

For four years, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant were bitter enemies, leaders of opposing armies in a war that bloodied America's people and landscape. Just over a decade earlier, they'd been comrades fighting for the same cause as their country went to war against Mexico and eventually succeeded in almost doubling the size of the United States.

search Novelist® Plus

Gone for Soldiers

cover photo: Gone for Soldiers by Jeff Shaara

Years before the Civil War, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart, and Ulysses S. Grant land at Vera Cruz in the hopes of aiding General Winfield Scott in defeating Santa Ana. Combat scenes abound, as Scott's soldiers develop the battle prowess which will make them legendary figures in the war to come. Jeff Shaara lays the foundation for his Civil War novel, The Killer Angels, with this tale of the Mexican-American War.

search Novelist® Plus

1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and the War They Failed to See

cover photo: 1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and the War They Failed to See by Bruce Chadwick 973.7 C43e

Exploring the issues which led inexorably to the Civil War, historian Bruce Chadwick charts the lives of the titular figures as well as other notables like John Brown and William T. Sherman. Abolition, the ascent of Lincoln, his inefficient predecessor James Buchanan, and other causes drive the country to a reckoning at Fort Sumter and the flowering of a wider war.

search Novelist® Plus

Gettysburg

cover photo: Gettysburg by Newt Gingrich

The setting of a pivotal Union victory, Gettysburg is commonly regarded as the turning point in the Civil War. Gingrich's alternate-history Gettysburg is also a turning point, as Robert E. Lee leads the South to victory. Rife with rifles, cannons, and richly-detailed battles, this novel will especially delight aficionados of military history.

search Novelist® Plus

The Guns of the South

catalog link: The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove

In a somewhat more outlandish alternate history novel, time-traveling white supremacists from 2014 supply Robert E. Lee's faltering Southerners with AK-47s. The new technology enables the Confederacy to prevail, but Confederate President Robert E. Lee dashes the bigots' dreams by becoming an advocate of emancipation. Will this lead to yet another Civil War? More character-driven than Gingrich's military-minutiae tale, sci-fi fans and military history buffs alike will find enjoyment here.

search Novelist® Plus

Lost Triumph: Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg and Why It Failed

cover photo: Lost Triumph: Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg and Why It Failed by Tom Carhart 973.7349 C27L

An intriguing meditation on Robert E. Lee's battle strategy that argues against most conventional historical assessments of Gettysburg. Tom Carhart, a Vietnam veteran and West Point graduate, delves deeply into tactical analysis, previous military encounters, and biographical factors to puncture the perception of Gettysburg as a desperate Southern suicide mission.

search Novelist® Plus

Traveller

catalog link: Traveller by Richard Adams

In a stable near Robert E. Lee's house, Lee's horse Traveller recounts the events of the Civil War (in a Southern accent) to a tomcat. Traveller, as a loyal horse, is not exactly an unbiased observer and his devotion to Lee gives the book an ironic twist. Richard Adams followed Watership Down and The Plague Dogs with this unique and inventive novel that blends historical fiction with animal fables.

search Novelist® Plus

Grant and Sherman: the Friendship That Won the Civil War

cover photo: Grant and Sherman: the Friendship That Won the Civil War by Charles Bracelen Flood 973.73 F63g

A fascinating joint biography that displays how the loyalty and friendship between Sherman and Grant helped both flawed men achieve victory in a struggle for the ages. At the outset of the Civil War, Grant was a clerk at a dry goods store after losing his command due to drinking habits. Sherman was also relieved of his command and declared by local newspapers to be insane. Flood details their rehabilitation and eventual triumph in this absorbing work.

search Novelist® Plus

One Thousand White Women

cover photo: One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

Another alternate history novel answers the questions what would have been if... In 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant and the chief of the Cheyenne nation agree to a peace cemented by the exchange of 1000 Cheyenne horses for the 1000 white women of the title. Narrated by one of the women, May Dodd, this book features action aplenty-skirmishes, arm wrestling, and harrowing scenes in post-Civil War mental hospitals.

search Novelist® Plus

Dark Horse: the Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield

cover photo: Dark Horse: the Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield by Kenneth D. Ackerman 973.84 A18d

Like Warren Harding a few decades later, James Garfield emerged as a surprise choice for Presidential nominee, bypassing a pack of front-runners in the 1880 election, one of whom was Ulysses S. Grant. Grant, whose attempt at a third term was thwarted, figures prominently in this account of Garfield's win and presidency, the latter cut short by an assassin's bullet.

search Novelist® Plus
back to top