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Annotated Bibliography

Though few battles scarred North Carolina soil, the Tar Heel State's participation in the Civil War has been of great interest to historians. Civil War literature ranges from general reading and campaign narratives to children's books and scholarly texts. The following annotated list includes recent studies and classic readings.

  • Politics / Coming of the War / General

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  • Home Front

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  • Politics / Coming of the War / General

    Ayres, Edward L. "The Story We Want and the Story We Need: Thinking about the Civil War." In Moral Problems in American Life: New Perspectives on Cultural History, edited by Karen Halttunen and Lewis Perry. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998. Also published in ALHFAM: Proceedings of the 1997 Conference and Annual Meeting, Staunton, Virginia, June 15-19, 1997, edited by Debra A. Reid. North Bloomfield, Ohio: Association for Living History Farms and Agricultural Museums, 1998.
    • Ayres evaluates Civil War historiography, comparing the contemporary work of James McPherson, Ken Burns, and others with the work of their more dovish and introspective predecessors.

    Barrett, John Gilchrist. Civil War in North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963.
    • Barrett's 1963 volume remains the only comprehensive account of military operations in North Carolina during the war.

    ———. North Carolina as a Civil War Battleground, 1861–1865. Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 1980.
     
    • This pamphlet is an abridged version of Barrett's earlier monograph.

    Crofts, Daniel W. Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
    • In the months following Lincoln's election, upper-South unionists, including North Carolinians, looked to the president for a sign of conciliation while disdaining the actions of secessionists.

    Corbitt, D. L., and Elizabeth W. Wilborn. The Civil War in Pictures. Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 1961.
    • This slender volume illustrates the private soldier at war, blockade running, life on the home front, freedmen, and North Carolina generals.

    Genovese, Eugene D. A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998.
    • How white Christian slaveholders used their religion to analyze their defeat.

    Gallagher, Gary W. The Confederate War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.
    • In this bold historiographic challenge, Gallagher chronicles Confederate loyalty and the will to win through the final years of the war, and refutes critics of Robert E. Lee's military strategy.

    Harris, William C. North Carolina and the Coming of the Civil War. Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 1988.
    • Harris succinctly describes events leading to North Carolina's secession.

    Hill, Daniel Harvey. History of North Carolina in the War between the States: From Bethel to Sharpsburg. 2 vols. Raleigh: Edwards-Broughton, 1926.
    • This early volume traces North Carolina's effort to mobilize for war and maintain troops in the field, and also covers military operations in the state for the first two years of the war.

    Mast, Greg. State Troops and Volunteers: A Photographic Record of North Carolina's Civil War Soldiers. Vol. 1. Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 1995.
    • Mast skillfully blends images of North Carolina soldiers and text about their lives.

    McCaslin, Richard B. Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of North Carolina in the Civil War. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1997.
    • Photographs of people and places tell North Carolina's Civil War history.

    McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
    • This Pulitzer Prize–winning interpretation of the war sees secession as a conservative counterrevolution to the increasing liberality and moral righteousness of Northern states.

    Reardon, Carol. Pickett's Charge in History and Memory. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
    • Reardon, in detailing how postwar writers and journalists from Virginia shaped the memory of the third day's assault at Gettysburg, gives credence to North Carolina's claims to primacy in the action.

    Trotter, William R. The Civil War in North Carolina. 3 vols. (Silk Flags and Cold Steel: The Piedmont; Bushwackers!: The Mountains; Ironclads and Columbiads: The Coast). Greensboro: Signal Research, 1988.
    • A comprehensive and easy-to-read history of North Carolina at war.

    Yearns, W. Buck, and John G. Barrett, eds. North Carolina Civil War Documentary. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.
    • Primary documents illustrate the lives of North Carolina's civilians, administration, soldiers, sailors, and others and their efforts to survive the war.


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