Organization and Rank
Historic Sites and Museums
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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
Campaigns and Battles
Slavery / Emancipation
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
- 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
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.
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:
- 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,
- 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
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
- A comprehensive and easy-to-read history of
North Carolina at war.
Yearns, W. Buck, and John G. Barrett, eds.
Carolina Civil War Documentary. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
- Primary documents illustrate the lives of
North Carolina's civilians, administration, soldiers, sailors, and others
and their efforts to survive the war.