The following small selection is a good starting point for anyone interested in the American Civil War.
BATTLES AND LEADERS OF THE CIVIL WAR (Vols. 1-4) - A four volume set of books originally published in 1887. Very good personal accounts of all the major campaigns of the war in both the Eastern & Western theatres. An original set, if available, is quite pricey approximately £200-£300 depending upon condition. If you look around the discount book shops there are some good facsimile copies available at approximately £10 per volume.
TIME-LIFE SET - THE CIVIL WAR (Vols. 1-30) - An excellent set of well printed and well presented books that at first may seem expensive at £18 per volume but the content is well worth the money to any serious Civil War Buff. Time-Life will send you one volume every 2 months on 10 days free approval. This makes it easier to afford, it works out to £2.25 per week. Sometimes you can find the odd volume in the discount book shops.
TIME-LIFE SET - ECHOES OF GLORY (Vols. 1-3) - Another excellent set from Time-Life consisting of three large volumes in a slip case. There is one volume for each of the Confederate and the Union forces showing every type of artefact imaginable. Nearly every page is illustrated with coloured photographs of all the equipment used by both sides. The third volume being an illustrated atlas of virtually every battle. The complete set costs £75. All three volumes have also been published separately in paperback form.
OSPREY MEN-AT-ARMS SERIES (£8.99 each) This inexpensive series of paperback books are an excellent start for any newcomer to the hobby. They are available from most good book shops. The following list are some of the Civil War titles that are available. The number in brackets is the Osprey publication number.
The Army of Northern Virginia (37)
The Army of the Potomac (38)
ACW Armies (1) : Confederate Artillery, Cavalry & Infantry (170)
ACW Armies (2) : Union Artillery, Cavalry & Infantry (177)
ACW Armies (3) : Specialist Troops (179)
ACW Armies (4) : State Troops (190)
ACW Armies (5) : Volunteer Militia (207)
US Infantry Equipment 1775-1910 (214)
Flags of the American Civil War (1) : Confederate (252)
Flags of the American Civil War (2) : Union (258)
Flags of the American Civil War (3) : State & Volunteer (265)
THE US CIVIL WAR MILITARY MACHINE - Ian Drury & Tony Gibbons. A large format book very well illustrated with coloured drawings showing the weapons and tactics of the Union & Confederate armed forces. Recommended retail price £25 but if you shop around, especially in the Bargain Book shops you will find it reduced to £10, well worth the price.
Dragons World Ltd, Limpsfield, SURREY RH8 0DY ISBN 1 85028 1319
CIVIL WAR SUPPLY CATALOGUE - Alan Wellikoff - Very similar to a Sears, Roebuck catalogue from the 1860's. A large size, 200 page paperback book which is a comprehensive sourcebook of products from the Civil War Era, available today.
Crown Trade Paperbacks, New York ISBN 0-517-88703-7
WHO WORE WHAT? - Women's Wear 1861-1865 - Juanita Leisch. This one is especially for the ladies, an excellent reference for all types of womens clothing from the Civil War period.
Thomas Publications, PO Box 3031, Gettysburg, PA 17325, USA
THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO THE CIVIL WAR - Alan Axelrod. 'There is no better one-volume introduction to the Civil War than Alan Axelrod's' So says Walton Rawls, author of Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles. Anyone who has a computer, has probably seen the 'IDIOT's GUIDE' books and if you have purchased one then you will know how informative they are. I picked this copy up while in the US last year and I must agree with the statement above. Anyone wanting a good overall knowledge of the Civil War, then this a must for your collection.
FIREARMS FROM EUROPE - David Noe, Larry W Yantz & James B Whisker. This is a large format publication and gives detailed information about the small arms imported by both the Union & Confederate Governments, from most of the European powers. It is profusely illustrated with actual photographs of most of the weapons mentioned in the text. There are even lists of cargo mainifests of blockade runners.
Rowe Publications, 295 Lake Breeze Park, Rochester, NY 14622, USA.