Archives Library Information Center (ALIC)

Reference Books on the Civil War

The list below is highly selective. Search the Library's Online Public Access Catalog to find holdings of general books on the Civil War era, including military histories, bibliographies, and guides to other state and private archives.

Many books about the Civil War are shelved in the Archives I Library in Library of Congress classifications E456-E655, U (military science), F (local history) or others.

NOTE: See the map of the Archives I Library, Room G-30 to find the location of the materials in the library.


General

Current, Richard N., ed. in chief. Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993 (4 vols.) REF E 487 .E55 1993

Dornbusch, C. E., comp. Military Bibliography of the Civil War. New York: New York Public Library, 1971. (4 vols.)
REF Z 1242 .D61.
  • Vol. I: lists the regimental publications and personal narratives for the Union Army and the dates mustered in and mustered out.
  • Vol. II: regimental publications and personal narratives for units of both armies from the Confederate, border and western states.
  • Vol III: general references, campaigns and battles.
  • Vol. IV: regimental publications and personal narratives, brief Union and Confederate biographies. Indexes.
Archives I has all 4 volumes; Archives II has Vols. I & II.

Top of Page

Guides to Records in the National Archives
Beers, Henry Putney. Guide to the Archives of the Government of the Confederate States of America. Washington, D.C.: GSA, National Archives & Records Service, 1968.
REF CD 3047 .B4 1968
Explains the organization of the Confederate government, and describes the kinds of records created and received by each agency or division. Each section opens with a historical statement of the functions and responsibilities of the branch of the Government or the department or agency concerned. Records of a general nature are described first, followed by separate descriptions of the records of subordinate bureaus or offices. Since these records were scattered after the war, the volume also includes records surveyed in the Library of Congress, in several large public and university libraries, and in the archives of the former Confederate states. There is an appendix listing the record groups which contain Confederate records, as well as an index.

Munden, Kenneth W.; Beers, Henry Putney. Guide to Federal Archives Relating to the Civil War. Washington, D.C.: GSA, National Archives & Records Service, 1962.
REF CD 3029.A8 M8
Explains the organization of the Federal government during the Civil War, and describes the kinds of records created and received by each agency or division of the executive, legislative, & judicial branches. Each section opens with a historical statement of the functions and responsibilities of the branch of the Government or the department or agency concerned, with an emphasis on its wartime duties. Records of a general nature are described, followed by separate descriptions of the records of subordinate bureaus or offices. There is an appendix listing the record groups which contain records relating to the Civil War, as well as an index.

Ross, Joseph B., comp. Tabular Analysis of the Records of the U.S. Colored Troops and their Predecessor Units in the National Archives of the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, General Service Administration, 1973.
REF CD 3022 .A35 no.33
Showing kinds of records available for each unit (letters, memoranda, orders, reports, etc.)

Top of Page

Armies and Soldiers

State Adjutant Generals' Reports

Carroll, John M., intro. List of Staff Officers of the Confederate States Army, 1861-1865. Mattituck, NY: J.M. Carroll & Co., 1983.
E 545 .U5

Carroll, John M., intro. List of Field Officers, Regiments, and Battalions in the Confederate States Army, 1861-1865. Mattituck, New York: J.M. Carroll and Co., 1983.
REF E 548 .E8 1983
Also lists regiments and battalions by state.

Hewett, Janet B., ed. The Roster of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865, v. 16. Wilmington: Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1996. REF E 548 .R67 1995
Alphabetical list of Confederate soldiers and their units and companies.

List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1883. 5v.
These books list the name, certificate number, post office address (i.e. town, etc.), the cause for which the person was pensioned, the monthly rate, and the date of the original allowance. Some allowances date back to the Civil War years.

Reamy, Martha and William. Index to the Roll of Honor. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1995.
REF E 494 .R653 R43 1995

Sifakis, Stewart. Compendium of the Confederate Armies. New York: Facts on File, 1992 (10 vols.).
REF E 546 .S58 1992
Arranged by state. Entry for each military unit: nicknames or misdesignations; commanding officers; information on organization and composition; campaigns and battles; suggested further reading, if any.

United States, War Department. Official Army Register. Washington, D.C.: Adjutant General's Office, 1861.
W3 .11
Listing of officers by unit.

United States, War Department. Official Army Register of Volunteer Force of U.S. Army for Years 1861-1865. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1865 (8 parts).
GOV DOCS W 3.12:1-8
Published in 8 parts: 1) New England, 2) New York, New Jersey, 3) mid-Atlantic, 4) West Virginia and Confederate states, 5) Ohio, Michigan, 6) Indiana, Illinois, 7) Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, California, Kansas, Oregon, Nevada, 8) territories. Listing of military units, with officers by rank or position; and individual deaths, promotions, transfers, desertions, missing personnel, discharges; battles; enlisted men who received medals of honor. Alphabetical index in back of each.

United States, War Department. Roll of Honor, Quartermaster's Department. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1865 (27 parts).
GOV DOCS W 39.7:1.1-27
Listings of Union Army personnel interred in military cemeteries, with ranks and military units. Most include black troops and unknown soldiers. Arranged by National Cemetery.

Top of Page

Genealogy

see also The Genealogy Page

Groene, Bertram Hawthorne. Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor. New York: Ballantine Books, 1989.
REF CD 3047 .G76 1989

Segars, J. H. In Search of Confederate Ancestors: The Guide. Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Southern Heritage Press, 1993.
REF F 208 .S44 1993

Top of Page

Government Documents

To find Congressional and Agency documents of the Civil War era use the Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909 (The 1909 Checklist) and the various Congressional Information Service Indexes in Room 204.

For more information on these and other indexes to government documents see Government Documents in the National Archives Library

Top of Page

Laws

Confederate States of America. Acts and resolutions of the first-- session of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. 1861- (Laws, etc.).[Publisher varies], 1861-
NARA Library has 1st session, 1861-- 4th session, 1862 (see the librarian for location)

Confederate States of America. Provisional and permanent constitutions together with the Acts and resolutions of the first session of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, 1861. Montgomery, Ala. Shorter & Reid, printers and binders, 1861. (See the librarian for location)

Confederate States of America. War Dept. Regulations for the army of the Confederate States, for the Quartermaster's Department, including the pay branch thereof. Richmond, Ritchie & Dunnavant, Printers, 1861- NARA Library has 1861-1862 (See the librarian for location)

Lester, William Wharton and Bromwell, William Jeremy. A digest of the military and naval laws of the Confederate States, from the commencement of the Provisional congress to the end of the First Congress under the permanent constitution. Columbia S. C. Evans and Cogswell, 1864. (See the librarian for location)

The United States Statutes at Large
For Civil War Era laws of the Union

Top of Page

Maps

Guide to Civil War Maps in the National Archives. Washington, D.C.: GSA, National Archives and Records Administration,1986.
Z 1242 .G85 1986
Part I is a general guide to the approximately 8,000 Civil War maps in the Cartographic & Architectural Branch; Part II describes selected maps of exceptional interest in more detail. Index.

Stephenson, Richard W., comp. Civil War Maps; An Annotated List of Maps and Atlases in the Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, 1989.
GOV DOCS LC 5.2:C49/1989
Introductory text and many reproductions.

United States, War Department. Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1891 (2 vols.). REF G 1201 .S5U6 1891 Index.


Top of Page

Military Operations

Aimone, Alan C.; Aimone, Barbara A. A User's Guide to the Official Records of the American Civil War.Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Publishing Co., 1993.
REF E 464 .A35 1993.
A guide to using the 128-volume set of The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, the Navies, and the Atlas, describing the history of their compilation, and their organization and content. Several appendices include a list of sources, Federal & Confederate government documents & reports relating to the Civil War, & an index to principal events described in the Official Records.

Dyer, Frederick Henry. Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. New York: National Historical Society, 1979. (2 vols.)
REF E 491 .D8 1979
A compilation of the records of the Union Army from the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion and other records of the Federal & Confederate armies, reports of the adjutant generals of the various states, army registers, and other sources. Part I contains statistical breakdowns; Part II the records of campaigns, battles, skirmishes & important events and operations; Part III the regimental histories. All description is at the regimental level.

Irvine, Dallas, comp. Military Operations of the Civil War; a Guide-Index to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861-1865. Washington, D.C.: Civil War Centennial Commission, 1966 (2 parts). REF E 470 . N3
Explanation of the arrangement of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, with a short description of the contents of volumes & chapters, including theatres of operation, a list of maps, a list of principal military operations by state and date, and calendars and an almanac for the years 1861-1865.

United States, Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894 (30 vols.).
N 16.6
Series 1: Reports, orders, correspondence of both sides relating to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and inland waters with some maps and diagrams, arranged by squadron and flotilla, then chronologically.
Series 2:
  • Vol I: Part 1, statistical data of Union and Confederate ships;
    Part 2, muster rolls of Confederate vessels;
    Part 3, letters of marque and reprisal;
    Part 4, Confederate departmental investigations;
  • Vol. II: Confederate Navy Department correspondence 1861-65 with agents abroad;
  • Vol. III: relating to Confederate diplomacy.
2 indexes, one for Series 2 and one for Vols. 1-13 of Series 1.

United States, Navy Department. Official Records of Union and Confederate Navies in War of Rebellion; index Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,1927.
GOV DOCS N 16.6:Index.

United States, War Department. War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901 (128 vols.)
REF W 45.5.

United States, War Department. War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; general index and additions and corrections Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901.
GOV DOCS W 45.5:Index
Name and subject index for all 128 volumes of the War of the Rebellion; explanation of additions and corrections section in back of the volume; synopsis of the contents of each volume.

Top of Page

Personal Papers and Other Archival Collections
National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections Washington, D.C., Library of Congress, 1959/1961--
REF Z 881 .A1 N3 (The library has a partial set at Archives 1. Additional volumes are at Archives 2.
A locator for collections of personal papers including for example letters and diaries which are not held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Neagles, James C. Confederate Research Sources: A Guide to Archive Collections. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 1986.
REF CD 3047 .N4
A guide for genealogists searching for an ancestor who fought for the Confederacy. It is divided into sections for each Confederate state, border state or territory that supplied Confederate troops, and includes for each state: information on the archives and its resources; a summary of the war activities that took place; descriptions of the kinds of records found, including burial records and pensions; and a listing of military units. There is also a section on the National Archives, with advice on requesting records, hiring a professional researcher, or personal visits, and describes pertinent record groups and their records.

Top of Page

Archives Library Information Center (ALIC) >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.