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The Original Bad Bob

Book recommendations?

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Can anyone recommend any good books (history, not novels) on the Civil War and/or the latter half of the 19th century, specifically what happened when the survivors of the war headed out to the western frontier?

 

I have not read any history books on these subjects, only novels, so any recommendations would be welcome.

 

I really like the author Stephen Ambrose, by the way. I have read two by him, one about Louis and Clarke and one about WWII.

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Although I've only taken the time to read a little of the book, I've enjoyed Triggernometry thus far. It seems to have some faults, but is largely accurate in its description of several shootists of the era (Wild Bill Hickock, John Wesley Hardin, and many others). I bet you'd like it!

 

J.J.

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Bad Bob I was lucky, I had a patient who when her husband died gave me a ton of civil war stuff, swords, leather, coats, books, you name it.

None of the books seem to deal with the move west after the war however, mostly battles or the lives of important people during the war.

Ambrose seemed to write either about Lewis and Clark or WW2, I also enjoy his books.

Authors like Jeff and Michael Shaara wrote good books about the civil war but as far as I know they are all historical novels.

One book I have is "Uniforms, Weapons, and Equipment of the Civil War" Ton of info, I began to put together a civil war persona but have since put it on the back burner.

Sounds to me like you have a good reason to write a book.

 

Sorry I couldn't be of more help

Doc

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Found a good one: True Tales and Amazing Legends of the Old West: From True West Magazine

 

And a couple by Ambrose: Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors , and Wisconsin Boy In Dixie: Civil War Letters Of James K Newton.

 

Also Shelby Foote's epic trilogy, which will take me about three years to read: The Civil War: A Narrative (3 Vol. Set)

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In no particular order, I have these books on my shelf:

 

Hard Tack and Coffee by John D. Billings

Battle cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson

Company Aytch by Sam Watkins

The Gettysburg Campaign by Edwin B. Coddington

The Union Soldier in Battle by Earl J. Hess

Grant Takes Command by Bruce Catton

 

And there is Shelby Foote's history of the Civil War.

 

My bios of Longstreet and Jackson are loaned out, so I don't have the titles or authors in front of me to

list here, but they were good looks at a couple of important characters.

 

There are a number of memorirs of the early cattlemen available also. Your search of Amazon.com should turn them

up.

 

Good luck with your research.

Duffield

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Edmund Morris produced a 3 volume biography of Teddy Roosevelt; vol. one is The Rise of Teddy Roosevelt, which gives a wonderful view of America in the post Civil War period. It won a Pulitzer.

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Howdy Bob - do not be scared off by Shelby Foote's Narrative History of The Civil War. It may be three volumes, but it's a very good read. Done in a narrative style, it's more like sitting on the front porch listening to your grandpa telling stories of the old days instead of a dry boring lecture by some university-degreed gasbag. You'd be surprised at how it draws you in and how quickly you'll tear through it.

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If by "survivors of the war", you are referring to combatants who went west, you might keep in mind that "galvanized Yankees" was the term that was often often applied to Confederates who enlisted in U.S. forces after being captured.

 

I read Dee Brown's book on the topic years ago and recall recently noticing a book by nearly the same title by an author with maybe a hyphenated last name.

 

Also recall reading a graduate student-level study someone published concerning the men on the roster of one of the western Indian Wars units known to have contained many ex-Confederates. He reported that his efforts were greatly hampered by the fact that a ridiculous proportion of the enlisted men in that particular outfit were named "Smith".

 

The War of the Rebellion (to be studied only if you can get over Foote's three volumes being exhaustive) gives actual names contained in the military correspondences during the war as well as some names from military combat and maneuvers on the Plains during the war. If time ever permits, a few of us (Back descendants) plan to make careful comparison between the names of men listed as "deserted" or "on detached service" on the 10th Kentucky Mounted Rifles (CS) muster roll and those names mentioned in The War of the Rebellion as active western participants. "Scout Henry Back" is of particular interest to our group.

 

Edit to add: If it is of any interest to you, the 100+ volumes of The War of the Rebellion can be researched on-line.

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Bruce Catton's Centennial Trilogy of the Civil war is a must read:

 

The Coming Fury (1961) — Explores the causes and events leading to the start of the war, culminating in its first major combat, the First Battle of Bull Run.

Terrible Swift Sword (1963) — Both sides mobilize for a massive war effort and the story continues through 1862, ending with the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Never Call Retreat (1965) — The war continues through Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and the bloody struggles of 1864 and 1865 before the final surrender.

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I enjoyed watching Shelby Foote's interviews on PBS, but he writes like he has to personally pay for every period he uses. His long complex sentences make reading difficult. His trilogy should be read, just be prepared...

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I enjoyed watching Shelby Foote's interviews on PBS, but he writes like he has to personally pay for every period he uses.

 

He practically did. He wrote the entire manuscript in longhand using a dip pen & inkwell.

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Time - Life had a series of about 30 books that are reprints of books published in the mid- late 1880s. Called the series Classics of the Old West. They are available from places like Amazon. On The Border With Crook, and My Vanished Arizona are just two of the better books IMHO.

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No look at the period is complete without this one:

 

 

Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans

T.R. Fehrenbach

Olen

 

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No look at the period is complete without this one:

 

 

Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans

T.R. Fehrenbach

Olen

 

 

Fehrenbach's history of the Comanches, first published as The Comanches, The Destruction of a People, and later as The Comanches, a History of a People, is the best single book on the subject of American Indians that I have ever read.

 

As for the Civil War, there are many, many great books, but Shelby Foote's 3 volumes are the gold standard. Very readable, very objective, and very detailed.

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