If You Like, Then Read is a feature where we offer reading suggestions based on books you already like, scheduled once a month. If you have more suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments! You can check out the rest of these lists here.
The literature on the American Civil War is vast, so here are just a few books to get you started. If you have other favorites, please share them in the comments!
Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott, best known as the author of Little Women, signed up for three months as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War and completed six weeks of service before being sent home due to illness. This book is based on the letters she sent home and depicts her varied experiences in a Georgetown hospital.
March by Geraldine Brooks
A retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women from the perspective of Mr. March while he was serving in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
This classic American novel depicts the experiences of private Henry Fleming after he flees from the field of battle and must confront his shame. Crane later returned to Fleming in a short story entitled “The Veteran”.
The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce
A veteran of the Civil War, Ambrose Bierce used his experiences to inform many of his short stories, notable for their darkness and bleak view of human nature. One of his best-known works is “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”.
Shiloh by Shelby Foote
Foote chronicles the 1862 battle by providing the perspectives of several of the men who fought it. Though the knowledge of each man is limited, together their stories form a more complete narrative.
The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall
Randall’s 2001 novel retells Margaret Mitchell’s classic Gone with the Wind from the perspective of one of Scarlett’s slaves.