Originally printed in The South to Posterity: An Introduction to the Writing of Confederate History (1951)

The appended brief Reading List of books on Confederate history is designed for those who do not aspire to become specialists but wish to have a moderate familiarity with the literature. Those who make their first adventure in the field will do well to start with Robert S. Henry’s Story of the Confederacy, and next to read Captain Lee’s Recollections and Letters of General Lee. After those two books might come A. T. Bledsoe’s Is Davis a Traitor? Subsequent study may be shaped by interest concerning particular books mentioned in the preceding chapters, or by the taste developed for works on some special phase of the subject. Needless to say, the Basic Reference Works are not recommended for other use than that heading suggests, though The Photographic History of the Civil War will hold the attention of any reader. It is superfluous to add, also, that the omission of any book from this list carries no implication that it lacks interest or historical value. This is merely a book shelf. One might list a library of excellent works.


Clement A. Evans, ed. Confederate Military History; Atlanta (Conf. Publishing Co.), 1899, 12 v. and sup.

R.V. Johnson and C.C. Buel, eds. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War; New York (Century), 1887, 4 v.

Francis T. Miller. The Photographic History of the Civil War; New York (Review of Reviews), 1911, 10 v.

Frank Moore, ed. The Rebellion Record; New York (Putnam), 1861-1865, 11 v. and sup.

Southern Historical Society Papers; Richmond (The Society), 1876-continuing, 47 v.

War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Washington (Gov. Printing Office), 1881-1900, 228 v.


Albert T. Bledsoe. Is Davis a Traitor? Baltimore (Innes), 1866.

Jefferson Davis. The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government; New York (Appleton), 1881.

Alexander H. Stephens. Constitutional View of the Late War between the States; Philadelphia (National Publishing Co.), 1867, 2 v.


(Arranged by subject)

Alfred Roman. The Military Operations of General Beauregard; New York (Harper), 1883, 2 v.

John J. Craven. The Prison Life of Jefferson Davis; New York (Carleton), 1866.

Varina H. Davis, Jefferson Davis … A Memoir; New York (Belford), 1890, 2 v.

John W.A. Wyeth. Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest; New York (Harper), 1899.

R.L. Dabney. Life and Campaigns of Lieut. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson; New York (Blalock), 1866.

G.F.R. Henderson. Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War; New York (Longmans, Green), 1898, 2 v.

Mary Anna Jackson. Memoirs of Stonewall Jackson; Louisville, Ky. (Prentice Press), 1895.

William Preston Johnston. Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston; New York (Appleton), 1878.

Charles Francis Adams. Lee’s Centennial; Boston (Houghton Mifflin), 1907.

Gamaliel Bradford. Lee the American; Boston (Houghton Mifflin), 1912.

William Jones. Personal Reminiscences of General Robert E. Lee; New York (Appleton), 1874.

William Jones. Life and Letters of Robert E. Lee; New York (Neale), 1906.

R.E. Lee, Jr. Recollections and Letters of General Lee; New York (Doubleday, Page), 1904.

Armistead L. Long. Memoirs of Robert E. Lee; New York (Stoddart), 1886.

Walter H. Taylor. Four Years with General Lee; New York (Appleton), 1877.

H.J. Eckenrode and Bryan Conrad. James Longstreet; Chapel Hill, N.C. (Univ. of N.C.), 1936.

William M. Polk. Leonidas Polk: Bishop and General; New York (Longmans), 1893.

H.B. McClellan. The Life and Campaigns of J.E.B. Stuart; Boston (Houghton Mifflin), 1885.

John W. Thomason, Jr. Jeb Stuart; New York (Scribners), 1930.


E.P. Alexander. Military Memoirs of a Confederate; New York (Scribners), 1907.

Heros von Borcke. Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence; London (Blackwood), 1866; reprinted, New York, 1938.

Louise Haskell Daly. Alexander Cheves Haskell, The Portrait of a Man; Norwood, Mass. (Plimpton Press), 1934. Privately printed and not available for general circulation.

Jubal A. Early. Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative of the War between the States; Philadelphia (Lippincott), 1912.

[Arthur Lyon—] Fremantle. Three Months in the Southern States; New York (John Bradburn), 1864 and various other editions.

John B. Gordon. Reminiscences of the Civil War; New York (Scribners), 1903.

John B. Hood. Advance and Retreat; New Orleans (Hood Orphan Memorial Fund), 1880.

Joseph E. Johnston. Narrative of Military Operations; New York (Appleton), 1874.

J.B. Jones. A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary; Philadelphia (Lippincott), 1866, 2 v.; reprinted 1935.

James Longstreet. From Manassas to Appomattox; Philadelphia (Lippincott), 1896.

Charles Marshall. An Aide-de-Camp of Lee ed. by Maj. Gen. Sir Frederick Maurice; Boston (Little, Brown), 1927.

Moxley Sorrel. Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer; New York (Neale), 1905.

Robert Stiles. Four Years under Marse Robert; New York (Neale), 1903.

Richard Taylor. Destruction and Reconstruction; New York (Appleton), 1878.


Eliza Frances Andrews. The War-time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865; New York (Appleton), 1908.

Mary Boykin Chesnut. A Diary from Dixie; New York (Appleton), 1905.

Sarah Morgan Dawson. A Confederate Girl’s Diary; Boston (Houghton Mifflin), 1913.

Mrs. Burton Harrison. Recollections Grave and Gay; New York (Seribners), 1911.

Cornelia McDonald. A Diary with Reminiscences of the War and Refugee Life; Nashville (Cullom and Ghertner), 1934.

Judith B. McGuire. Diary of a Refugee; New York (Hale), 1867.

Phoebe Pember. A Southern Woman’s Story; New York (Carleton), 1879.

Kate Mason Rowland and Mrs. Morris L. Croxall, eds. The Journal of Julia LeGrand; Richmond (Waddey), 1911.


John Esten Cooke. Wearing of the Gray; New York (Treat), 1867.

T.C. DeLeon. Four Years in Rebel Capitals; Mobile (The Gossip Printing Co.), 1890.

T.C. DeLeon. Belles, Beaux and Brains of the 60’s; New York (Dillingham), 1909.

Thomas R. Hay. Hood’s Tennessee Campaign; New York (Neale), 1929.

Robert S. Henry. The Story of the Confederacy; Indianapolis (Bobbs, Merrill), 1931.

William Jones. Christ in the Camp; Richmond (B. F. Johnson), 1888.

Thomas Scharf. History of the Confederate States Navy; New York (Rogers and Sherwood), 1887.

Jennings C. Wise. The Long Arm of Lee; Lynchburg, Va. (Bell), 1915, 2 v.

Douglas Southall Freeman

Douglas Southall Freeman (1886-1953) was an American historian, biographer, newspaper editor, radio commentator, and author. He is best known for his multi-volume biographies of Robert E. Lee and George Washington, for both of which he was awarded Pulitzer Prizes.


  • Albert Alioto says:

    Mary Ann Loughborough’s MY CAVE LIFE IN VICKSBURG should never be left off any such list.

  • David LeBeau says:

    I’ve read three of the books mentioned. Oh boy, I am so far behind on my Confederate history. Thank you, Abbeville Institute for sharing D.S. Freeman’s bookshelf.

  • Kenneth Robbins says:

    One point that has always bothered me. In the 158 years since the end of that war why have we made no real attempt to again free ourselves?

    • Ken Zeier says:

      People like slavery, they just don’t want to admit it.

    • Barbara says:

      Kenneth, you might want to read The Honorable Cause: A Free South. The country is being led by such evil people that I think today most people want to leave the union and there is talk of a “divorce” of red and blue. I don’t think any yankee would lift a finger to stop us if we were to leave today. I think that given what has happened to our country that the north has proven that the south was right.

      The problem is that the south is no longer southern. If we were to leave today what would our values be and what would we make of our new country? We’d have to get control of our public airwaves. We’d have to create a deportation force. We’d have to have WMD to use as deterrents. We’d have to be prepared to use the latest tech and figure out how to manage AI and robots and bio weapons. It’s a different world today. Would we have a space program? Would we have the brilliant scientists and minds to manage a nation and to govern? We certainly would not want to keep in power the people that are in charge at the moment.

      A lot of people have left California and NYC and come to Nashville and I don”t think it’s because they like country music. First we had the CHRISTIAN school shooting. The Tennessee legislature met in June to plan how they are going to begin taking our guns. A Vanderbilt poll found that most Tennesseans support transgenders. How would we stop outside interference as the same people who got control of the federal government would seek to control ours?

      How would we defend ourselves from the Jewish bankers who would move heaven and earth to force a bank on us? They control the entire planet so how would we fight them?

      Given all that there is to do where will we find leaders with southern intentions? Only at Abbeville?

      Re the book shelf, I almost always buy the books that are talked about here and I have bought dozens and dozens at abebooks. I think a lot of these books will be on archive.org and can be downloaded, at least I hope so!

  • William C. White, Jr. says:

    I’m a southerner by heart and from southern families who had Confederate relatives. I graduated from VMI as did my dad and I was distressed when they forced VMI to take in women then removed the great Stonewall Jackson statue and his cannon, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I read it was because it was an insult to the black cadets at VMI. I am a history buff and familiar with VMI cadets at the battle of New Market when they successfully stopped the Union raid on the Valley of Virginia. It was after that that General Hunter went into Lexington, Virginia, and raided the governors home and others then lined his cannon up to destroy the Institute. The cadets were not there to defend the town and their Institute. This was not a military battle but a n atrocity on the families and their homes and property.

  • Jim Ascencio says:

    I would suggest adding Jubal A. Early’s The Heritage of the South. It offers great background on slavery in the colonies and the states, and interesting takes on the differences between North and South, which we can see reflected in our current-day Left and Right.

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