Quick Facts

  • Nearly 450 titles
  • 94,000 pages

GEOGRAPHY COVERED:

TIME PERIOD: 1861–1865

 

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Related Subject Areas
Africana
American History

Related Areas of Interest
African American History
American Civil War/Reconstruction
U.S. South

Explore writings from the Civil War by those who lived it.  Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War includes primary source documents — personal narratives and memoirs, pamphlets and political speeches, sermons and songs, regimental histories and photograph albums, legal treatises and children's books — that present readers with a rare chance to learn firsthand what life was like when the violent divide between north and south threatened to destroy the United States.

Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War covers all aspects of the period, including military history, diplomatic history, cultural history, legal history, Southern history, African American history, healthcare and medical history, the history of technology and more.

Summary:  Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War documents the war that transformed America, ending slavery and unifying the nation around the principles of freedom. The collection examines the war and all its complexity — its causes and consequences, its battles and campaigns, its political and religious aspects, the experiences of its leaders and common soldiers, the home front and the military campground and more.

This digital archive includes a variety of primary source documents — personal narratives and memoirs, pamphlets and political speeches, sermons and songs, regimental histories and photograph albums, legal treatises and children's books — unveiling a time when friends were enemies and the United States were torn in half.  Users can read about:

  • Battles — some of the bloodiest in U.S. history
  • Military tactics and technology — rifled barrels, trench warfare and other tactics and technology that pioneered modern warfare
  • Individuals — William T. Sherman, Jubal A. Early and others from both sides of the conflict
  • Societal impact — sanitation, medicine, civilian life, clergy response and more
  • Law, government and foreign policy — the rights of secession, Britain’s view of the War, abolition of slavery, constitutional debates, presidential elections and more

Every aspect of the Civil War is covered:  military, diplomatic, cultural and legal history as well as special areas of study, including Southern history, African American history, medical history, history of technology and more.

Full-text search functionality gives researchers unprecedented access to important documents like “General Sherman's official account of his great march through Georgia and the Carolinas.“

Significance:  The Civil War is one of the central events in American history. Interest in the war remains intense. Hundreds of Civil War roundtables and Lincoln associations flourish today. Every year thousands of Americans dress up in blue or gray uniforms and take up their replica muskets to re-enact Civil War battles.  Popular and professional history magazines continue to chronicle every aspect of the war.  There are a large number of college courses devoted exclusively to Civil War study. 

Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War provides students, researchers and history buffs with unprecedented access to primary source documents not available through competitors or via the Internet

It is an essential tool to understand and interpret the Civil War.

Source:  Documents in Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War were drawn from other Gale sources — including the Lost Cause Press, The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises and Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 — under the editorial supervision of Paul Finkelman, President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy, Albany Law School. Source libraries include the Huntington Library and the Harvard Law Library.

Illustrations, sheet music, maps and more provide a visual and cultural history.

Structure: Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War is fully searchable through simple and advanced searches, but can also be browsed via seven topical sections, each with an accompanying text and bibliographies.

1. Armies and Combatants

  • Conscription
  • Battles
  • Armies
  • Soldiers
  • Black Troops
  • Navy and Naval Operations

2. Art of Warfare

  • Tactics and Military Training
  • Military Technology

3. Leadership

  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
  • Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)
  • George B. McClellan (1826-1885)
  • Philip Sheridan (1831-1888)
  • William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891)
  • Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)
  • Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863)

4. Beyond the Battlefield

  • Prisoners and Jailed Civilians
  • Medical
  • Spies
  • Sanitary Commission
  • Religion
  • Soldiers' Obituaries

5. Government and Foreign Policy

  • Law
  • Foreign Relations
  • British View of the War
  • Secession
  • Emancipation

6. Home Front

  • Election of 1860
  • Election of 1864
  • Civilian Life
  • Sermons on the War

7. Literary Genres

  • Histories and Chronologies
  • Reminiscences Post-1880
  • Children's Histories and Biographies

For more information, download a Product Fact Sheet [pdf, 104 KB]

Explore primary source documents from the time when America bled blue and gray.

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