Suggested Reading List
"Bayonet! Forward" My Civil War Reminiscences
Author: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
Description: A collection of professor and Civil War general Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's most noted writings, covering his experiences in Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Petersburg and Appomattox.
A Short History of Charleston
Author: Robert Rosen
Description: A third-generation Charlestonian, Rosen traces the history of Good King Charles's City from its founding to the present with flair.
Author: Thomas Keneally
Description: An elegant, brief biography of the Kentucky-born political hero.
Ashes of Glory: Richmond at War
Author: Ernest B. Ferguson
Description: The story has been told many times before: Jefferson Davis versus Robert E. Lee. However, this detailed account of the Confederacy Capital provides details portray the little pictures within the big picture.
Battle Cry of Freedom, The Civil War Era
Author: James McPherson
Description: A comprehensive, vivid history of the Civil War, its genesis, battles, politics and personalities from the war with Mexico to Appomattox. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the book may be 900 pages long but it reads like a good novel.
Author: Navigator Maps
Description: A clear, easy to use souvenir map of Charleston, featuring the city center and well marked places of interest.
Author: Andrea Wulf
Description: Andrea Wulf artfully examines the interplay of plants and politics in this earthy account, looking both at the role of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Quincy Adam as noble farmers and at the American relationship to nature during the eighteenth century.
Gardens of Historic Charleston
Author: James R. Cothran
Description: A lavishly illustrated photographic tour of Charleston's most treasured gardens, as well as a history of gardening in the city since colonial times.
Lincoln on War
Author: Harold Holzer
Description: Holzer turns to Lincoln's own writings and speeches for this illuminating collection of the great president' thoughts on war.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Author: John Berendt
Description: Part affectionate portrait of Savannah society, part murder mystery, Berendt’s classic account of his stay in the decayed splendor of the southern coastal city is one of those rare instances when a great writer finds himself caught at the center of a real-life crime story.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States
Author: Peter Alden (Editor)
Description: A compact photographic guide to the nature of the Southeast States from Mississippi and Georgia to North Carolina, featuring 1,500 photographs, concise descriptions and an overview of the natural history of the area.
Nowhere Else on Earth
Author: Josephine Humphreys
Description: This spellbinding novel follows the struggles of a misfit, half-forgotten Indian society in Scuffletown, North Carolina, caught in the crossfire of the Civil War. A rebel outlaw becomes a symbol of hope to the people of Scuffle, especially the teenage girl who loves him and who narrates the story as a remembrance from her middle age.
Author: Valerie Martin
Description: Set in the antebellum South during a slave rebellion in the 1830s, Martin's devastating novel is told through the voice of Manon Gaudet, a young woman trapped in marriage to an unrepentant plantation-owning husband. Winner of the Orange Prize.
Richmond Burning, The Last Days of the Confederate Capital
Author: Nelson D. Lankford
Description: A narrative account of the fall of Richmond, which signaled the end of the Confederacy. Citing a variety of primary documents, Lankford creates a vivid portrait of events and personalities at the dusk of the Civil War.
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Description: Living in a carriage house on the property of her ex-husband's Southern mansion, antique dealer Eloise "Weezie" Foley finds herself in a pickle after discovering the corpse of her ex's latest lover. This screwball comedy is enriched by quirky characters and a treasure trove of richly described Southern antiques and furnishings.
Author: Navigator Maps
Description: A neat, colorful map of Savannah’s city center, featuring well marked places of interest.
Shiloh, The Battle that Changed the Civil War
Author: Larry J. Daniel
Description: The first scholarly study of the battle of Shiloh in more than twenty years, this well researched historical account juxtaposes scenes from the battlefield with glimpses into the driving politics behind the respective capitals of Washington D.C. and Richmond, Virginia.
Starving the South, How the North Won the Civil War
Author: Andrew F. Smith
Description: Smith chronicles the role food -- and the relative lack thereof by the confederates -- in determining the outcome of the Civil War.
The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal, The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore
Author: John Yow
Description: Journeying from North Carolina's Outer Banks, down the Atlantic coast, and westward along the Gulf of Mexico, the "gentleman birder" is back in this anecdotal exploration of twenty-eight species, from ubiquitous beach birds like sanderlings and laughing gulls to wonders like roseate spoonbills and the American avocets.
The Charleston, Savannah & Coastal Islands Book, A Complete Guide
Author: Cecily McMillan, Wade Spees (Photographer)
Description: An excellent, locally produced travel guide mixing history, culture and anecdote with a shipload of up-to-date practical information. It does justice to this area's rich traditions and food.
The Civil War, An Illustrated History
Author: Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns
Description: An illustrated, comprehensive social history of the Civil War by the now-famous team of Ward and Burns. With 500 photographs and maps, extensive text and original essays by contributing experts.
The Confederate War
Author: Gary W. Gallagher
Description: A revisionist history of the defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War. Contrary to popular belief, Gallagher contends that the Confederacy lost simply because they were beaten by the Union on the battlefield, rather than an inherent weakness on the homefront.
Author: E. L. Doctorow
Description: In this powerful historical novel, Doctorow captures the drama and import of General William Tecumseh Sherman's devastating march through Georgia and the Carolinas during the final years of the Civil War.
The Marrow of Tradition
Author: Charles Waddell Chesnutt, Eric J. Sundquist (Editor)
Description: Based on the violence that erupted in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898, this novel dramatizes the politically charged race riots that engulfed the city.
The Water is Wide
Author: Pat Conroy
Description: On of his first books, this is an engrossing tale of Conroy's two-year stint as a Vista volunteer at a rural school on Yamacraw Island near Hilton Head. Conroy is a native of Beaufort, and South Carolina's low country features prominently in his many entertaining novels.