A Top Notch Source for Unit History Bibliographies

by Brett Schulte on March 25, 2010 · 0 comments

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared at Beyond the Crater earlier today.

The U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center site is chock full of interesting and useful Civil War materials. Today, I want to highlight the Civil War Unit Bibliographies area of the Resource Guides/Finding Aids section of the site.

As many readers of TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog and Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online know, I’ve been compiling lists of Union regimental histories and Confederate regimental histories for units which fought in the Petersburg Campaign. The ultimate goal is to provide a page at Beyond the Crater for each and every book, including links to buy (Amazon.com) for newer books and links to read (Google Books) for those whose copyright protection has expired.

In the past my main sites to search were the Library of Congress Civil War regimental histories section and Google Books. The Civil War Unit Bibliographies page at USAHEC will be a strong second choice to the LOC’s list, and I’m hoping to find books I otherwise might not have without this resource.

Let’s take a look at an example with some pictures so you know exactly what I’m writing about here. As an example, let’s click on “Virginia Confederate”, which takes us to a page for all units from Virginia which fought for the Confederacy.

As you can see, there are folders for the three main arms of the military as they existed in the 186o’s, artillery, infantry, and cavalry. Clicking on the “Virginia Infantry-CS” page takes us to a list of all of the Virginia infantry regiments, battalions, and smaller organizations which existed during the Civil War. The screenshot below shows just a small sampling of what is available.

Camp Pope Publishing

Since I had already compiled a list of books for the 10th Virginia (a list of one H.E. Howard regimental history as it turns out), let’s see what else the USAHEC bibliography page for the 10th Virginia has to offer. It offers quite a bit, as it turns out.

There was even more listed in the complete version of the file. Unlike the Library of Congress, the U.S. Army Military History Institute lists more than just regimental histories, choosing to include specific pages of unit mentions in standard unit reference books such as Stewart Sifakis Compendium of the Confederate Armies series and Joseph Crute’s look at the Army of Northern Virginia, Civil War magazine and journal articles about the unit in question, and files of individuals who served with the unit. Many of these sources are available to researchers at the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Clearly this web site is going to provide me with numerous research leads as I continue work on Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online. I encourage anyone with an interest in a specific regiment to check out this site. It is an incredible jumping off point for more detailed research.

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