Editor’s Note: Portions of this post originally appeared at Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online. Some additional introductory material has been included here.
Google Books has the potential to be a Civil War buff’s friend, at least when Google is not trying to post too much information from books still under copyright anyway. There are literally thousands of public domain Civil War books available to view or to download as PDF files at Google Books right now, including many volumes of the Official Records, the Southern Historical Society Papers, MOLLUS War Papers of the various Northern states, the Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, and many, many regimental histories and first person accounts of the war.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time at Google Books over the last 9 months or so gathering public domain materials concerning the Petersburg Campaign, from the Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, to the MOLLUS War Papers of various states, to many first-person accounts of the campaign by high-ranking military leaders on both sides. I’ve finally (I think) figured out how to share my Google Books library with others, and I’ll be posting a link on the Petersburg Campaign Bibliography page and in this post for those of you interested in reading these early and invaluable takes on the Petersburg Campaign.
I encourage those of you not necessarily interested in the Petersburg Campaign to check out the books I’ve compiled. There are quite a few which contain numerous articles and depictions of events from the wider war. If you have any other interesting finds at Google books, please post them in the comments section below. Happy reading!