James H. Thomason Library

History 3270

Civil War and America

Reference Sources


Camp of 31st Pennsylvania Infantry near Washington, D.C.

Camp of the 31st Pennsylvania Infantry, 1862

image made available by Library of Congress

  Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
  Selected Sources
  Writing Guides
Locating Books
   WorldCat & I.L.L.
Locating Articles
  Journal Databases
  Historic Newspapers & Periodicals
  Key Journals
  Journal Finder
Web Sites
  General Primary Sources
  Selected Journals & Diaries
  Slavery and Abolition
Get Help

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Reference Sources:  
Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

Civil War Dictionary, Mark Mayo Boatner, McKay, 1988.

Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, Heidler and Heidler, eds., ABC-CLIO, 2000. 

Also available in print:

Main Level, Reference: R 973.703 En19E [5 volumes]

Encyclopedia of Media and Propaganda in Wartime America, Martin J. Manning and Clarence R. Wyatt, eds., ABC-CLIO, 2011.

Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era, Richard, Zuczek, ed., Greenwood Press, 2006.

Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Dictionary, Junius P. Rodriguez, ed., ABC-CLIO, 2007.


War and American Popular Culture:  A Historical Encyclopedia, Paul Holsinger, ed., Greenwood Press, 1999.

Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia, Judith E. Harper, Rutledge, 2004.

Main Level, Reference:  R 973.7082 H232W


Selected Sources   back to top

Antislavery Politics in Antebellum and Civil War America, Thomas G. Mitchell, Praeger Publishers, 2007. 

Civil War America: Voices from the Homefront, James Marten, ABC-CLIO, 2003.

The Divided Family in Civil War America, Amy Murrell Taylor, University of North Carolina Press, 2005. 

The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865 - 1900, Nina Silber, University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

Upper Level973.8 Si32R

Wars within a War: Controversy and Conflict over the American Civil War, Joan Waugh and Gary W. Gallagher, University of North Carolina Press, 2009.


<SPAN STYLE=  >The Romance of Reunion</SPAN>

When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861 - 1865, Stephen V. Ash, University of North Carolina Press, 1995.

Upper Level973.713 As31W

Biography   back to top

Gale Biography in Context  [Thomson/Gale]
Includes biographies from Gale reference books and full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals. Search for people by name or personal facts [birth and death year, nationality, ethnicity, occupation or gender] or combine criteria to create a highly-targeted custom search.

Leaders of the American Civil War: A Biographical and Historiographical Dictionary, Charles F. Ritter and Jon L. Wakelyn, eds., Greenwood Press, 1998.

Oxford African American Studies Center 
Search this collection of reference works like African American National Biography. Included are essays about slaves and abolitionists, writers, politicians, and business people, musicians and dancers, artists and athletes, victims of injustice and the lawyers, journalists, and civil rights leaders who gave them a voice.


Shapers of the Great Debate on the Civil War: A Biographical Dictionary, Dan Monroe and Bruce Tap, Greenwood Press, 2005. 




Writing Guides   back to top

Citation Style Guides

Humanities: Documenting Sources [Research and Documentation Online], Bedford/St. Martins, 2003.

Writing Center, Presbyterian College
Citation styles, writing guides, and scheduling an appointment with a tutor.


Locating Books  
THOMCAT   back to top



Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, word, or subject.

  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name:              

Stowe, Harriet Beecher [as AUTHOR]

  Stowe Harriet Beecher 1811 1896 [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to women's history:

United States History 19th Century


Reconstruction U S History 1865 1877


United States History Civil War 1861 1865 African Americans

ThomCat Women Abolitionists United States History 19th Century
PASCAL Women Abolitionists United States History 19th Century

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • If you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use, try a KEYWORD search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
Lincoln AND abolition
= 7 Results

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
(abolition OR slavery) AND Lincoln
= 60 Results

· Add * to the root of a word to expand a term:
secess* = secession, secessionist, seccessional, secessionism

Try WORD searching with ThomCat, other library catalogs & library databases


PASCAL back to top

PASCAL Catalog

If you need books in addition to those found at Thomason Library, try your search here for books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat & I.L.L. back to top

WorldCat [FirstSearch, OCLC]
A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in PASCALCAT.

Interlibrary Loan

ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Click link for instructions.

Locating Articles:  
Journal Databases back to top

The following journal databases (indexes) are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

Academic Search Complete [EBSCOhost] 
Scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals.


A searchablearchive of full-text journals covering all disciplines while providing more full-text access in the library's electronic databases. This archive covers the full run of journals from the first issue of volume one; however, the most current three to five year issues of the journals are not available as specified by the publishers in their agreements with JSTOR.

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection

Current and recent volumes of over 100 core journals in the humanities and social sciences

Historic Newspapers & Periodicals   back to top

 America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876 [NewsBank Archive of Americana]
A searchable database with issues from over 700 historical American newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia focusing largely on the 18th and early 19th centuries. Select specific titles or search publications by state.

The Atlanta Constitution Archive [ProQuest Historical Newspapers]
Full-text & full-image articles from 1868-1945.

The New York Times Archive ProQuest Historical Newspapers]
Full-text & full-image of NYT articles with coverage from 1851 up to three years ago.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals [Library of Congress] 
Twenty-three popular periodicals digitized by Cornell University Library and the Library of Congress, including literary and political magazines, as well as Scientific American, Manufacturer and Builder, and Garden and Forest: A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry. The longest run is for The North American Review, 1815-1900.


Key Journals   back to top


America's Civil War 1996 - present

America's Civil War is a full-color history magazine published bi-monthly that covers the American Civil War. The magazine covers the battles, campaigns, leaders, and common soldiers of the Civil War. It contains thought-provoking essays on the way the war is remembered today as well as lengthy first-hand accounts of the war.

American Historical Review  1895 - present

The American Historical Review (AHR) is the official publication of the American Historical Association (AHA). Aligning with the AHA’s mission, the AHR has been the journal of record for the historical profession in the United States since 1895—the only journal that brings together scholarship from every major field of historical study.

Civil War History 1978 - present

Civil War History is the foremost scholarly journal of the sectional conflict in the United States, focusing on social, cultural, economic, political, and military issues from antebellum America through Reconstruction. Articles have featured research on slavery, abolitionism, women and war, Abraham Lincoln, fiction, national identity, and various aspects of the Northern and Southern military.

Civil War Times 2002 - present

Civil War Times is a history magazine published bi-monthly that covers the American Civil War, focusing on battlefield strategy and tactics, the social and economic conditions of the time, and the aftermath of the war.

Slavery and Abolition  2004 - present (18 month embargo)

Slavery and Abolition is devoted to a discussion of the demographic, socio-economic, historical & psychological aspects of human bondage from the ancient period to the present.

Journal Finder  


Journal Finder provides access to PC's electronic and print journals,

magazines, and newspapers in one convenient location.

Browse Journal Finder by title or subject.

When browsing or searching, you can read articles from any journal that is available in the Full-text resources online group of results. Choose a database in this group based on the dates available and the time frame in which you are interested.


Web Sites  
General Primary Sources   back to top

American Civil War Collections - Electronic Texts Center, University of Virginia Library

The Electronic Text Center is home to a variety of primary source material on the American Civil War including letters, diaries and newspapers.  Letter collections include searchable transcriptions as well as digital images of the manuscripts.

Documenting the American South, University Library of the University of North Carolina

Documenting the American South is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.

NARA U.S. Civil War Records, National Archives and Records Administration

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper.  It holds in trust the public the records of ordinary citizens including the military records of the men and women who have fought for our country.  NARA keeps only those Federal records that are judged to have continuing value.

The Valley of the Shadow, University of Virginia Library.

The Valley Project details life in two American communities during the U.S. Civil War.  This digital archive contains thousands of original letters and diaries, newspapers and speeches, census and church records from Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania.  The project tells forgotten stories of life during the era of the Civil War.

Selected Journals & Diaries back to top

All for the Union: The Civil War Diary and Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes, Robert Hunt Rhodes, ed., Orion Books, 1991.

Upper Level: 973.7445 R346A

The Birthplace of Souls: The Civil War Nursing Diary of Harriet Eaton, Jane E. Schultz, ed., Oxford University Press, 2011.

The Civil War Chronicle, J. Matthew Gallman, Crown Publishers, 2000.

Upper Level973.78 C499C2

The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861 - 1865, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 2002.

Josie Underwood's Civil War Diary, Nancy Disher Baird, ed., University Press of Kentucky, 2009.

Journal of Meta Morris Grimball: South Carolina, December 1860 - February 1866, University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

A Picture Perfect of Hell: Eyewitness Accounts by Civil War Prisoners from the 12th Iowa, Genoways and Genoways, eds., University of Iowa Press, 2001.

A Rebel Came Home: The Diary of Florida Clemson, Tells of her Wartime Adventures in Yankeeland, 1863-64, her Trip Home to South Carolina..., McGee and Lander, eds., University of South Carolina Press, 1961.

Archives/Special Collections: JSC 973.782 L511R

Upper Level: 973.782 L511R

Rebel at Large: The Diary of Confederate Desert Philip Van Buskirk, B.R. Burg, ed., McFarland & Co., 2009.

A Surgeon's Civil War: The Letters and Diary of Daniel M. Holt, M.D., Grenier, Coryell, and Smither, eds., Kent State University Press, 1995.

Upper Level973.775 H742S

Three Years in the Army of Cumberland: The Letters and Diary of Major James A. ConnollyPaul M. Angle, ed., Indiana University Press, 1959.

Upper Level: 973.781 C762T

Voices from Cemetery Hill: The Civil War Diary, Reports, and Letters of Colonel William Henry Asbury Speer (1861 - 1864), Allen Paul Speer, ed., Overmountain Press, 1997.

Upper Level:  973.7446 Sp32V

The War So Horrible: The Civil War Diary of Hiram Smith Williams, Wynne and Taylor, eds., University of Alabama Press, 1993.

Slavery and Abolition back to top

African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: Freedom's Journal, Wisconsin Historical Society

Freedom's Journal, the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States, was published weekly in New York City from 1827 to 1829. The Journal provided international, national, and regional information on current events and contained editorials declaiming slavery, lynching, and other injustices. The Journal also published biographies of prominent African-Americans and listings of births, deaths, and marriages in the African-American New York community. Freedom's Journal circulated in 11 states, the District of Columbia, Haiti, Europe, and Canada.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writer's Project, 1936 - 1938, Library of Congress

This online collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Digital Library on American Slavery, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Digital Library offers a searchable database of detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders, and free people of color. Designed as a tool for scholars, historians, teachers, students, genealogists, and interested citizens, the site provides access to information gathered and analyzed over an eighteen-year period from petitions to southern legislatures and country courts filed between 1775 and 1867 in the fifteen slaveholding states in the United States and the District of Columbia.

The Freedman's Bureau

Established in March 1865,The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands supervised all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen, including issuing rations, clothing, & medicine. The Bureau also assumed custody of confiscated lands or property in the former Confederate States, border states, District of Columbia, and Indian Territory.  Records include “Records Relating to Murders and Outrages,” “Records Relating to Freedmen’s Labor,” and “Marriage Records."

North American Slave Narratives, University of North Carolina

"North American Slave Narratives" collects books and articles that document the individual and collective story of African Americans struggling for freedom and human rights in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. This collection includes all the existing autobiographical narratives of fugitive and former slaves published as broadsides, pamphlets, or books in English up to 1920. Also included are many of the biographies of fugitive and former slaves and some significant fictionalized slave narratives published in English before 1920.

Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection, Cornell University

Numbering over 10,000 titles, Samuel J. May's pamphlets and leaflets document the anti-slavery struggle at the local, regional, and national levels. Much of the May Anti-Slavery Collection was considered ephemeral or fugitive, and today many of these pamphlets are scarce. Sermons, position papers, offprints, local Anti-Slavery Society newsletters, poetry anthologies, freedmen's testimonies, broadsides, and Anti-Slavery Fair keepsakes all document the social and political implications of the abolitionist movement.


Get Help   back to top
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Dan Lee 833-8437



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