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Civil War Genealogy and History

Selected Print Sources Available to the Researcher in the Western History and Genealogy Department of the Denver Public Library

This bibliography is intended to provide researchers with a guide to the unique Civil War books in the Western History and Genealogy collection. These include official records, multi-volume reference sets, and older books and periodicals that are essential sources for Civil War history and genealogy. The vast array of Civil War books in the circulating collection and the databases available online are not covered in this selection.

What separates the WHG collection from the online sources and the circulating collection is the depth of the material. Instead of grand battles you can get down to individual soldiers and individual regiments. A state Adjutant General's report can give a brief history of a regiment, run down the battles it fought, and show you name-by-name who was in each company, where they were from, the dates they served, and if they became casualties. A regimental history from the last quarter of the 19th century will give you a book-length treatment of a unit's activities, often written by participants. The Official Records (128 volumes) give you the actual reports from the officers in the field and on the ships. The Supplement to the Official Records (100 volumes) lets you trace a regiment's whereabouts week-by-week and nearly day-by-day.

A major strength of this collection is the large assortment of personal accounts, the reminiscences and recollections of the veterans themselves, of all ranks. On the Confederate side we have 52 volumes of the Southern Historical Papers, 6 volumes of the Southern Bivouac, and 38 years of the Confederate Veteran magazine. For the Union we have the massive Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States set, 62 volumes. Amazingly these are all properly indexed. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War and the Rebellion Record have articles and documents from participants on both sides. These are the actual stories of the war that you can only find snippets of in general histories.

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