Free Civil War Books – Get Your Free Civil War Books Here!

Genealogists and family historians love books. We’re always on the look out for the newest How To’s on research, or new sources on our German and Irish ancestry or histories on the locations where our ancestor‘s lived. You name it, if a book hints at helping us with genealogy research we want it. The only problem is that most of us don’t have a blind trust or bottomless pockets to fill up our book shelves with all the reading material we’d love to study. Many of us have to settle for requesting these books as birthday or Christmas gifts. Yet I’ve compiled quite a collection of Civil War books to keep me occupied for sometime and all for free.


How did I accumulate a vast stockpile without breaking the bank? It’s simple – ebooks. Most of us know there are a lot of free ebooks available but haven’t taken the time to peruse what’s out there. Maybe you thought the only freebies available were short pamphlet size periodicals or romantic fiction. Not so! A search on any of the easily recognizable programs will reveal some valuable reading material for your research or a particular area of study. Typing in “Free Civil War books” in an app’s search bar will have you downloading faster than you can say “my great great grandfather fought in the Civil War.” So let’s take a look at what’s out there.


First thing is a short investigation of Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc. to help you select the best app for the operating system you use. Remember if you’re new to e-readers and apps,you don’t have to own the device the app is associated with. I have the Kindle reading app and Google Play on my iPad. I don’t need a Kindle Fire to use the Kindle app or an Android operating system to use Google Play. My preferred e-reader app is Kindle. I have it installed on all my devices from laptop, tablet to phone. (Actually I don’t read on my phone. The print is too small for me but if it works for you I envy your good eye sight!) Like I said earlier investigate the apps and choose the best one for you and your device. Once you’ve got an app you’re ready to search. So let’s find some great reading that costs you nothing.


IpadSearching for free ebooks on Kindle is as easy as going to Amazon’s website or just clicking on the Search bar with the little magnifying glass in your app. I typed in Free Civil War books and got a list of three pages with more than 42 titles. Just be aware the last few books listed were not free. Those listed ranged from Reminiscences of a Rebel by Wayland Fuller Dunaway, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg Campaigns of the Civil War – VI by Abner Doubleday to The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 by Leander Stillwell. In particular I want to read about the army life of the common soldier so I downloaded that one. Who am I kidding? In fact I downloaded a number of them! I’m all about understanding daily life in the 1860s from civilian to military life. So I was thrilled to see these titles. Lots of good reading here with Kindle and it’s all free! Continue reading

Happy New Year Genealogy Friends and Foes!

Laptop - photo courtesy of mmagallan at

Laptop – photo courtesy of mmagallan at

Actually I don’t have genealogy foes but I liked the way that title sounded! Anyway I hope you had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed bringing in the new year! I have concluded my self-imposed media fast and am ready to hit the new year running – genealogy wise that is!

So as I was bouncing around my various social media haunts reading Facebook posts and my Twitter feed I can’t help but come across Amy Johnson Crow’s blog challenge – 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks! Everyone is talking about it. If by chance you haven’t seen it you can read that post here.

To sum it up in Amy’s own words – “The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. Not only should this get me blogging more, but also to take a deeper look at some of the people in my family tree.”

Is this not the best idea for all of us family historians as we ring in a new year? You bet it is and I’m taking Amy up on this challenge! This opportunity will enable me to take another look at the info I have on my challenge ancestor each week. I’ll see what facts, pics and general info I have for this particular person. I’ll be able to see which ancestor deserves a little more research time and be sure to note that. I’m even hoping to find a cousin or two over the year through my blog posts.

I figure as I write weekly about my ancestors and read what other genealogists write about theirs I may learn a thing or two as well. It’s a win-win situation all the way around.

I encourage you to jump on this genealogy band wagon and document 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. You’ll find me along with a slew of others “signed-up” for this challenge in the comments section of Amy’s blog for this particular post. You’ll also get the links of the other bloggers involved. Or mention it in the comments of this blog post! Then we’ll all know to be on the lookout for your ancestors!

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a great way to kick off 2014, to honor the lives of our family members who came before us and quite possibly learn a thing or two! I’ll post my first ancestor tomorrow. So I’ll see you back here then and to all I wish a happy, bountiful genealogy New Year!!

Jump on board my time machine – I’m heading back!

GAR Personal War Sketches Mart Armstrong Post 202

GAR Personal War Sketches Mart Armstrong Post 202

Did you happen to catch the July issue of Going In-Depth? If not you’re missing out! It’s jammed full of genealogy help and information. Better yet it’s free every month!

You can take a look at it here. While you’re at it flip to page 19. That’s my article on the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). I learned so much researching that article. The little known resources I found locally on Civil War veterans is killer.

Today I’m following up on the Personal Sketches album I referred to in the article. Here’s one page of that fabulous book written in the veteran’s own hand! We get a glimpse into what the war was like for him. What events and people he’ll never forget. It’s his story.

**I did correct the spelling when transcribing this page hoping to make it easier to read. I didn’t change punctuation.**

W. Francis Maltbie
born December 24, 1836 in Centerville, Montgomery County, Ohio

I first entered the service April 20, 1861 at Lima, Ohio. Entered as a private Co. F 20th Regiment OVI and was a private at the close of the war. I was first discharged August 18, 1861 at Columbus Ohio by reason of expiration of term of service. Reenlisted on the 30 day of August 1861was transferred from Co. B 81st OVI to Co. D 81st OVI in December 1864 and was discharged July 13, 1865 Louisville, KY by reason of expiration of term of service.

Record of Service
My first battle was Pittsburg Landing, Tenn – 2nd Corinth Miss in May and June 1862 commonly -??- the Siege of Corinth. 3d battle was the battle at Corinth October 3 and 4th 1862 – 4th Resaca Ga 5th OstaNaula – 6th Lays (Fery) Ferry – 7th Rome Cross Roads. 8Th Dallas. 9Th Kenesaw Mountain. . . 10th Atlanta July 22nd to the 27th the Siege of Atlanta 11th Jonesborrow August 31st 1864. 12th Savannah – 13 Bentonville North Carolina

Record of escapes
I was slightly bruised from a spent shell at Corinth Miss Oct 3d 1862 and another time at the Siege of Atlanta Ga I never was in a hospital and was never taking prisoner

Intimate Comrades
Sumner T Mason, Gidion Ditto, J W Tellier, Thomas A Maltbie, G W Miller, J M Nantshurr, A Fulmer, G W Dirtson

Noted Events (Battle of Pittsburg Landing, Atlanta Campaign. Shermans March
of importance (to the Sea, and through the Carolinas, and Grand Review Washington

Maltbie took the time to record his Civil War service in his GAR post’s book. It was that important to him! Only about a quarter of the members did. Continue reading

Taking a look at the human side of the Civil War

I read an online article recently from the Washington Post. It cited how the Manassas National Battlefield Park was trying to keep the level of public interest high after having already commemorated the 150th anniversary of both Civil War battles at Manassas. Their new approach is summed up in the article’s title “Manassas events focus on the human face of the Civil War”.

The human side of the Civil War. That’s exactly what clicks with me when I research this period in history. I am particularly interested in the men, the privates, the grunts that carried out all the orders. They endured excessive hardships, witnessed extensive human suffering and looked death in the face at every battle. They carried out commands they knew would certainly result in their demise yet followed those orders anyway. Civil War soldiers are the grandfathers and great grandfathers of today’s “Greatest Generation.” I believe in looking at Civil War veterans we can see that their bravery and loyalty was instilled in their descendants who fought in both World Wars.

Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

Then there is the human side of the Civil War at home. Young wives with babies trying to maintain their household. Farms and businesses to be run without the help of sturdy young men and wise fathers. Families receiving telegraphed death notices, the shortages, hunger and fear especially in southern homes. So many stories and life events that need to be told. Continue reading