The American Civil War 365 Days

My Review of the Book

Over 150 years ago the United States erupted in a civil war. There is much to learn about that time and this is just the book for anyone fascinated by Civil War history and all the details that go with that time period. If you are searching for a Civil War ancestor, you need to learn about all aspects of the war so you can put their life in perspective of the events of that time.
American Civil War 365 Days
This weighty book would make a good doorstop, that is if you could tear yourself away from it long enough to use it in that way. What I’m saying is, there is a lot of history packed into this book. Great for dipping into and browsing, but it has an index for returning to information that you found earlier.

The American Civil War 365 Days is a book that Civil War buffs and those with a casual interest will enjoy soaking up historical facts. It was great for that, but when I checked the index for a specific topic, it sometimes wasn’t there. You can only cram so much into one book, even one as large as this one is. It would not be my #1 source for reference on the Civil War.

Battle of Chancellorsville Mouse Pad

 
Battle of Chancellorsville Mouse Pad by libertybell

Reviews by Others

What other reviewers have to say about the book:

    • “I added this to my classroom civil war collection as soon as I saw finished reading it. Recommended. ” (review by Evan McMillan)

    • “Excellent information and photos.” (review by G.J. Durst)

    • “The division of the book into topics helped me analyze different general aspects of conflict and concern at the time, and the phenomenal selection of photos, maps, drawings, cartoons humanized the time period and the war itself and made it very real. I borrowed the book from the library, couldn’t put it down, rushed right out and bought it.” (review by nsx12 on Amazon)

Take a look at a video of the author talking about the book. You can buy the book, The American Civil War 365 Days, new or used in hardback on Amazon. Just click on the book below to see more reviews or to buy a copy.


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Finding Your Ancestor Inside a Book

What are the chances that your Civil War ancestor might be mentioned in a book about the Civil War? Probably slim, unless he was a general or other high-ranking officer. It is always possible, since more primary source material like diaries and letters are getting published plus an abundance of new research. Your ancestor may turn up in print some day.

That’s why when I see a book on Amazon about the war or a history topic, I look for the names of my ancestors.  Not all books have the LOOK-INSIDE-THE-BOOK feature, but it only takes a minute to search when you find one that does have it.

The preview feature usually shows the table of contents and a few pages from the first chapter. See the screenshot below to see how the search function can turn up valuable information. In some cases, it shows the index. You’ll want to scan that for events and names that are important to you.

Put the Amazon Search Inside a Book to work for you.

Put the Amazon Search Inside a Book to work for you.

For this book, I put in the name Walsh and the search brought up 5 page links. By clicking on each link, you can see the whole page with that name highlighted on it.

It’s a little bit like searching for a needle in a haystack, since there are 284,298 books under the topic “Civil War.” More are being added all the time. I look for books relating to areas of the war where I know my ancestor might be (Andersonville, Vicksburg, Brice’s Crossroads). I also use this search for books on Indiana and Kansas history where I might find Abraham Tower before or after the war.

Requesting Civil War Medical Cards from the National Archives

I just submitted my request for medical information about my ancestor. Although I don’t know if he was ever wounded, he most likely had medical treatment when he was released from Andersonville Prison. I’m really curious about any information that might be included with this.

Here’s the query I sent to the National Archives:

“I would like a copy of my ancestor’s Civil War Medical Cards.
His name was Abraham Bates Tower. He started as a private and later was a Corporal. He was in company G, 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was a prisoner of war at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.

I am working on a book about his life.

My mind is teeming with the possibilities that this might reveal. Do you know if your ancestor was wounded or had medical treatment during their service?

I found out about medical cards from a blog post on the Genealogy Circle. There are some intriguing posts there called Civil War Saturday, so I’ll be busy reading all of those. Here’s the one about the Medical Cards.

The blogger, Cindy Freed, also has a book that looks helpful. The title is Ancestors in a Nation Divided: An In-Depth Guide to Researching Your Civil War Ancestors and it is available in Kindle or paperback.

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UPDATE: I received an email from my inquiry.

“Dear Ms. Allain:

This is in response to your inquiry requesting to obtain a copy of the Civil War Carded Medical Cards pertaining to Private/Corporal Abraham Bates Tower, Company G, 93rd IN Infantry.
We searched Record Group 94: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, Entry 534: Carded Medical Records, Volunteers, Mexican & Civil Wars (1846-65).
We were unable to identify any Carded Medical Records pertaining to Private/Corporal Abraham Bates Tower, Company G, 93rd IN Infantry.
Sincerely,
P. H.
Archives I Reference Section
Archival Operations-Washington, DC “

The Civil War Infantryman

Hurrah, the book arrived. I’d been eagerly waiting for a copy of Civil War Infantryman: In Camp, on the March, and in Battle. Fortunately with Amazon you don’t have to wait long.

It looks like it has everything I’d been wanting. There are descriptions and photos of clothing, equipment and weapons of the infantryman plus details about their rations. It’s based on first-hand accounts from diaries and letters both Union and Confederate during the Civil War.

This will help me picture the daily life of my Civil War ancestor as I track the movement of his regiment.

Time for some reading…

Hiram’s Honor – Recommended Reading

I have a web page where I’m collecting my research about Andersonville Prison. My great-great grandfather spent six months there during the Civil War.

It’s well worth putting your findings online as it often attracts comments from others that open new doors for you. In this case, an author named Max Terman put a comment on my page. He mentioned his book, Hiram’s Honor: Reliving Private Terman’s Civil War. I bought the book for my Kindle immediately and found it a great read.

The fictional book follows his ancestor through various Civil War battles and prisons. It fascinated me to see how he presented Hiram’s experience at Andersonville and his parole. Those are areas I’ve been reading quite a bit about. Here’s my booklist on Andersonville in case you want to read some of them.

An area that’s been difficult finding information on is what happens to the prisoners when released from Andersonville. I’m fairly sure my ancestor was taken by the steamship, New York, up to Camp Parole in Maryland. Interestingly, that’s the same thing that happened with Hiram.  I’m going to contact the author to find what sources he found. They may help me with my questions. You can read more about Abraham Tower leaving Andersonville on my page.

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