Civil War Fiction

Civil War Fiction

Books about the Civil War continue to be churned out. I think the War Between the States must be one of the most popular topics to write about. Through the years, I’ve managed to build up a respectable library on the War. I’m working on a book for one of my publishers, Booklocker, on how to write about the Civil War. This book is on the list of my future projects, and as soon as I get a lot of rat killing done, I can see to it.

As an English teacher for both the high school and college levels, I’ve read and taught many books about the Civil War that are in the genre of fiction. If you’re a teacher, or just one who is interested in reading good Civil War fiction, here’s a list of those books with a few comments.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. An all time best seller and classic on the Civil War—and with good reason. I don’t think anyone has written anything comparable. It is a masterpiece. Unfortunately, few in the modern generation have read it. Few have even seen the movie, one of the greatest movies of all time.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier The movie was good, the book is better, but as they say, “Never judge a book by its movie.”  This novel is rich in detail, honest about the Confederates who fought in the war, and more or less written from a Confederate-friendly point of view.  His second epic novel on the Civil War didn’t have as much success, in spite of the big bucks he received for it.

Andersonville by McKinlay Kantor. When I first began reading this novel, I was expecting more of the usual Yankee-point-of-view misinformation and propaganda. I was delightfully surprised. An honest representation of both sides and an unsettling description of this Georgia prisoner of war camp.

In a future article, I’ll write about some other pieces of literature. These should get you started. I’d love to hear what you think about these novels, so write me, rickeyp@bayou.com