Civil War Books


I first began collecting Civil War books 30 years ago and didn’t realize it. My mother bought me Robert Tanner’s “Stonewall in the Valley” in 1976 and after reading it I needed more books to satisfy my growing interest or addiction depending on how you look at it. My collection consists of about 1500 books that mostly deal with Confederate units or biographies. I also own a lot of Americana titles that are of Maryland or Delaware interest. Several years ago I sold off between 400-600 titles that were Union titles or dealt with battles. Many people have asked me why I did this, the last time was Eric Wittenberg at the CWDG Muster Dinner. I guess I came to realize that I really enjoyed reading about the Confederate experience and studying the war from that perspective.  Please don’t feel that I don’t appreciate what the Union Army accomplished, I just was tired of being a jack of all trades and a master of none when it came to the Civil War. I knew alot and knew nothing at all. I’m sure all of my Yankee friends will say I still know nothing by neglecting the Union side of the war. But what they don’t realize is that one of my Union titles probably ended up in their collection. But getting back to collecting books, nothing beats the rush of finding a title you been searching for turn up at your local used book store. I’ve bought books at yard sales, auctions, Civil War shows, eBay and God knows where else. Having all these books makes me look a lot smarter than I am. As my friends know, I give away Civil War books from time to time so they’ll have a good home. So the next time you have a Civil War book you no longer need, give it to friend or relative and let’s keep history alive especially the Civil War. Because the more people that start collecting Civil War books means more titles will be published which in turn will feed my addiction. Of course buying more books and “sneaking” them into the house is a whole other subject!

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Published in: on November 16, 2006 at 5:04 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. Once upon a time, I learned how to sneak books into the house and keep them three without being discovered.

    1. If you own a hatchback, get rid of it. You need a good sized trunk for the sake of secrecy.

    2. Store books you haven’t been able to sneak onto shelves and therefore out of sight in boxes marked Christmas Decorations or, in the alternative, tax documents from 1973.

    3. Get a pair of very dark glasses or ones mirrored lenses so that your wife/husband can’t look you in the eye as you deny that the four bags you just brought in to the house and secreted somewhre contain books.

    4. Say that you’re holding any newly acquired books for a friend until he/she gets his shelves up.

    5. Say that the books your husband/wife discovers being brought into the house are YOUR books, not new ones, and that you just took them for a walk to blow off the dust.

    6. Join BBA (Book Buyers Anonymous). It’s a great way to excuse your behavior after you fall off the wagon when the local bookstore has a clearance of Civil War books. You don’t have to say that you WANT to be cured, you just have to say that your thinking about it.

    7. Enjoy your weakness. Heck, there are WORSE things to covet! :p

  2. LOL, those may work Valerie….I’ll have to try a few of them!


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