Social Studies Resources

The Lancer Library Subject Resources: Social Studies: The American Civil War


The best way to find books on any subject is to use the book catalog. Use the computer on the far end of the desk. Search by key word, entering the words “Civil War”. Note the call numbers assigned to the books. Books are in numerical order, so this lets you find a book on the shelves. Another purpose of the call numbers is to keep books on the same subject together on the shelves. Most books on the Civil War have a similar number because they are on the same subject. Going to the shelves and browsing through the area containing the Civil War books will allow you to see most of what is currently in on this subject. A few books are reference items that do not check out of the library. They are on the shelves closest to the entrance. Examples of some of the books we have are:

  • Captains of the Civil War: a Chronicle of the Blue and the Gray
  • Ironclads of the Civil War
  • The Many Faces of the Civil War
  • Secret Missions of the Civil War
  • Storm over the Land: a Profile of the Civil War
  • Wilderness: a Tale of the Civil War
  • The Bloodiest Day: the Battle of Antietam
  • Death in the Trenches: Grant at Petersburg
  • The Killing Ground: Wilderness to Cold Harbor
  • Battle Cry of Freedom: the Civil War Era
  • A Pictorial History of the Civil War Years
  • Gettysburg: the Confederate High Tide.
  • The Military History of Civil War Land Battles

Reference Books

  • American Heritage Battle Maps of the Civil War
  • The Civil War Almanac
  • The Civil War Dictionary
  • Who Was Who in the Civil War

Magazines, Newspapers and Databases

Special Note - To access the databases from home, see the librarians for the list of usernames and passwords. All passwords have been emailed to your SFHS email account.

Historical magazines are indexed in Gale’s Expanded Academic Index. This database can be found on the library’s database page by clicking on Galenet. Expanded Academic ASAP is the second database listed. Enter the words “United States Civil War.”

A variety of articles appear in magazines such as Smithsonian and Civil War History. These are full text and can be printed right from the screen.

For newspaper articles, try ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Click on ProQuest from the library’s database page. If coming in from home, the username is 46-65725 and the password is bigchalk. Again search for the subject United States Civil War. The newspapers in this database go back to 1851, so you can read actual articles reporting on the Civil War when it happened.

The best database for this subject that the library subscribes to is History Resource Center U.S., one of the Galenet databases. Enter the subject “Civil War” or “Civil War battles” to see what is available. All information is full-text and can be printed right from the screen. Reference books, magazines, documents and original sources are available. To access Galenet, go to the library’s database page and click on Galenet.


There are many, many sites on the open Internet about the Civil War. If using the Internet, remember that anyone can put up a site.  Check the source of any site you use. Does the author give his or her qualifications? Is it clear who sponsors the site? Try to ascertain any sites you use are from reputable sources! You will find student work, professors’ interests, amateurs’ work, professional sites and the American Memory site of the Library of Congress. The latter has actual copies of historical items you can access on the open Internet. Go to for all Library of Congress information.

Remember, you can also find books at your local public libraries after all our books are checked out! Lastly, if you are having trouble finding information, what should you do? Ask us for help! Ask any of the librarians for help finding information or for citing your sources so you can avoid the dreaded PLAGIARISM!