Books on Michigan in the Civil War

Lincoln and his son reading.Books are still one of the best ways to learn about the Civil War. In the case of Michigan, many books have been written. In this page we will focus on books that are recently published and which you will stand a good chance of purchasing easily. In most cases, these books are still in print.

The books are organized acording to subject. Our partner history series, Civil War Digital Digest, released a series of four videos in January 2106 reviewing the books known then about Michigan's experience in the Civil War. The books are presented here so that that series can guide you.

Introduction Video

From the "Regimentals" video, we first created a section that contains the books that cover the experiences of individual regiments, whether a modern or veteran regimental history or a diary or journal from a veteran. We've separated out books on the 24th Michigan Infantry and the Iron Brigade and the Michigan Cavalry Brigade into their own groups to make searching easier here.

In the "Research" video, we have a section on General Reserach and Genealogy. There is also a section below to help you find where to acquire the Records of Service for the individual regiments. Finally here, we have a section filled with the Centennial publications from the state.

Working with the "Biographies" video, we have a segment related for biographies. There is also a category for anthologies and finally a section for other works about Michigan in the war.

This list is ever growing. If you know of a book about Michigan or with a strong section on Michigan, please go to the Contact Us page and send us an email with the information.

Look Around You Ventures LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to In addition to helping fund the work of this site, we chose to do this because it will give you direct access to purchase the book themselves if you wish to add them to your library!


Regimentals and memoirs

These Men have seen Hard Service: The First Michigan Sharpshooters in the Civil War - by Raymond J. Herek This book covers the time of service of a regiment of sharpshooters raised in Michigan. It also follows the men through their post war life until the last member of the regiment dies in 1946. This book is published by Wayne State University and is part of the Great Lakes Books collections. Softcover.
Civil War Journal from the 2nd Michigan Infantry - by P. C. Zick and Harmon Camburn Harmon Camburn enlisted in the 2nd Michigan in 1861. He served until discharged in 1864. In this book, which is annotated by his great granddaughter, Camburn recounts his years in the war. This book is an excellent account of an enlisted man's service from guard to drill, winter quarters to the heat of a summer campaign. Don't miss this!
For Country, Cause & Leader: The Civil War Journal of Charles B. Haydon - edited by Stephen W. Sears Haydon started the war as a sergeant in the 2nd Michigan infantry. His journal takes him through the entire Civil War. Sears is a noted author himself and his annotations are helpful in getting a better picture of the regiment. Published in 1993 by Ticknor & Fields.
Four Years Campaigning in the Army of the Potomac - by Daniel G. Crotty Dan Crotty was the color sergeant of the 3rd Michigan Infantry and later 5th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War. After the war, he wrote his memories of his time in service.
The 4th Michigan in the Civil War - by Martin N. Bertera and Kim Crawford A book about the actions of the 4th Michigan. Published by Michigan State University Press in 2010. Hardcover.
The 4th Michigan Infantry at the Battle of Wheatfield - by Martin Bertera A smaller work on the 4th in it's action at Gettysburg. Colonel Jeffords was killed by a bayonet wound in this fight. Published by Morningside Press in 1997
The 4th Michigan at the Battle of New Bridge Va. - by Martin Bertera  
A Solider's Life: The Civil War Experiences of Ben C. Johnson - Edited by Alan S. Brown This book is the memoirs of a member of the 6th Michigan Infantry, a regiment later converted to an artillery regiment. Published by 1962 by Western Michigan University Press. No ISBN available.  

The 11th Michigan Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster - By Eric R. Faust

An updated roster and information on the men of the 11th Michigan Infantry.
Conspicuous Gallantry: The Civil War and Reconstruction Letters of James W. King, 11th Michigan Volunteer Infantry - edited by Eric R. Faust
The eloquent letters of James W. King shed light on a Civil War regiment that played important roles in the battles of Stones River, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge. King enlisted in the 11th Michigan in 1861 as a private and rose to the rank of quartermaster sergeant.
When Gallantry Was Commonplace: The History of the Michigan Eleventh Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1864 - By Leland W Thornton A regimental history published in 1991 about the years of service of the 11th Michigan Infantry.
The Ewing Family Civil War Letters - Edited by John T. Greene The Ewing brothers were members of the 12th and 20th Michigan and these are their letters home.
The 16th Michigan Infantry - By Kim Crawford Published in 2002, this lengthy history tells the story of the 16th Michigan. It's first regiment embodied "Brother against Brother" as his nephew is the well known Confederate General Longstreet.
Supper in the Evening - By Al Barnes Published in 1967, this book is about "pioneer living in Michigan." Chapter two deals with the affect of the Civil War on Michigan. Chapter three is the real gem! It is a series of letter and segment of the diary written by Sergeant Homer B. Potter of the 17th Michigan Infantry, Company I. He is an excellent writer and this is a rich read.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Combat Diaries of Union Sergeant Hamlin Alexander Coe - edited by David Coe Hamlin Alexander Coe was a Sergeant in the 19th Michigan. He joined the regiment when it was formed in 1862. Published in 1975 by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
Oklahoma Scout - By Theodore Baughman Baughman served in Company A of the 19th Michigan. His younger brother served in Company C, enlisting later. This book is his memoirs and he details many accounts of the war before going to tell of his exploits on the Great Plains. No ISBN. No publication date but the copy I have is inscribed to the recipient in Fall, 1907.
They Died to Make Men Free: A History of the 19th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War - by William M. Anderson Raised in 1862 in response to Lincoln's call for 300,000 more volunteers, this regiment hailed for western Michigan. Published by Morningside Press in 1994. Hardcover
Into the Tornado of War: A History of the Twenty-First Michigan Infantry in the Civil War - by James Genco A regimental history of the 21st Michigan. A very intersting read. Published by Abbot Press in 2012.
A "Guest" of the Confederacy: The Civil War Letters and Diaries of Alanzo M. Keeler, Captain, Company B, Twenty-second Michgian Infantry - By Robert and Cheryl Allen This set of diaries and letters give us a glimpse into the service of a junior officer in the war, including the time he served as a Confederate POW. He was a member of the 22nd Michigan Infantry. Published in 2008.
The Civil War Letters of Johannes Van Lente - Edited by Janice L. Van Lente This book is a private publication. It contains letters of Van Lente who was a member of Company I, 25th Michigan Infantry. His ancestor has done a good job not only presenting his letters, but giving context for where he was at the time. It also contains other letters from soldiers who came from Holland, MI - Van Lente's home. Published by Yankee Girl Publications in 1995. 2nd Edition.
My Dear Wife: The Civil War Diary and Letters of Capt. John Quigley - By Julie Wyckoff Through his diary and letters, you can see the life of a soldier who did his duty.
Across the Bloody Chasm: The Legacy of Lyman "George" Willcox - By Julia A. Cramer This book follows the service of an officer in the 3rd Michigan Cavalry. Destined for routine patrol duty out west, this is a great look at an overlooked part of the war and Michigan service.
"My Brave Mechanics": The First Michigan Engineers and Their Civil War (Great Lakes Books Series) - By Mark Hoffman Historian Mark Hoffman offers readers a detailed account of the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics from a wealth of sources, including letters, diaries, regimental papers, communications and orders from the military establishment, period newspapers, and postwar accounts. As little has been written about Union volunteer engineers in the western theater, their unique history will undoubtedly be fascinating reading for Civil War buffs, local historians, and those interested in the history of American military engineering.
Among the Enemy: A Michigan Soldier's Civil War Journal (Great Lakes Books Series) - Edited by Mark Hoffman

Though many Union soldiers wrote about their experiences in the American Civil War, few had the vantage point of William Horton Kimball, a member of the First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics. As a military engineer, Kimball spent most of his time behind the major lines of conflict and often worked among civilians who sympathized with the enemy. In Among the Enemy: A Michigan Soldier's Civil War Journal, author Mark Hoffman presents Kimball's journal as a unique window into wartime experience.


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Books about the 24th Michigan and Iron Brigade

History of the Twenty-Fourth Michigan of the Iron Brigade - by O. B. Curtis This is the regimental history of the 24th Michigan. Originally published in 1891, it was reprinted by Butternut Press in 1984. Even the reprint is quite rare.
Letters Home: Henry Matrau of the Iron Brigade - by Henry Matrau, edited by Marcia Reid-Green and Reid Mitchell Though Henry Matrau served with the 6th Wisconsin, he travelled from Bainbridge Township, MI to enlist in 1861. This is a collection of letters from a Michigan man who served in one of the most famed regiments and brigades in the Civil War. Matrau rises to the rank of Captain by the end of the war.
Dear Sarah: Letters Home from a Soldier of the Iron Brigade - Edited by Coralou Peel Lassen Corporal John Pardington of the 24th Michigan wrote many letters home to his wife, Sarah. Over 80 of them are contained in this book and tell his story, and that of his regiment, as they jouney from raw recruits to battle hardened veterans.
The Twenty-Fourth Michigan - by Donald L. Smith Combining a great variety of sources, this regimental history was assembled and published by The Stackpole Company in 1962. No ISBN

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Michigan Cavalry Brigade Books

Battle of Falling Waters 1863 - By George F. Franks III This book chronicles the final fight of the Gettyburg Campaign as Lee crosses at Falling Waters back into Virginia. He has been pursued this entire time by the Michigan Cavalry Brigade.
Under Custer's Command: The Civil War Journal of James Henry Avery - compiled by Karla Jean Husby - Edited by Eric J. Wittenberg Avery was an enlisted man in the 5th Michigan Cavalry, which was a member of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. This book gives you an account from inside the ranks of Custer's Wolverines. Editer Eric Wittenberg has written several titles on Civil War Cavalry. Published by Brassey's.
A Cavalryman with Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade - by J. H. Kidd - Edited by James T. Navary The Journal of James Kidd, a member of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade (and briefly commanded it after Custer) this is a great primary source on this brigade. Published in 2010 by Our Civil War Press.
One of Custer's Wolverines: The Civil War Letters of Brigadier General James H. Kidd, 6th Michigan Cavalry - Edited by Eric Wittenburg A compliation of the wartime letters of James Kidd. Published in 2000 by The Kent State University Press.
Hell on Belle Isle: Diary of a Civil War POW - Journal of J. Osborn Coburn - Edited by Don Allison J. Osborn Coburn was member of the 6th Michigan Cavalry. He was captured and these are his memoriors of his experience as a POW. Published by Faded Banner Publications.
Seventh Michigan Cavalry of Custer's Wolverine Brigade - by Asa B. Isham This is a new edition of a book that is was written by a member of the 7th Michigan Cavalry. It was written on commission of the regiment at one if it's reunions. As such, it is an excellent set of recollections of the work of the regiment. Published by Blue Acorn Press in 2000. Hardcover.
Custer and His Wolverines: The Michigan Cavalry Brigade, 1861-1865 - by Edward G. Longacre The story of the only cavalry brigade in the Eastern theater made up completely of troops from one state - Michigan. Published in 2004 by Da Capo Press.

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General Topic Books

Grand Rapids and the Civil War - By Roger L. Rosentreter This book tells the story of the citizens of Grand Rapids, how the Civil War affected them and how they dealt with it, both at home and at the battlefront.
Lenawee County and the American Civil War - By Ray Lennard From the press release about the book: Lenawee County was a hotbed for antislavery activities in the 1830s that translated into strong Union support in April 1861. Adrian, Tecumseh and Hudson sent hundreds of soldiers to fight and die in the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation propelled nearly fifty of the county’s African American residents to take up arms to preserve the nation and end slavery once and for all. Captain Samuel DeGolyer, creator of the Lenawee Guard, escaped Confederate prison in Richmond. On the homefront, residents like Laura and Charles Haviland sheltered fugitive slaves and even donated land to help families start anew.
Michigan at Antietam - By Brian James Egen and Jack Dempsey
America's single bloodiest day was at the Battle of Antietam, and Michigan played a prominent role. Discover the state's connections to the Lost Order, one of the Civil War's greatest mysteries. Explore George A. Custer's role as a staff officer in combat. Mourn the extraordinary losses Michiganders suffered, including one regiment losing nearly half its strength at the epicenter of the battle. The Wolverine State's contributions to secure the Union and enable the Emancipation Proclamation are vast and worthy of a monument on the battlefield.
Remembering Michigan's Civil War Soldiers - by David D. Finney and Judith Stermer McIntosh If you want to see the faces of men from Michigan who served in the Civil War, this is the book for you! It is full of photos, many previously unpublished, of Michigan's soldiers. Each photo has a short caption telling the story of that man or group of men. For the Michigan History Buff, this is a "not to miss." Published in 2015 by Arcadia Publishing.
Michigan Civil War Landmarks - by David Ingall and Karin Risko Published in 2015, this book can serve as a "tour guide in a book." Take it on vacation, or just your Saturday drive and look at how you can connect with Civil War history in Michigan!
Michigan and the Civil War: A Great and Bloody Sacrifice - by Jack Dempsey With lively narration, telling anecdotes and vivid battlefield accounts, this book presents, as never before, the story of Michigan's heroic role in saving the Union. Published in 2011 by The History Press.
Michigan Soldiers in the Civil War - by Frederick D. Williams Now in it's fourth printing, this book is a great, short capsule of Michigan's military involvement in the Civil War. Republished by Michigan History Magazine.
Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne - by James Conway and David Jamroz This book is a history of the military fort which is located now in southeast Detroit. It first saw service to the US as a troop rendeavous point during the Civil War. There is an entire chapter dedicated to the Fort during the Civil War years. Published in 2007 by Arcadia Publishing.
Old Slow Town: Detroit During the Civil War - by Paul Taylor Published in 2013, this book tells the story of Detroit during the war. It is part of the Great Lakes Books Series.
From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad - By Jacqueline L. Tobin Learn more about Detroit's Role in the Underground Railroad leading up the Civil War. Detroit's codename on the Railroad was "midnight."
Loss of the Sultana and Reminiscences of Survivors: By Chester D. Berry, Forward by David Madden The Sultana remains one of the largest tragedies on the water. In terms of casualties, Michigan was third in number of men lost, behind Tennessee and Indiana. Chester Berry is a veteran of the 20th Michigan Infantry and some of the stories in here come from Michigan men.

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Anthologies about Michigan's Civil War Experience

If I am Found Dead: Michigan Voices from the Civil War - Edited by David Lee Poremba This book is an anthology of letters and diaries all from Michigan men who served in the Civil War.
Father Abraham's Children: Michigan Episodes in the Civil War - by Arthur B. Woodford Originally published in 1961, this republication is an anthology of Michigan stories in the Civil War. Each chapter tells a different episode of a Michigan experience. Republished in 1990 by Wayne State University Press. Hardcover.
Michigan and the Civil War: An Anthology - Various authors Published by the Michigan History Magazine, this anthology brings many authors together to tell different stories of Michigan in the war. Published in 1999.
A Distant Thunder: Michigan in the Civil War - By Richard Bak  

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General Reserach and Genealogy

Macomb County Civil War Footprints - By Robert D. and Cheryl J. Allen This book looks at the role citizens of Macomb County played in the American Civil War.
The Fighting Men of Genesee County, Michigan - by Scott Roy This book tells stories of selected men who served from Genesee County.
Brave Boys They Were! Civil War Veterans Kalkaska, Michigan - By Dawn Triplett This book is a valuable resource to learn more about the men who both came from or later moved to Kalkaska area in the northern lower peninsula. There is a brief biography of each man as well as many grave photographs. There is also information on three separate GAR posts. Published in 2012. ISBN 978-1-4675-1917-5  
Colonels in Blue: Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia - by Roger D. Hunt This book lists all the men who attained the rank of colonel in regiments from several states, including Michigan. There are also short biographies for many of them, though that information is not exhaustive. Published in 2011 by McFarland and Company, Inc.

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Records of Service

1st Michigan Infantry    
2nd Michigan Infantry    
3rd Michigan Infantry Record of service of Michigan volunteers in the civil war, 1861-1865 (Volume 3)
4th Michigan Infantry Record of service of Michigan volunteers in the civil war, 1861-1865 (Volume 4)
5th Michigan Infantry Record of service of Michigan volunteers in the civil war, 1861-1865 (Volume 5)
6th Michigan Infantry Record of service of Michigan volunteers in the civil war, 1861-1865 (Volume 6)
7th Michigan Infantry Record of service of Michigan volunteers in the civil war, 1861-1865 (Volume 7)
8th Michigan Infantry    
9th Michigan Infantry    
10th Michigan Infantry    
11th Michigan Infantry    


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Michigan Civil War Centennial Commission Books

This collection of books was released by Michigan's Centennial Observence Commission during the Centennial in the 1960s. Though out of print, you can reguarly find them in used bookstores and on Ebay.

Materials on the Civil War Recommended for Use in Schools Edited by C. Irene Hayner  
Michigan Women in the Civil War  
The Dutch Churches in Michigan During the Civil War Edited by Lewis Beeson
Michigan Catholicism in the Era of the Civil War

Edited by Lewis Beeson

The Methodist Episcopal Church in Michigan during the Civil War

Edited by Lewis Beeson

Impact of the Civil War on the Presbyterian Church in Michigan Edited by Lewis Beeson
Congretationalism, Slavery and the Civil War Edited by Lewis Beeson  
The Baptists of Michigan and the Civil War

By Judson LeRoy Day II

Michigan in the Civil War Years, 1860-1866: A Wartime Chronicle - 2nd Edition, 1966 By George S. May
The Effect of the Civil War on Music in Michigan By Mary D. Teal and Lawrence W. Brown
Civil War Tri-State Soldier' and Sailors' Encampments 1889-1918 By John H. Yzenbaard
Michigan Medal of Honor Winners in the Civil War By Minnie Dubbs Millbrook
Michigan in the Civil War: A Guide to the Material in Detroit Newspapers - 1861-1866 By Helen H. Ellis
Small Arms Used by Michigan Troops in the Civil War Edited by Donald F. Kigar
Negroes in Michigan During the Civil War Edited by Sidney Glazer
Report of the Michigan Civil War Centennial Observance Commission to the Governor, Legislature and the People of Michigan August, 1958 to June 30, 1966 Edited by Sidney Glazer


Until Antietam: The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U. S. Army - Edited by Jack C. Mason
Israel Richardson was a West Point graduate who served with distinction in the Mexican War. He was living in Pontiac, MI when the Civil War started. He accepted a commission as the first Colonel of the 2nd Michigan. He was mortally wounded at Antietam in 1862. This is an excellent account of his entire life, much of it in his own words.
Forgotten Valor: The Memoirs, Journals and Civil War Letters of Orlando B. Wilcox - Edited by Robert Garth Scott Orlando Wilcox, a West Point graduate, was the first colonel of the 1st Michigan Infantry, raised at Fort Wayne. Published by The Kent State University Press.
From the Cannon's Mouth: The Civil War Letters of General Alpheus S. Williams - Edited by Milo M. Quaife General Williams was ordered by the Michigan Goverment to run the camp of Instruction at Fort Wayne, Detroit in spring, 1861. He went from there to the Army of the Potomac and would command the 12th Corp at Gettysburg. First published in 1959 by the Wayne State University Press, it was reprinted in 1995.