This list was conceived after an extended bout of Civil War reading (specifically, finishing Shelby Foote’s 3-volume Narrative, Billy Yank, Johnny Reb, Gettysburg, and Confederates in the Attic). Some of my favourite writings of the war are personal narratives, and I was frustrated that so many of the best letters and diaries should be limited in access to those living in the states whose historical commissions own them. As virtually all of these materials are now out of copyright (apart from those only recently discovered by great-great-ancestors and published in the wake of Ken Burns’ success), there’s little reason not to digitize and disseminate them, and indeed a number of sites have begun that process. So, drawing on websites specialising in out-of-copyright works available to the public, I’m endeavouring to share the fruits of my searches with others.

Note that titles listed without accompanying links are my “want” list. If anyone is able to procure a copy, I would be eternally grateful!

If you find this portal useful, want to make a correction or can recommend a title (available online) that deserves to be listed, please email me at





Poetry and Song Lyrics

Personal Narratives – Combatants

Personal Narratives – Non-Combatants (Civilians, Politicians, Observers)

Corps/Division/Regimental/Company Histories, Military handbooks


Sound Effects

Battlefield, National Parks, Historical Sites Websites



Not-So-Free Civil War Resources (asterisks indicate a personal recommendation!)