Clear For Action!, by Noel B. Gerson, pub. 1970. A novel based on the life and career of David Farragut, who was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and full admiral of the Navy. He entered the Navy as a midshipman in December 1810. During the War of 1812, when only 12 years old, he was given command of a prize ship taken by USS Essex and brought her safely to port. When the Civil War started, he was one of the country's most experienced seamen and became an icon of popular culture at the Battle of Mobile.
An Island Far from Home, by John Donahue, pub. 1995. A thought-provoking Civil War story involving a Yankee boy and a 14-year-old Confederate soldier. Joshua Loring, 12, lives in Massachusetts and is adjusting to the death of his father, who was a doctor in the Union army. His uncle, Major Robert Pennington, is in charge of POWs on nearby George's Island. The man tells his nephew about a prisoner who is quite young, scared, and alone, and asks that he write to him. Joshua is appalled at the thought of writing to the enemy, and yet at the same time he is intrigued by the idea of learning about a Confederate soldier close to his age, and he decides to write one letter. But one letter leads to another, and their pen-pal relationship grows to a respectful friendship. Donahue has masterfully drawn the young characters; through their correspondence, they slowly reveal personal characteristics that contradict their stereotypical views of one another. In an exciting, climactic ending, and under dangerous circumstances, the boys finally meet. A page-turner full of emotional turmoil that's wonderful for discussion groups and extremely accessible to reluctant historical fiction readers. Gr 4-7.
Confederate Agent, by James D. Horan, pub. 1954, 326 p., call #: 973.786 H. A little known piece of history is told here in well-researched detail. The Confederacy hoped to defeat the Union off as well as on the battlefield and Captain Thomas Hines and his co-conspirators planned everything from armed rebellion, rescue of prisoners, to undermining currency and more -- all to take the Midwest for the rebels.
Zeb Vance: leader in war and peace, by Richard Cooper, pub. 1985, 48 p., call #: jB Vance NC. This short biography covers Vance's entire life with only a portion devoted to the Civil War. One chapter is on the Tom Dula ("Tom Dooley") case. A glossary and the music and lyrics of the song "Tom Dooley" are included.
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