BCL offers access to a wealth of books, databases on the Civil War

The American Civil War (1861 - 1865) was a seminal event in our country's history, and estimates are that 50,000 books and pamphlets have been published on the subject. An abundance of resources can be found on the Internet as well.

Your Beaufort County Library provides access to many resources on the Civil War:

For enthusiasts of South Carolina history, there is much to offer. The Civil War in South Carolina, edited by Lawrence Rowland and Stephen Hoffius, is highly recommended, as is Department of the South: Hilton Head Island in the Civil War by Robert Carse. Other worthwhile reads include America's Longest Siege: Charleston, Slavery, and the Slow March Toward Civil War by Joseph Kelly and Lift Up Thy Voice: the Grimke Family's Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders by Mark Perry.

From the perspective of African-Americans, the Civil War had a very different meaning. Slavery was the issue. Notable books on the African-American experience include:

The following resources are available through the library's databases; a reference librarian will gladly show you how to access them.

  • Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers is a searchable database of American and South Carolina newspapers, from 1836-1922.
  • The History Reference Center can be used to access scholarly articles on topics such as Fort Sumter, Emancipation Proclamation, and the Freedmen's Bureau, to name a few.
  • For those interested in genealogy, we have Ancestry.com Library Edition. This database will allow you to search Civil War veterans through the U.S. Civil War Pension Index, U.S. Civil War soldiers 1861-1865, and U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records. Ancestry.com Library Edition is available only in the library.
  • An excellent website to visit is The American Civil War Homepage from the University of Tennessee. This site "gathers in one place hypertext links to the most useful identified electronic files about the American Civil War (1861-1865)."

Bratton DeLoach is a reference librarian at the Bluffton library.

Original story at the Island Packet