Quick Picks: Civil War Photography Books

Library of Congress
A Civil War photographer and his tent.

Looking for good books on Civil War photography? We asked Ronald S. Coddington, author and publisher of Military Images magazine, for three books on the subject that he considers essential reads.

Here are his picks: The Photographic History of the Civil War(1911)
By Francis Trevelyan Miller
This 10-volume work is the starting place for any serious student of historic photography. Know Miller, and you’ll understand why interest in the Civil War endures. The depth, breadth, and quality of these volumes continue to move me more than a century after they were published.

The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War(1960)
By Bruce Catton
This is the book that inspired my boyhood interest in the war. I spent countless hours absorbing its photographs, maps, and illustrations. The images, and Catton’s words, make the war come alive.

Introduction to Civil War Photography(1991)
By Ross J. Kelbaugh If you’re new to collecting Civil War photographs, or are simply curious about photographic formats and photographers from the period, this slim paperback is a must-have. Consider it Civil War Photography 101.

Ronald S. Coddington is publisher and editor of Military Images magazine.

This article appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of The Civil War Monitor.

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