This is the final volume of the Library of America’s four-volume series on the Civil War. This volume, edited by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, is like the other three in the series. It contains primary source material so students of the war can hear directly from the people who lived through the war. The book begins with Ulric Dahlgren’s raid on Richmond and ends Gordon Granger’s General Orders Number 3 announcing emancipation in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, aka “Juneteenth.” It contains 160 primary source items, each introduced by a short paragraph from Professor Sheehan-Dean. It also contains biographical notes on the authors of those items, a chronology, notes on the texts, and explanatory notes about the texts.
This book and its other three companion volumes are essential resources for serious students of the war. While some of the entries are well known and easily available on the internet, there are plenty that are rare and difficult to find. If you want to be a serious student of the war, these four volumes need to be on your shelf. Other editors in the series are Brooks Simpson and Stephen Sears. They’ve done a wonderful job with this series.