Encyclopedia of the American Civil War
A Political, Social, and Military History
by Dr. David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, Editors David J. Coles, Associate Editor
December 2000, 2733pp, 8 1/2x11
5 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-066-6
$468, £347, 390€, A669
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-382-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The bloodiest armed conflict ever fought on our soil, the Civil War had profound consequences for American society. It left a scar on the nation’s psyche that has not yet completely healed. Politics, race relations, religion, literature, popular culture—no aspect of America has been unaffected by the Civil War.

An award-winning and highly recommended comprehensive reference set on the political, social, and military aspects of the American Civil War.

The Encyclopedia of the American Civil War is the most comprehensive reference set ever compiled on this pivotal confrontation. Its five oversized volumes, rich with illustrations, maps, and primary source documents, offer more than 1,600 authoritative entries that chart the war’s strategic aims, analyze diplomatic and political maneuvering, describe key military actions, sketch important participants, assess developments in military science, and discuss the social and financial impact of the conflict.

Written by scholars, the essays are both authoritative and easily accessible to history buffs, students, and general readers. Brief entry bibliographies lead curious readers to the most reliable sources for further information.


  • Over 1,600 signed A–Z entries, authored by notable scholars and referenced for further reading
  • Over 300 contributors, including some of the leading Civil War scholars at work today
  • More than 500 illustrations, including contemporary photographs, lithographs, and drawings
  • 75 maps created specifically for this encyclopedia
  • A chronology, glossary, and exhaustive index
  • Over 250 primary source documents
David S. Heidler, PhD, is an independent scholar.

Jeanne T. Heidler is professor of American history at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.


Editors' Choice 2000—Booklist, January 1, 2001

Best Reference Source 2000—Library Journal, January 1, 2001

Outstanding Reference Source 2001—RUSA/ALA, December 31, 2001

Dartmouth Honorable Mention Medal for 2001—RUSA/ALA, December 31, 2001

Independent Publisher Book Award 2001—Independent Publisher Association, December 31, 2001

Distinguished Book Award—Society for Military History, January 1, 2003


"Encyclopedia of the American Civil War is outstanding, and every serious Civil War historian will want access to it. . . . Historians of the Civil War era owe a debt of gratitude to everyone connected with this ambitiously conceived, wonderfully realized, new resource."—The Journal of Military History, October 1, 2003

"This encyclopedia is superb—an outstanding and comprehensive work which renders all similar works redundant."—North & South, March 1, 2001

"No other reference work compares with the range of this enterprise in canvassing the war. Every academic and major public library will need these volumes."—Library Journal, Starred Review, December 1, 2001

"Encyclopedia of the American Civil War is the most comprehensive reference work written about its topic, providing both the novice and the expert an opportunity to expand their knowledge of this vital aspect of U.S. history. Recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries."—Booklist, Starred Review, January 1, 2001

"Highly recommended for undergraduates, and useful for graduate students and researchers/faculty."—Choice, June 1, 2001

"The entries reflect recent advances in scholarship and interpretation, and the editorial perspective throughout is evenhanded. As purely a reference work, the encyclopedia admirably fulfills its duty of facilitating further research on the Civil War [and] all those who purchase and use the encyclopedia are almost certain to be pleased and impressed. The five volume set demonstrates how valuable reference tools of this kind can be."—Civil War Book Review, February 21, 2001

"Despite a tremendous popular interest in the Civil War, scholars have lacked a major reference work that dealt with all aspects of the tragic era until now. . . . The most comprehensive and up-to-date encyclopedia available on the Civil War. This outstanding contribution to reference publishing will be in demand in a wide variety of libraries."—Lawrence Looks at Books, March 1, 2001

"History buffs as well as those who simply need facts on the Civil War era will be delighted with this outstanding reference work. . . . An excellent addition for the collection supporting a strong history curriculum. Highly recommended."—The Book Report, May 1, 2001

"An altogether excellent resource for research or general browsing interest."—School Library Journal, May 1, 2001

"This impressive new encyclopedia should become a standard source for students, specialists, and others in the general pubic who either specialize in or are simply fascinated by the American Civil War. . . . As a Civil War historian, this reviewer is both impressed and pleased with this new work. . . . This is an important work that is highly recommended for any and all libraries and individuals with an interest in the American Civil War."—American Reference Books Annual, January 1, 2001
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