Brother Against Brother: 6 Civil War Novels
These stories expose the hard truth soldiers faced in the American Civil War.
During the American Civil War, little more than geographic lines were sufficient to destroy lifelong friendships and families.
As the country began to fracture due to race, politics, honor, and loyalty, many soldiers were forced into an impossible predicament: Fight against their friends and brothers, or betray their own consciences.
In the below Civil War novels, lines are drawn and crossed as friends and family stand on opposing sides of the battlefield. When its brother versus brother, no one wins.
This Pulitzer-winning classic, and it’s prequel Gods and Generals, follow the leaders of the Confederate and Union armies as they fight old friends and neighbors. As many of the military leaders had been classmates at West Point or colleagues in the U.S. Army, battles were inevitably waged between between generals who had once been friends. Follow the intense four-day battle of Gettysburg as friends and countrymen are forced to fight one another, with disastrous consequences.
John Jakes New York Times bestselling trilogy follows Orry Main, a Southern plantation owner, and George Hazard, a Northern industrialist, as they form an unconventional friendship before the break of the Civil War. As the Hazard and Main families are caught up in intrigue, love, loss, and Civil War, they must choose between their cause and those they’ve come to love.
Pearl S. Buck won both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes for fiction. In this story, she covers a Southern woman trapped in the antiquated ways of the past, and two brothers who have fought on opposite sides of the war. The family tension is palpable as the characters draw battle lines in their very homes, battling over race and an uncertain future.
The author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee dips into fiction with this thrilling account of the Camp Douglas Conspiracy, where Confederates and Northern sympathizers plotted to take over Chicago and release thousands of Confederate prisoners. Loyalties are tested and families are divided as traitors and spies infiltrate Chicago.
Based on true accounts, Andersonville covers the infamous Confederate prisoner-of-war camp in which more than 10,000 union prisoners of war are said to have died of sickness, starvation, and violence. This violence was perpetrated not only by Confederate Americans on Union Americans, but within the prison by Union prison thugs known as Raiders. We follow both the neglectful leader of the Confederate POW camp and a Raider prisoner as the men of the camp struggle to live in prison where friendship and loyalty are the price of survival.
Doctorow follows General Sherman’s infamously brutal March to the Sea from the perspectives of a variety of characters, white and black, confederate and yankee. As the army ravages the land, soldiers switch sides, Sherman is plagued with self doubt, and a young black woman wonders whether to trust in the future offered by the conquering army.