The Apalachicola Municipal Library is very excited about the Civil War weekend, scheduled for May 17-19, hosted by the Apalachicola Maritime Museum. It has inspired an evaluation on books relating to the war, and a display and bibliography of some of the best.
The library collection includes both fiction and non-fiction, for both adults and kids. In the non-fiction there are the usual Shelby Foote volumes divided into different time periods during the war. The collection includes the “Biographical Rosters of Florida’s Confederate and Union Soldiers,” which is a great reference tool for genealogists.
Of special note are texts which specifically cover Florida and the local area. These include “Florida During the Civil War” by John E. Johns. It includes extensive endnotes and bibliography, which often lead the reader to more and more resources. Most significant for Apalachicola readers is “Navy Gray: Engineering the Confederate Navy on the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers” by Maxine Turner and “Mary Chesnut’s Civil War” edited by C. Vann Woodward. Chesnut, spelled this way, is an Apalachicola family name.
Apalachicola was blockaded from 1861 to the end of the war by a number of Union vessels in the Eastern Gulf Blockade Squadron. The communications between the officers is available online from Cornell University and is very interesting reading. One such incident will be re-enacted this weekend on the dock of the Maritime Museum.
The Civil War is also well represented in the adult fiction section. David Poyer’s novels are good, and of course the library has all of Robert Macomber and Jeff Shaara’s books, both previous special authors for “Authors in Apalach” put on by the library and PALS (Friend’s group) in the fall each year.
Junior and Young Adult fiction, and junior non-fiction, even “easy” picture books cover the Civil War and can draw children into the history of this country in the 1860’s. There is even one in the junior non-fiction section about women soldiers in the Civil War called “I’ll Pass for Your Comrade” by Anita Silvey.
Non-book materials are important too especially when they are the result of research done specifically for a town like Apalachicola. The Apalachicola Area Historical Society’s newsletters have covered the Civil War from a local perspective. Issues are available for reproduction from our historical files. Mark Curenton, of the AAHS is a tireless researcher and the newsletters are quite informative.
So, the Apalachicola Municipal Library is proud to say that its collections is a great place to bone up or just relax and enjoy everything Civil War. Enjoy the weekend and come and see us.
Caty Greene is the librarian for the Apalachicola Municipal Library. To reach her, call 653-8436.