As many of you already know, Google has begun to scan and make books available online, including full versions of books. These books are copyright free and can be downloaded for your reading pleasure.
In addition to these books, there are also some books where the copyright has not expired, however you can read sample pages from the book. Not free to download, but nice to “try before you buy.”
So, for example, a quick search for the word “Gettysburg” and you get a list of books of some really interesting looking texts such as:
- Gettysburg: Description of the Painting of the Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault by John Badger Bachelder – 1870
- Gettysburg Made Plain: A Succinct Account of the Campaign and Battles, by Abner Doubleday – 1888
- The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top, Gettysburg, July 2, 1863 by Oliver Willcox Norton – 1913
- Did General Meade Desire to Retreat at the Battle of Gettysburg? by George Meade – 1883
- Hospital Scenes After the Battle of Gettysburg, July, 1863 by Patriot Daughters of Lancaster (Pa.) – 1864
There are also numerous autobiographies and biographies of Civil War Generals that are also available for download. Try searching for Civil War or Civil War general and see what you come up with.
Finally, Google Books also has a feature where you can find a library near you that has a copy of a particular book, and for you researchers out there, a “cite this item” link which gives you the proper citation for a book for publishing purposes is given in several different formats .(APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA and Turabian.
Try it at http://books.google.com especially the “full view books.”
In addition to Google Books, you may also want to try searching the following websites for Civil War books: