Connecticut Commemorates the Civil War
Civil War Publications

book cover

Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice & Survival
(Wesleyan University Press, 2011).  Order now!

Though a great deal has been written on national aspects of the Civil War, and many works have engaged the story of various Connecticut regiments, only a single book in the past century has focused on Connecticut's wider Civil War experience.  John Niven's, Connecticut for the Union: The Role of the State in the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965) was written at the request of Connecticut's Civil War Centennial Commission.  The book is now out of print, and though it offers a solid primer to the state's Civil War history, a great deal has been written in the Civil War field since its publication.  Moreover, the availability of resources, both nationally and within Connecticut, has increased dramatically.


Connecticut in the American Civil War tells the story of Connecticut's role and connection to the Great Rebellion, from attitudes towards slavery and abolition, to the initial call for troops and why they fought, to the state's incredible war-related industry, the intense animosity among some to the Lincoln administration and the war, and, finally, a discussion of how the war has been memorialized throughout the state, with monuments dotting Connecticut towns and cities.

The CCSU alumni magazine, the Central focus, published an excerpt from the book in the Summer 2010 issue. To read the excerpt, please click here. 

From the book jacket:  A riveting account of Connecticut’s involvement in the Civil War Connecticut in the American Civil War offers readers a remarkable window into the state’s involvement in a conflict that challenged and defined the unity of a nation. The arc of the war is traced through the many facets and stories of battlefield, home front, and factory. Matthew Warshauer masterfully reveals the varied attitudes toward slavery and race before, during, and after the war; Connecticut’s reaction to the firing on Fort Sumter; the dissent in the state over whether or not the sword and musket should be raised against the South; the raising of troops; the sacrifice of those who served on the front and at home; and the need for closure after the war. This book is a concise, amazing account of a complex and troubling war. No one interested in this period of American history can afford to miss reading this important contribution to our national and local stories. 


"Warshauer’s account puts political parties and questions about racial policy at the heart of Connecticut’s wartime history. I hope that every state’s commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War produces a study as good as this one.”Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties

“With Connecticut in the American Civil War, Matthew Warshauer links local and personal stories to a well known national story, providing readers with provocation and useful ways to think about Connecticut’s past, the Civil War, and their effects on contemporary issues.”Sally Whipple, former president, Connecticut League of Historical Organizations


"This significant reappraisal of Connecticut in the Civil War era will add importantly to our understanding of the road to, and actual crisis of, the war and its impact on the North." —Peter Hinks, author of To Awaken My Afflicted Brethren: David Walker and the Problem of Antebellum Slave Resistance

The Bristol Press, March 23, 2011



Matthew Warshauer is a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University. He is the editor of the scholarly journal Connecticut History and the author of Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law: Nationalism, Civil Liberties, and Partisanship and Andrew Jackson in Context.


Additional Civil War Publications:

Special Civil War Issue of Connecticut History. The state's only academic journal, Connecticut History is published by the Association for the Study of Connecticut History in cooperation with the CCSU History Department. The Civil War issue will be available in 2011 at the April conference and commemoration

Connecticut Explored is the state's gateway magazine for offering the public intriguing articles about Connecticut's history. Readily available at the April Conference and commemoration, this special issue of the Hog River Journal will prove to be an outstanding resource for those seeking a broad and readable view of Connecticut's war-time experience.