Civil War Book Group

After years of conflict over the institution of slavery, the Civil War would be the turning point that set the course of the United States into the 20th century and beyond. An enormous amount of literature surrounds this time in American history. Americans wrote to document their experiences, to understand the war, to memorialize lost loved ones, and to influence popular perceptions of the conflict. Join us as we explore the meaning of the Civil War and how the past has shaped who we are today through a diverse selection of narratives, novels, and histories. This program is in partnership with the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

This book club meets on first Thursdays, from 6pm-7:30pm at Chatham Manor or the Fredericksburg Branch (check meeting description for location, inclement weather aside, meetings are outside Chatham Manor through October and at the Fredericksburg Branch beginning in November).

Upcoming Meetings

October 7

Ambrose Bierce Short Stories: "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," "Killed at Resaca," "What I Saw of Shiloh"
Meet outside Chatham Manor (120 Chatham Lane, Fredericksburg); In inclement weather, meets at Fredericksburg Branch (1201 Caroline St.)

A Civil War veteran, Ambrose Bierce used his service as a soldier to write his dark and realist works. We will discuss three of his short stories - two fictional, one autobiographical, and all perfect for October reading.
Available in Ambrose Bierce's Civil War (New York: Wings Books, 1996) or download the stories here: Three Stories by Ambrose Bierce (pdf)

November 4

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
Meet at Fredericksburg Library Branch (1201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg)

Published in 1861, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is the autobiography of Harriet Jacobs. In it, she recounts her experiences as an enslaved person, and how she obtained freedom for herself and her children.
This work is in the public domain, available in print, and online at:

Last updated: September 8, 2021

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Fredericksburg, VA 22405


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