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PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD MUSEUM 
SUGGESTED HISTORICAL RESOURCE LISTS

Union Officers stationed in Culpepper, Virginia reading and writing letters. Library of Congress Photograph.

Interested in learning more about warships, shipbuilding, or American Military History? Below are helpful resource guides to books and websites related to various topics and time periods. Resources lists are available for Elementary and Middle School or High School and College levels, arranged by subject matter. At the end is a section on general Portsmouth history as well.

These titles and websites are only a fraction of the materials available on these subjects. We wish you happy hunting for great historical reads with the assistance of your local libraries and through the internet.

In addition to the books and websites listed below, check out these websites for general information about U.S. military history, and the history of American lightships:

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Naval History and Heritage Command:
www.history.navy.mil

U.S. Army Center of Military History:
www.uslhs.org

The United States Lighthouse Society:
www.army.mil

ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL RESOURCES

Detail of 1918 American Library Service Poster. Public Domain Image.

NAVY/SHIPBUILDING

Gatefold Book of the World’s Great Warships published by Barnes and Noble
The Lore of Ships edited by Sam Svensson
The Lost Wreck of the Isis by Robert D. Ballard

Historical Naval Photographs
https://www.navsource.org

GENERAL

I Lie For A Living: Greatest Spies of All Time by Antony Shugaar
Who’s Who in Military History by John Keegan and Andrews Wheatcroft

American Battlefield Trust
https://www.battlefields.org

CIVIL WAR

Arms and Equipment of the Civil War by Jack Coggins
*Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Historical Maps of Civil War Battlefields by Michael Sharpe
Civil War Battlefields Then and Now by James Campi, Jr.
The Long Road to Gettysburg by Jim Murphy
The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities by James Herbert
From Fields of Fire and Glory: Letters from the Civil War by Rod Gragg
Images from the Storm edited by Charles F. Bryan, Jr. et al
Eye of the Storm by Private Robert Knox Sneden
Hardluck Ironclad: The Sinking and Salvage of the Cairo by Edwin C. Bearss
The Civil War: The Best of American Heritage edited by Stephen W. Sears
*My Name is America: The Journal of James Edmond Pease by Jim Murphy

WORLD WAR I

Exploring the Lusitania by Robert D. Ballard
Squads Write! by John T. Winterich
The Sailor’s War 1914-18 by Peter H. Liddle
The Last Fighting Tommy by Harry Patch
The American Soldiers in Siberia by Richard R. Smith
Russian Sideshow by Robert L. Willet

International Encyclopedia of the First World War
https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/home.html

WORLD WAR II

Up Front by Bill Mauldin
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted W. Lawson
Wolfpack by David Jordan
Desert War in North Africa by Stephen W. Sears
Cartoons of World War II edited by Tony Husband
The War Journal of Major Damon ‘Rocky’ Gause by Damon Gause
The Illustrated History of WWII by John Ray
The Best from Yank the Army Weekly edited by the Yank Staff
From Hunter to Hunted by Bernard Edwards

COLD WAR

The Wall Came Tumbling Down: The Berlin Wall and the Fall of Communism by Jerry Bornstein

*Historical Fiction

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE RESOURCES

U.S.S. Argonaut crew reading their mail in 1942. National Archives Photograph.

 NAVY/SHIPBUILDING

Before the Battlecruiser by Aidan Dodson
Chasing the Bounty edited by Donald A. Maxton
Fifty Wooden Boats by the Editors of WoodenBoat Magazine

Historical Naval Photographs
https://www.navsource.org

The Northern Mariner
https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner

International Journal of Maritime History
https://journals.sagepub.com/home/ijh

GENERAL

Who’s Who in Military History by John Keegan and Andrews Wheatcroft

American Battlefield Trust
https://www.battlefields.org/

CIVIL WAR

Arms and Equipment of the Civil War by Jack Coggins
Historical Maps of Civil War Battlefields by Michael Sharpe
Civil War Battlefields Then and Now by James Campi, Jr.
The Long Road to Gettysburg by Jim Murphy
From Fields of Fire and Glory: Letters from the Civil War by Rod Gragg
Images from the Storm edited by Charles F. Bryan, Jr. et al
Eye of the Storm by Private Robert Knox Sneden
Hardluck Ironclad: The Sinking and Salvage of the Cairo by Edwin C. Bearss
What this Cruel War was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War by Chandra Manning
*The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

WORLD WAR I

Squads Write! by John T. Winterich
The Sailor’s War 1914-18 by Peter H. Liddle
The Last Fighting Tommy by Harry Patch
Gallipoli by Alan Moorehead
The Remains of Company D by James Carl Nelson
To Crown the Waves edited by Vincent P. O’Hara et al
Unknown Soldiers by Neld Hanson
The American Soldiers in Siberia by Richard R. Smith
Russian Sideshow by Robert L. Willet
Fix Bayonets! by John W. Thomason, Jr.
To Conquer Hell by Edward G. Lengel

International Encyclopedia of the First World War
https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/home.html

WORLD WAR II

DER ADLER: The English Language Editions by Pen and Sword Aviation
Just Americans by Robert Asahina
Up Front by Bill Mauldin
Flyboys by James Bradley
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted W. Lawson
Wolfpack by David Jordan
Pegasus Bridge by Stephen E. Ambrose
Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose
The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw
Desert War in North Africa by Stephen W. Sears
The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer
Cartoons of World War II edited by Tony Husband
Ernie Pyle in England by Ernie Pyle
Here is Your War by Ernie Pyle
Brave Men by Ernie Pyle
The War Journal of Major Damon ‘Rocky’ Gause by Damon Gause
The Best from Yank the Army Weekly edited by the Yank Staff
Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis
From Hunter to Hunted by Bernard Edwards

KOREA

The Last Stand of Fox Company by Bob Drury
This Kind of War by T. R. Fehrenbach

VIETNAM 

We Were Soldiers Once… And Young by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
Bury Us Upside Down by Rick Newman and Don Sheppard
Battle for Hue: Tet 1968 by Keith William Nolan

COLD WAR

The Wall Came Tumbling Down: The Berlin Wall and the Fall of Communism by Jerry Bornstein
The Candy Bombers by Andrei Cherny
Afghanistan: Soviet Vietnam by Vladislav Tamarov

*Historical Fiction

 

FOR READERS INTERESTED IN PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA:

1912 Postcard showing Portsmouth’s 1846 Courthouse. From the collection of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.

Portsmouth: A Pictorial History, by Alf J. and Ramona Mapp. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company/Alf & Ramona Mapp; 2nd Expanded Edition, 2006. A popular history, covering a wide variety of subjects, and including a nice mix of illustrations. Hardback.

Portsmouth Under Four Flags, by Marshall W. Butt. Portsmouth, VA: Portsmouth Historical Association and the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, 1971. A look at Portsmouth’s history from the viewpoint of the first curator of the Naval Shipyard Museum, with an emphasis on military history. Hardback, with illustrations following the text.

Bluejackets on the Elizabeth: A Maritime History of Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia, from the Colonial Period to the Present, by Alan Flanders. Virginia: Brandylane Publishers, Inc., 1998. Topical compilation of Flanders’ historical newspaper columns published by the Virginian-Pilot, and an expansion on information contained in Portsmouth Under Four Flags.

Portsmouth, Virginia: Black America Series, by Newby-Alexander, Ph.D., Cassandra, and Mae Breckenridge-Haywood Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2003. An illustrated look at Portsmouth’s extensive African-American history, arranged topically (religion, education, employment, neighborhoods, politics, etc.). Paperback.

Portsmouth, Virginia: Images of America, by Dr. Robert Brooke Albertson. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002. Historic photographs of Portsmouth, arranged relatively chronologically. Paperback.

History of Portsmouth, Virginia, by Mildred Holladay and Dean Burgess. Portsmouth, Virginia: Dean Burgess/Portsmouth Historical Commission, 2007. A 2007 commentary/expansion by local historian Dean Burgess on a decades-old history written by journalist Mildred Holladay. Wide-ranging and very detailed. An interesting back-and-forth between Ms. Holladay’s original writing and Mr. Burgess’s additional scholarship. Paperback.

German Sailors in Hampton Roads: A World War I Story at the Norfolk Navy Yard, by Gregory J. Hansard. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2018. The unusual story of interned German sailors and their construction of a “German Village” tourist attraction at the Navy Yard in Portsmouth just as the United States was poised to enter the First World War. Paperback.