• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

REFERENCES: Islands During Civil War

Historian Jane Triber prepared a summary of use of the islands during the Civil War as part of a teachers guide. Portions of the text are included in Boston Harbor Islands during Civil War, Georges Island during Civil War, and Gallops Island during Civil War. She cites the following references.
  • Adams, Charles Francis. Charles Francis Adams, 1835-1915: An Autobiography (New York, 1916).
  • Schouler, William. A History of Massachusetts in the Civil War, (Boston, 1868), Vol. I.
  • Stephens, Alexander H. Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens (1910, reprint with new introduction by Ben Forkner, Baton Rouge, 1998).

The following bibliography is included in the teachers guide.

Books

Butler, Gerald. Fort Warren: The Key to Boston Harbor. Bloomington, Indiana: First Books, 2004.

Butler, ------. The Military History of the Boston Harbor Islands. (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2000).

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. Massachusetts in the Army in the Navy during the War of 1861-1865. Vol. I. Boston: Wright and Potter, 1896.

Kales, David and Emily. All About the Boston Harbor Islands. 4th edition. Cataumet, Massachusetts: Hewitts Cove Publishing, 1983.

McLain, Minor. “The Military Prison at Fort Warren.” Civil War History VIII (1962): 136-151.

Schmidt, Jay. Fort Warren: New England’s Most Historic Civil War Site. Amherst, New Hampshire: UBT Press, 2003.

Schouler, William. A History of Massachusetts in the Civil War. Boston: E. P. Dutton, 1868.

Snow, Edward Rowe. The Islands of Boston Harbor. 1935. 1971. Updated by Jeremy D’Entremont, Beverly, Massachusetts: Commonwealth Editions, 2002.

Speer, Lonnie R. Portals to Hell: Military Prisons of the Civil War. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1997.

Stephens, Alexander H. Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens. 1910. Reprint, Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 1998.

Sweetser, M. F. King’s Handbook of Boston Harbor. 1882, 1886. Reprint, Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands.

Websites

The Civil War is probably the most studied period in American History. There are many, many websites devoted to the subject, and they have links to other websites. The following websites are a good place to start.

www.sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/warweb.html#modern. The American Civil War Homepage. Extensive website linking to a wide variety of websites on the Civil War, covering such topics as battle and regimental histories, biographies of military and political leaders, maps, photographs, music of the Civil War, and much more.

www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/index.html. Civil War Soldiers and Sailors. A National Park Service website for researching Union and Confederate soldiers, sailors, prisoners of war, regimental and unit histories, battles, and more.

www.letterscivilwar.com/index.html. Letters of the Civil War. A wide-ranging compilation of letters, diaries, and newspaper stories on the Civil War from a Massachusetts perspective, providing an overview of the state’s experience during the Civil War. Topics include military activities on the Boston Harbor Islands, descriptions of battles written by Union soldiers from Massachusetts, and accounts of the home front during the Civil War.

www.masshome.com/histcwar.html. MassHome Directory of Civil War Web Sites. Useful for researching soldiers and regimental histories. Contains links to several other Civil War websites.

www.massachusettscivilwar.com. Massachusetts Civil War Research Center. Useful for researching Massachusetts soldiers and sailors and regimental and unit histories.

Did You Know?

Thompson Island

Thompson Island in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area was home to the first vocational school in America in 1833. The facility featured a farm, a wood shop and a print shop as well as America’s first organized school band. More...