Root Beer Lover
|John Billings' Hardtack & Coffee or The Unwritten Story of Army Life is good as Billings was a vet, he served with the 10th Mass. Battery for the first three years. You can read it online here, http://books.google.com/books?id=npTTbISf-mQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false, as it was originally printed in 1887. Though I wish I could find it on Project Guttenberg.
Burke Davis' The Civil War: Strange & Fascinating Facts is good. One of the things I really like is that you don't have to read it straight through, you can look at the table of contents and select something that strikes your fantasy there.
Webb Garrison's got plenty of books that are in a similar vein to Davis, that is pick and choose what to read from the table of contents without reading straight through. Some of his books, however, are retitled reprints which have lead me to buy the same book twice thinking I was getting something different. '97's Creative Minds in Desperate Times: The Civil Wars Most Sensational Schemes and Plots was reprinted in 2001 as Civil War Schemes and Plots and '88's A Treasury of Civil War Tales was reprinted in 2000 as True Tales of the Civil War. Ended up getting the reprints first and then getting the originals without realizing it until I started reading some of the of the tales. But still some great stuff. Also his Civil War Stories, which is a collection of his Civil War Curiosities and his More Civil War Curiosities is good and from what I saw when I recently looked in the bookstore, the 150th celebration Curiosities of the Civil War: Strange Stories, Infamous Characters and Bizarre Events looks to be a reprint of this one.
Philip Van Doren Stern's Secret Missions of the Civil War is good. He largely printed first hand accounts, doing a brief lead in before the accounts, and in some did a brief lead out. He does a survey for each year before the accounts from that year. But it's the codes and ciphers section in the back that I've always been the most fascinated with.
Rebel Cornbread and Yankee Coffee: Authentic Civil War Cooking and Camaraderie by Garry Fisher is certainly worth checking out even if you don't plan on doing any cooking.
Michael Sanders Strange Tales of the Civil War and More Strange Tales of the Civil War are both very interesting reads in my opinion. A bit like Garrison's and Davis' books mentioned earlier, their not really the typical Civil War studies. More of the off the beaten path type of reading really.
Finally James McIvor's God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers: A True Civil War Christmas might throw you a little. I got it for my birthday in 2006, the year Plume first published it (and the second year it was published) and I thought that despite the claim of being a true story that it was actually fiction. Ultimately it's about the Battle of Murfreesboro but it discusses the affects of the war on the holidays.