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Here's the Answer: Gifts For the Civil War Addict

Finding the right gift for the Civil War enthusiast isn't easy. We have our favorite authors, issues, generals and battles and it's all so confusing if you aren't a student of the war. So, what 's the answer?

Read on. Here are nine gift suggestions, including terrific new books. and some items a couple or family could share.

1. Any tour led by Ed Bearss, the dean of Civil War tour guides. The National Park Service's Chief Historian Emeritus, who is well past age 80, climbs every hill and so does everyone who travels with him. Best place to find him this winter is with the Smithsonian Resident Associates; he is leading seven tours in the Washington area between Jan. 17 and March 29 ($95 to $171).


2. Tickets to see "A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration," a play set in Civil War Washington at Christmas; the Long Wharf Theater, New Haven, CT., through Dec. 21 ($22-$62).

3. A wool blanket that replicates those carried by soldiers, made by the 149-year-old
Amana Woolen Company, Amana, Iowa. It is striped and comes in several colors ($79.95).

4. Artist Wendy Allen of New Milford, CT., paints wonderful portraits of Abraham Lincoln, with originals priced between $1,200 and $2,500. Recently she added prints; a particularly handsome image has a brilliant yellow background ($90) and there are matching coffee mugs ($15).

5. Reservations for the Civil War Education Association's annual Sarasota Civil War Symposium, Jan. 21-24; it's in sunny Florida and is packed with wonderful speakers including Harold Holzer, James "Bud" Roberts, Craig Symonds, Robert K. Krick and others ($395).

6. Reservations for History America Tours' "Civil War on the Gulf Coast: Time of Trial on Land and Sea" led by National Park Service Chief Historian Emeritus Ed Bearss; May 18-25, superb tour leader and it's on the Gulf Coast ($3,145).

7. A one-year subscription to the Civil War News, an excellent monthly publication with news, book reviews and a great calendar of events ($29.95).

8. Join the Civil War Preservation Trust, the country's largest membership organization devoted to to preserving Civil War sites. ($35).

9. Books. This is my favorite gift to give and receive. There are lots of new ones, many of them on Abraham Lincoln because 2009 is the bicentennial of his birth. Find them at local book stores or online:

"Abraham Lincoln: Great American Historians on Our Sixteenth President," edited by Brian Lamb ($26).

"Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen," by Philip Dray ($30).

"Giants: the Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln," by John Stauffer ($30)

"Lincoln and His Admirals," by Craig Symonds ($28).

"Lincoln President Elect: Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861," by Harold Holzer ($30).

"Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea," by Noah Andre Trudeau. ($35).
"Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at front Royal and Winchester," by Gary Ecelbarger. ($30).

"Tried By War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief," by James McPherson. ($35).

By Linda Wheeler  |  December 17, 2008; 12:36 AM ET
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