During our visit I did manage to check out the gift shop. I picked up a tiny toy cannon for the son and The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier for the Union by Bell Irvin Wiley for me. The book provides an interesting overview of a Union soldier's experience during the Civil War. It discusses the daily camp life and routine of the typical Union soldier. It also discusses the relationship and attitudes of the soldiers towards Rebel soldiers and African American slaves, fighting and battle, the all too abundant miseries of war, and profiles of the average and not so average soldier. The book includes an extensive bibliography and an index. The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy, a companion book by the same author, is also available for those interested in the typical life of a Confederate soldier.
Wiley, Bell Irvin. The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978, 1952.