Stephen McManus, Donald Thompson, and Thomas Churchill are clear about the purpose of their book: "to provide a nuts-and-bolts approach to researching an ancestor who served in the Civil War and his military unit" (p. ix). The Civil War Research Guide succeeds in providing the basic instructions on how to begin researching the war and an individual's role in it. It takes the novice researcher, whether genealogist or graduate student, step-by-step toward locating pertinent resources, organizing research trips and materials, and compiling the information into readable documents that will be valuable to family members and Civil War researchers alike. The book's twelve appendixes include sample letters, helpful forms, and lists of important archival organizations and websites. Although the entire volume is a useful reminder to all Civil War researchers that history is made by individuals, the more experienced student will find the book too elementary. The Civil War Research Guide is, however, an excellent resource for those the authors wanted to reach: all who wish to discover their families' Civil War history.