2017 Gift List For Civil War Enthusiasts

Holiday season is here! If you’re wondering what to get a Civil War history enthusiast for Christmas, this blog post will help you find  a collection of fun, useful, unique, and memorable items.

I even tried to think outside the box (or outside the bookstore) with the gift ideas and rounded up twelve items that aren’t books. Maybe this will inspire you with ideas or answers to that question, “What do you want? And don’t tell me another history book!”

Christmas cheer to you and yours!

Emerging Civil War Symposium Tickets

In 2018, ECW will host the 5th Annual Symposium. Don’t miss this milestone year! The tickets are still available with Early Bird pricing, and it’s the perfect gift for anyone interested in Civil War history. Join us for the first weekend of August 2018 for presentations, questions and answers, discussions, and historical touring.

Custom Notebooks

Whether you research, take notes at school, jot down battlefield driving directions, or write poetry, every history buff needs a good notebook. Create a custom notebook, using a favorite battlefield or historic photo. (I’m partial to Shutterfly for photo gifts, but there are other companies that create nice products too!)




My favorite steel pens

Steel Pens

I’ve used a lot of pens in my research and book signings this year. And these were my top favorites! Not only do these pens write beautifully, they are literally made of stainless steel. Indestructible. You might even be able to have a cavalry troop ride over these pens and they’d still work? Maybe…





Brinton Brandy

National Museum of Civil War Medicine and Tenth Ward Distilling Company partnered to create Brinton’s Brandy, named for the first curator of the Army Medical Museum during the Civil War who bribed folks with brandy. Find our more about this unique brew, opportunities to explore Civil War medical history, and where to sample and purchase by clicking here. 



Historic Candy

True Treats Historic Candy Shop in Harpers Ferry retails sweet treats, crafted from documented research and historic recipes from the 1500’s through the 1950’s. If you want to truly “taste history,” this is a fun opportunity.

My favorite? Hand-pulled Peppermint Sticks which were the forerunner of the Candy Cane!



One of my favorite gift ideas is memberships to historical societies, clubs, roundtables, tour groups, etc. etc. Is there a historical group you’ve always wanted to join or support? Request a membership when your family or friends ask the question, “What do you want to Christmas?”

Need ideas? Civil War Trust, local battlefield preservation groups, your local Civil War Round Table, a museum membership, or a favorite historic society.

Civil War coloring book for all ages

Coloring Books

Hey, coloring books aren’t just for the kiddos anymore!

There are adult coloring books with complex designs, and it’s supposed to be relaxing to color and creative a mini-masterpiece. I’ve looked around and found some detailed coloring books, focusing on the Civil War era. Check them out here: Manassas, Washington D.C., 1860’s ladies’ fashion, navy battles



Civil War Puzzles

In my family, puzzles are a “big deal” around the holidays. It’s a tradition to get out a 500 piece puzzle, and the family and guests gather ’round, working together to reconstruct the image. (And it’s always a race to see who can put in the last piece! I won last week…)

There are some great Civil War puzzles on the market this year. So if puzzling is one of your favorite hobbies, you can combine it with your love of history. I did a search on Amazon and these were the puzzles that I found: click here


There’s nothing quite like seeing a battlefield through field glasses. Whether you choose reproductions or a nice modern set, this is a gift a true battlefielder will appreciate for years.





I don’t mean just any umbrella… I’m talking about one that collapses really small – small enough to fit in a backpack, jacket pocket, or car’s glove compartment.

Weather can be unpredictable, and there’s not always a guarantee of fair days when you have your weekend to explore a battlefield. Some of my favorite battlefield memories include…rain. It’s good to be prepared, and it’s truly nice to have one of those expensively small umbrellas to stash away until you really need it.

Steel Drink Bottle

This gift is probably for the battlefielder or researcher who spends long days away from home. A good quality steel drink bottle is a luxury; some are designed for hot and cold drinks and most keep that drink hot or cold for hours! Imagine spending a long morning in a research library, taking a lunch break and still having hot coffee or tea in your car. Or hiking across a battlefield and taking a sip of icy cold water or lemonade six hours after you left home.

Sure, it’s a modern, trendy thing, but it’s definitely a gift that history buffs can enjoy!


And – last, but not least – give a gift of preservation with Civil War Trust or a local historical society. Choose a battlefield or historic site’s fundraising campaign and give a gift that will benefit future generations. It’s a heartwarming gift for the Civil War enthusiast…

Do you have other 2017 Christmas gift ideas for history buffs? Share in a comment!

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