BOOKS ON FORT ALCATRAZ
*Fortress Alcatraz Guardian of the Golden Gate by John Martini
(Berkeley, Ten Speed Press, 1990)
The definitive book about the construction of the fort, its armaments and defenses, and the island's strategic value in protecting Northern California.
Forts of the American Frontier by Ron Field
(New York, Osprey Publishing, 2011)
A well illustrated book on the development and the variety of forts built in the far west of the United States. Also covers life in the forts and their roles in different conflicts. Includes Fort Point and Fort Alcatraz.
BOOKS ON CALIFORNIA AND THE CIVIL WAR
The Army of the Pacific, 1860-1866 by Aurora Hunt
(Mechanicsville, Stackpole Books, 2004)
A thorough account of the volunteers from California and Colorado who made up most of the Army of the Pacific, and their role in protecting the Southwest from being occupied by Confederate troops; the California battles in the East; and the role of the Pacific Squadron of the Union Navy.
*The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War by Leonard Richards
(New York, Alfred Knopf, 2007)
California came into the Union as a free state, and yet nine years later the state legislature voted for secession. How this came to be is a fascinating story well detailed by Richards, and he makes a good case that the gold rush was a major factor in the events leading up to the Civil War.
The Civil War: Northern California's Unrecognized Valor by John G. Edmonds
(Belmont, Star Publishing Company, 2010)
This paperback book provides information about Californians who served the Union cause and the specific ways and places they did so. It also gives a greater context to the politics and passions of the time in San Francisco, and the many ways California influenced the war even from so great a distance. It gives a special space to the men of San Mateo County who served the Union cause.