Billy Yank by Bell Irvin Wiley. This is a companion volume to Johnny Reb (also worth reading), and provides a good description of the soldier’s day to day existence.
Hardtack and Coffee, or the Unwritten Story of Army Life, by John D. Billings. This first-person account of Army life was first published in 1887, and provides a rich, humane, and often humorous description of everything from removal of nits and lice to the vagaries of the Army mule. The line drawings by C. W. Reed (many of which decorate this brochure) are priceless.
Corporal Si Klegg and his Pard. “How they lived and talked, and what they did and suffered, while fighting for the flag.” By Wilbur F. Hinman. A conversational, idiomatic account of miseries and small triumphs.
Battle in the Civil War by Paddy Griffith. This is an excellent description of tactics and military practice that helps demystify battle drill. Comic book style (aimed, we presume, at the infantry soldier), usually found in National Park Service bookstores at larger battlefields.
Echoes of Glory: Arms & Equipment of the Union, by Time Life Books, provides an excellent photographic inventory or uniforms, weapons, and accoutrements; a good buy and a useful long-term reference.
The Irish Brigade
Several books over the Irish Brigade, though few focus strictly on the 28th. In these accounts, the regiment is often lumped in with the 63rd, 69th and 88th New York and the 116th Pennsylvania.
The Irish Brigade and its Campaigns. David P. Conyngham. This is a 1994 reissue of an 1867 book.
Remember Fontenoy. By Joseph G. Bilby. This focuses on the 69th New York, but includes all regiments of the Irish Brigade.
Irish Green and Union Blue — the Civil War Letters of Peter Welsh. Welsh was Color Sergeant of the 28th Massachusetts. This volume contains his personal letters, annotated for context; good insights on Civil War life.
The Irish Brigade. By Steven J. Wright. A part of the Combat History Series in periodical format sold at National Park Service book stores.
Memoirs of Chaplain Life — Three Years in the Irish Brigade in the Army of the Potomac. By Father William Corby. Father Corby was one of the chaplains of the brigade; his story was written in 1893.
Paddy’s Lament: Ireland 1846-1847. By Thomas Gallagher. Harvest/HBJ. This book provides a historical context for the migration to America of the generation of Irishmen who fought with the Irish Brigade.