This growing collection has over five hundred books, some published during the war. New books and publications added as they are published or become available. The collection is actively being compiled by former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga English Department head and George Connor Professor of American Literature, Verbie Prevost.
In the 1950s and 60s, the University of Chattanooga spent over $10,000 on an endowment from the Lilly Foundation of Indianapolis to acquire books relating to the American Civil War. Eli Lilly (1838-1898) was an Indiana officer during the Civil War, and a member of the 18th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery under the command of Colonel John T. Wilder, also a Hoosier and later a resident and mayor of Chattanooga. The collection consists of regimental histories (mostly Union), battle narratives, personal memoirs of the war, and other Civil War histories, and includes over a thousand titles.