He became the Civil War's most famous chronicler. His historical narratives are highly respected for accuracy and have been credited with starting a renewed interest in the Civil War in the 1950's. Written from the enlisted man's point of view, they are dramatic, personal, and realistic. His most famous book, "A Stillness at Appomattox," won a Pulitzer Prize in 1954 and became an overnight best seller.
Catton's interest in Civil War began in a Northern Michigan town of Benzonia. He became a master of storytelling. The Civil War was Catton's lifelong interest, but it wasn't until age 50 that he began to write about the war, (The Language of Literature-Sampler, McDougal Littel, Inc.,1997).