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Women of the Blue and Gray: True Civil War Stories of Mothers, Medics, Soldiers, and Spies

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Hidden amongst the photographs, uniforms, revolvers, and war medals of the Civil War are the remarkable stories of some of the most unlikely heroes--women. North, South, black, white, Native American, immigrant--the women in these micro-drama biographies are wives, mothers, sisters, and friends whose purposes ranged from supporting husbands and sons during wartime to couns Hidden amongst the photographs, uniforms, revolvers, and war medals of the Civil War are the remarkable stories of some of the most unlikely heroes--women. North, South, black, white, Native American, immigrant--the women in these micro-drama biographies are wives, mothers, sisters, and friends whose purposes ranged from supporting husbands and sons during wartime to counseling President Lincoln on strategy, from tending to the wounded on the battlefield to spiriting away slaves through the Underground Railroad, from donning a uniform and fighting unrecognized alongside the men to working as spies for either side. This book brings to light the incredible stories of women from the Civil War that remain relevant to our nation today. Each woman's experience helps us see a truer, fuller, richer version of what really happened in this country during this time period.


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Hidden amongst the photographs, uniforms, revolvers, and war medals of the Civil War are the remarkable stories of some of the most unlikely heroes--women. North, South, black, white, Native American, immigrant--the women in these micro-drama biographies are wives, mothers, sisters, and friends whose purposes ranged from supporting husbands and sons during wartime to couns Hidden amongst the photographs, uniforms, revolvers, and war medals of the Civil War are the remarkable stories of some of the most unlikely heroes--women. North, South, black, white, Native American, immigrant--the women in these micro-drama biographies are wives, mothers, sisters, and friends whose purposes ranged from supporting husbands and sons during wartime to counseling President Lincoln on strategy, from tending to the wounded on the battlefield to spiriting away slaves through the Underground Railroad, from donning a uniform and fighting unrecognized alongside the men to working as spies for either side. This book brings to light the incredible stories of women from the Civil War that remain relevant to our nation today. Each woman's experience helps us see a truer, fuller, richer version of what really happened in this country during this time period.

30 review for Women of the Blue and Gray: True Civil War Stories of Mothers, Medics, Soldiers, and Spies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This book contains nonfiction stories centered around women who served a role in the Civil war. Some of these I've heard before, but others were completely new to me. It is fascinating to me how women shed the social rules of their time and did what they wanted .....or they did what they felt compelled to do. There were many different reasons they were driven to be a part of this war. Even when they were treated like a pariah. War isn't pretty, but they didn't shy away. They all tried to make a This book contains nonfiction stories centered around women who served a role in the Civil war. Some of these I've heard before, but others were completely new to me. It is fascinating to me how women shed the social rules of their time and did what they wanted .....or they did what they felt compelled to do. There were many different reasons they were driven to be a part of this war. Even when they were treated like a pariah. War isn't pretty, but they didn't shy away. They all tried to make a difference in their own ways.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    Women of the Blue and Gray delves into the often ignored, yet vitally important, contributions made by women during the Civil War. Monson introduces us to a varied group of women, both Union and Confederate, and tells their stories. The bloody war wrought by a bitterly divided nation led many brave women—regardless of wealth or color—to rise up and do their part as nurses, spies, smugglers, and (disguised) soldiers. In my experience, when it comes to reading about history, books tend to fall into Women of the Blue and Gray delves into the often ignored, yet vitally important, contributions made by women during the Civil War. Monson introduces us to a varied group of women, both Union and Confederate, and tells their stories. The bloody war wrought by a bitterly divided nation led many brave women—regardless of wealth or color—to rise up and do their part as nurses, spies, smugglers, and (disguised) soldiers. In my experience, when it comes to reading about history, books tend to fall into one of two categories: (1) informative, but boring to read, or (2) informative, but written in such a way that keeps the reader fully engaged at all times. Happily, Women of the Blue and Gray falls into the second category. I was fascinated with the stories of each woman, often amazed at how courageous they were—especially given that it was in a time where women were often considered too ‘delicate’ to do most things. I was especially moved by the stories of African-American women who took dangerous risks as spies, despite knowing how grave the cost would be if ever they were caught. It was also gratifying to see that Native Americans included in this book. Their stories weren’t as easily found, but it was important to see the role some Native American played during the war, and how the Tribes were affected, as a whole, due to the conflict. I highly recommend this book to women’s history enthusiasts. I think you’ll enjoy learning about these women as much as I did. I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Shadow Mountain via Edelweiss.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Fugate

    This is an outstanding collection of anecdotes, stories and histories from all walks of life during the Civil War. There are stories of wives, sisters and sweethearts that follow their husbands, brothers and betrothed into the war. Learn of women who were soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Some knowingly enlisted as females, others were discovered during the war (often not until they were wounded or pregnant) and others served throughout the entire conflict and were able to keep their gende This is an outstanding collection of anecdotes, stories and histories from all walks of life during the Civil War. There are stories of wives, sisters and sweethearts that follow their husbands, brothers and betrothed into the war. Learn of women who were soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Some knowingly enlisted as females, others were discovered during the war (often not until they were wounded or pregnant) and others served throughout the entire conflict and were able to keep their gender disguised. The collection includes stories from all facets of life. There are portrayals of poor, rich, slave, free, white, black, north, south, and Native American women. Miss Monson has also included stories of courtships – the challenges, unique settings and familial conflicts faced during the war. Her final chapter provides information on ladies that continued to make a difference after the conflict. This volume displays exceptional research. Miss Monson is able to place the reader right beside each lady. She presents each experience as though you are a first-hand witness. I thoroughly enjoyed her first work – Frontier Grit. I believe this volume is even better. I highly recommend this book to those interested in the Civil War, Women’s history, African-American history, or Native American history.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Monica Willyard Moen

    This book is beautiful! It captures part of our history that is not well covered in other places, the Civil War through the lens of the women on both sides and from many races and cultures. Their story is told with compassion, insight, and even humor at times. The author does a wonderful job of evoking their hopes, dreams, fears, and foibles. I especially appreciate the coverage of native American peoples as well as the perspective of slaves and freed slaves. This isn’t just another book about t This book is beautiful! It captures part of our history that is not well covered in other places, the Civil War through the lens of the women on both sides and from many races and cultures. Their story is told with compassion, insight, and even humor at times. The author does a wonderful job of evoking their hopes, dreams, fears, and foibles. I especially appreciate the coverage of native American peoples as well as the perspective of slaves and freed slaves. This isn’t just another book about the Civil War with lots of dried dates and battle names. This is the story of living breathing people with heartaches and joys all their own. Oh, and have a box of tissues nearby. This book is likely to make you cry in places.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    The stories of real people are often more interesting and impressive than fictional characters. I really enjoyed learning about the people on both sides of the conflict can and the difficult decisions that they had to make. Whether it was to protect their ideals or to survive themselves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    The first chapter was really a sleeper to me filled with details I already knew and it kept putting me literally to sleep. Overall the majority of the chapters after the first were interesting. Loved learning about Dr. Mary Walker and Anna Ella Carroll. My favorite quote is found on page 82, “Turning the pages of these diaries creates a rush of air — a soft exhale of the past — as the ghosts of conflict arise, speaking across the years.” I felt that the chapter called “First Nation in a Divided N The first chapter was really a sleeper to me filled with details I already knew and it kept putting me literally to sleep. Overall the majority of the chapters after the first were interesting. Loved learning about Dr. Mary Walker and Anna Ella Carroll. My favorite quote is found on page 82, “Turning the pages of these diaries creates a rush of air — a soft exhale of the past — as the ghosts of conflict arise, speaking across the years.” I felt that the chapter called “First Nation in a Divided Nation” was interesting but quite a few of the stories had nothing do do with the Civil War. The Sand Creek Massacre took place in Colorado in 1864. Same situation with the Bear River Massacre which took place in Southern Idaho in 1863. The Navajo Long Walk, correct time period but it occurred when the Navajo Indians were forced to walk from Arizona to New Mexico.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Another fantastic book by Marianne Monson. I loved Frontier Grit and I loved Women of the Blue and Gray. Women are amazing. They can do such good and make such a difference in their spheres of influence. I love reading about these women's lives, their love and their tenacity during incredible stress and hardship. This was definitely an inspiring read! Another fantastic book by Marianne Monson. I loved Frontier Grit and I loved Women of the Blue and Gray. Women are amazing. They can do such good and make such a difference in their spheres of influence. I love reading about these women's lives, their love and their tenacity during incredible stress and hardship. This was definitely an inspiring read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    I thought this book was a good read overall. However, there was one glaring typo: William Tecumseh Sherman led the March to the Sea, not Thomas Sherman. Other than that, it was an excellent book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Gyger

    This book is a good survey of women's contributions to the war, as well as the trials they faced living during that period. The chapters discuss those who fought, as well as those who spied, nursed, loved and lost family members, and those who used the war to bring about their own personal freedom from the constraints of that day. The first half of the book was extremely enlightening, discussing female soldiers, spies, and rebels. The woman of these chapters played a direct part in the events of This book is a good survey of women's contributions to the war, as well as the trials they faced living during that period. The chapters discuss those who fought, as well as those who spied, nursed, loved and lost family members, and those who used the war to bring about their own personal freedom from the constraints of that day. The first half of the book was extremely enlightening, discussing female soldiers, spies, and rebels. The woman of these chapters played a direct part in the events of the Civil War and yet few of them are ever mentioned in history curriculums. The second portion of the book related to woman whose lives were upturned by the war but who may not have had as large of an impact on it. This included the families of soldiers, displaced refugees, and the members of Native American tribes who were slaughtered by soldiers who were angry over being stationed in the west instead of being allowed to join the "heroic cause" back home. At times, some of the later chapters had very little to do with the Civil War. Instead they would tell different women's life stories which happened to include the Civil War. Because of the topic of the book, I would have rathered there been more about the war efforts of some of the women mentioned in earlier chapters, however this did help paint a picture of the world all these women lived in.

  10. 5 out of 5

    J-walk

    This was an exceptional book from the first page to the last. I envy the scope of research Marianne Monson did in order to write the book. She brought a long list of courageous, daring and talented women to the forefront. Monson documented the women concerning their activities and their decisions as they confronted hostile challenges. Really enjoyed the photographs that accompanied each chapter of the book. Being able to study the characters in their style of clothing, seeing their facial expres This was an exceptional book from the first page to the last. I envy the scope of research Marianne Monson did in order to write the book. She brought a long list of courageous, daring and talented women to the forefront. Monson documented the women concerning their activities and their decisions as they confronted hostile challenges. Really enjoyed the photographs that accompanied each chapter of the book. Being able to study the characters in their style of clothing, seeing their facial expressions — this added to the legitimacy of the book. Surprisingly, Monson was able to find diaries that survived the war. These contributed vivid accounts of day-today pleas and prayers. I was fascinated by the Native American information. I did not know they utilized slave labor in some of their tribes. Nor did I know that after the Civil War, some Indians were contracted as slave labor in SE territories of the United States. In GONE WITH THE WIND, Scarlett rises from her devastated planting field vowing, “God as my witness, I’m going to live through this...I’ll never be hungry again.” It’s incredible that anyone lived through this dark period of our country’s growth and came out with their sanity!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Davis

    Well worth the read

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    A nice overview of women during the Civil War. The book is organized by different roles women played and gives several brief biographies. I like the diversity of voices and perspectives.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    If you have read Frontier Grit, then you already know that Marianne Monson is an author who enjoys digging into the overlooked stories of history and sharing them with readers. If this is your first encounter with Monson's work, then you will probably want to go back and find other titles by her. In Women of the Blue & Gray, she has gathered multiple female participants across class, race, and political affiliation to show how much women attempted and accomplished during the American Civil War. If you have read Frontier Grit, then you already know that Marianne Monson is an author who enjoys digging into the overlooked stories of history and sharing them with readers. If this is your first encounter with Monson's work, then you will probably want to go back and find other titles by her. In Women of the Blue & Gray, she has gathered multiple female participants across class, race, and political affiliation to show how much women attempted and accomplished during the American Civil War. The book is split into sections featuring the various roles such as soldiers, spies, doctors, abolitionists, etc. Within each section there is general information and also more specific details about several of the women who fall within the category being discussed. One of the things I enjoyed about the book was that there was enough general discussion to give the big picture, but then I was able to learn more about some of the remarkable individuals within each chapter. Some names may be familiar to readers - Belle Boyd, Clara Barton, or Harriet Tubman, for example. But others are brought into the spotlight after the author's research uncovered records about them in collections such as the slave narratives housed in the Library of Congress, as well as collections at various museums around the country. Whenever possible, their own words are used to bring these women to life for us; quotes are pulled from diaries, letters, autobiographies and similar sources to flesh out the thoughts and feelings of daughters, mothers, wives, and sweethearts from both sides of the conflict. The way this book is organized makes it easy to use in a variety of ways. It can be read straight through from beginning to end (as I did), or readers can choose a section that particularly interests them. It also would be a great resource for teachers to read a passage about just one of the characters to illustrate a point being discussed during a unit on the Civil War, or for students to flip through as they try to choose an historical figure about whom to do more in-depth research. All the images and quotations are carefully documented, making it easy to see where to look for more information if it is needed. This would make a solid addition to school and classroom libraries for grade levels that are planning to cover the time period, or for those discussing women who did not always conform to societal expectations. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    In college I had a minor in history. One of the classes I took was about the Civil War. I didn't learn as much about the women of this time period as I would have liked, so I was so excited to read Women of the Blue and Gray. This book does not read like a history book, but more as a novel full of very interesting and incredible stories. Monson is a fantastic storyteller. Women were doing such amazing things during the Civil War on both sides the North and the South. Some of those things were on In college I had a minor in history. One of the classes I took was about the Civil War. I didn't learn as much about the women of this time period as I would have liked, so I was so excited to read Women of the Blue and Gray. This book does not read like a history book, but more as a novel full of very interesting and incredible stories. Monson is a fantastic storyteller. Women were doing such amazing things during the Civil War on both sides the North and the South. Some of those things were ones I had never heard about. These women were spies, soldiers, smugglers,and rebel rousers. Some of the chapters you will find in this book are: The Beardless Brigade:Civil War Soldiers Tales of Smuggling, Espionage, and General Subterfuge Voices From Slavery Dr. Mary Walker: Civil War Surgeon and Activist Anna Ella Carroll:Military Strategist and Political Advisor The wonderful thing about this book is that women of many races are represented: black, white, and Native American. It shows the courage of women from all facets of life, rich or poor, slave or free and also immigrants. The stories are so inspiring and make you realize how much women truly contributed to the success, especially the North, in keeping our nation together. I highly recommend this book to historians, teachers, and those that love reading of brave historical people who changed lives others along the way. This book with it's true stories, speeches, actual letters and photographs will help you see the Civil War and it's women in a new light.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bebe (Sarah) Brechner

    Excellent overview of many women who were intimately involved in military action as soliders or spies on both sides of the U.S. War Between the States. While author Monson is not an historian, she has conducted extensive historical research to bring these stories to our attention, studying war records, correspondence and histories. The subject of historical women in combat is a special interest of mine, and yet I found many women presented here that I didn't previously know about. Fascinating st Excellent overview of many women who were intimately involved in military action as soliders or spies on both sides of the U.S. War Between the States. While author Monson is not an historian, she has conducted extensive historical research to bring these stories to our attention, studying war records, correspondence and histories. The subject of historical women in combat is a special interest of mine, and yet I found many women presented here that I didn't previously know about. Fascinating stories! I was a bit surprised to see the wildly interesting Cuban-born Lorena Janita Velazquez omitted, although an overview book like this isn't intended to be exhaustive. After all, there were reportedly over 400 women who entered combat as men during the Civil War. Velazquez's story is briefly mentioned here in a post I wrote some time ago: https://www.proquest.com/blog/2014/Wo... Women have always tried to fight as soldiers, often successfully, as this book proves. And, as most people know, women have always been quite successful as spies. Thank you, Marianne Monson, for bringing these amazing women to our attention!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Porter Broyles

    This is a very short book with short chapters about a large number of women who served during the Civil War. The writing is decent, but there are too many characters too briefly introduced to be of much interest. Most of the characters and stories will be familiar to anybody who studies the Civil War. The one name that jumped out at me was Sally Louisa Tompkins---the only woman in the Union or Confederacy to be named (as a woman) a commissioned officer. Captain Tompkins was a Confederate doctor This is a very short book with short chapters about a large number of women who served during the Civil War. The writing is decent, but there are too many characters too briefly introduced to be of much interest. Most of the characters and stories will be familiar to anybody who studies the Civil War. The one name that jumped out at me was Sally Louisa Tompkins---the only woman in the Union or Confederacy to be named (as a woman) a commissioned officer. Captain Tompkins was a Confederate doctor who had the highest survival rate of any medical facility in either the north or south. This book might be of interest to the casual history fan or somebody whose primary interest is women in history. But even then it is more of an introduction to the characters that might serve as a springboard for furhter investigation.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shiralea Woodhouse

    Another great book by this author, though I didn't love it quite as much as Frontier Grit... maybe because of the format? But this is really a fascinating look into the lives of women who lived through the civil war - on both sides. Another great book by this author, though I didn't love it quite as much as Frontier Grit... maybe because of the format? But this is really a fascinating look into the lives of women who lived through the civil war - on both sides.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    I loved this book. Marianne have a beautiful tribute to women who sacrificed so much and made a great contribution to our country.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Lovejoy

    INCREDIBLE book! It is truly one of the best books I have read this year. I highly recommend it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    Visited Gettysburg and found this book while I was there. I devoured it. So fascinating to read about the lives of female soldiers, doctors and spies. I hadn't heard of many of these people prior to reading this book. Most interesting read so far this year. Also, this letter made me cry: My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye w Visited Gettysburg and found this book while I was there. I devoured it. So fascinating to read about the lives of female soldiers, doctors and spies. I hadn't heard of many of these people prior to reading this book. Most interesting read so far this year. Also, this letter made me cry: My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Our movement may be one of a few days' duration and full of pleasure--and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing--perfectly willing--to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . . I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death . . . Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield. The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar—that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience will we meet to part no more. But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night--amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours--always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again. As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children. Sullivan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    What a fascinating book! Not only did I learn more details about well-known heroes Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman, but I loved the stories of regular people who did heroic things during Civil War days. From serving as soldiers (pretending to be men), to strenuous days in wartime hospitals, to spying, these women were amazing! Loved the sweet (and tragic) love story of Sarah Shumway and Sullivan Ballou and the story of Lula McLean’s doll (which was present at the surrender). About the growing fe What a fascinating book! Not only did I learn more details about well-known heroes Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman, but I loved the stories of regular people who did heroic things during Civil War days. From serving as soldiers (pretending to be men), to strenuous days in wartime hospitals, to spying, these women were amazing! Loved the sweet (and tragic) love story of Sarah Shumway and Sullivan Ballou and the story of Lula McLean’s doll (which was present at the surrender). About the growing fervor to abolish slavery (similar to the growing pro-life sentiment today): “At some point, these ideas gradually reversed. Not all at once, and not in entirety, but eventually the majority of people changed their minds about these previously accepted ideas. The shift happened, at least in part, as thinking, compassionate people considered these issues and took risks to speak out against popular opinion in spite of social hazards and the real potential for violence.” -p. 3 Yay for twins! “Melverina Elverina Peppercorn, drawn from the wild mountainous regions of Tennessee, refused to be separated from her brother, Alexander the Great Peppercorn, who went by the slightly less ostentatious nickname, Lexy. The sixteen-year-old twins enlisted for the Confederate army and fought side by side until Lexy fell in battle. Melverina rescued her brother and escorted him to a field hospital, where she nursed him to a full recovery.” p. 21 “For survivors, the intensity of the war years threw the enjoyment of domestic life into sharp relief, and many who endured years of separation vowed they would never again take for granted everyday moments spent by the side of the people they loved most in this world.” -p. 201 A newspaper in Pennsylvania said this about Clara Barton’s life: “‘We cannot thank Miss Barton in words. Hunt the dictionaries of all the languages and you will not find the signs to express our appreciation of her and her work. Try to describe the sunshine. Try to describe the starlight. Words fail.” -p. 215

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becky Porter

    ✨ BOOK REVIEW ✨ . . If you love discovering stories of regular people doing extraordinary things, stories that have been left largely untold and which showcase a section of people who are usually underrepresented in history books, you will enjoy this fascinating book. 📖 . . . WOMEN OF THE BLUE & GRAY (which I was so excited to receive from @shadowmtnpublishing —thank you!) is a thoughtful look into the lives of the women on all sides of the Civil War in the United States. Not only is it well-researc ✨ BOOK REVIEW ✨ . . If you love discovering stories of regular people doing extraordinary things, stories that have been left largely untold and which showcase a section of people who are usually underrepresented in history books, you will enjoy this fascinating book. 📖 . . . WOMEN OF THE BLUE & GRAY (which I was so excited to receive from @shadowmtnpublishing —thank you!) is a thoughtful look into the lives of the women on all sides of the Civil War in the United States. Not only is it well-researched and documented with additional sources listed at the end of each chapter, it is also well-written—an engaging and probing compendium of true tales about real women...black and white, Native American and Hispanic, slave and free, North and South. . . . What I love most about the book is the way author Marianne Monson carries the issues from the Civil War to the present with its prevalent civil unrest. Have we learned from the past? Have we yet eradicated the prejudices that abounded over 100 years ago? I loved the stories told, and I really pondered what I can do to continue the work of equality in our day. 💛 . 4/5 🌟. 227 pages. Written for adults but also great for high schoolers with an interest in history.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I think this is my first 5-star book club book! I loved the measured approach that Monson took to the subject of the American Civil War, which can be a very divisive topic. I did not feel that she took sides. I appreciated that she took so much effort to include people of color, including illiterate slaves and Native Americans--both groups who left very few records behind. I loved this quote from Clara Barton: "It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of prece I think this is my first 5-star book club book! I loved the measured approach that Monson took to the subject of the American Civil War, which can be a very divisive topic. I did not feel that she took sides. I appreciated that she took so much effort to include people of color, including illiterate slaves and Native Americans--both groups who left very few records behind. I loved this quote from Clara Barton: "It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent." p 136 I especially loved the first chapters. Learning about women who dressed as men so they would be allowed to fight in the Civil War was fascinating. I loved reading about brave women who protected their property from ruin and others who were effective spies. There were stories of current and former slaves, and stories of courageous women who were so dedicated to taking care of the wounded that they risked their comfortable lives and reputations. There were many, many more stories, with notes at the end of each chapter and recommended further reading if you were interested in learning more about the women in the chapter. I think this was a great introduction to anyone who wants to learn more about women's role in the history of the American Civil War.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This book is well-researched with excellent citations. It uses primary sources most, if not all, of the time. The author includes women from all sides of the conflict - north, south, white, black, and Native American. Overall, this is an excellent book. My only complaints are that there are times when the author refers to 'servants' and I'm not sure if the correct word is 'slave' or maybe she is talking about paid employees; and she works so hard at remaining neutral, that it might seem as though This book is well-researched with excellent citations. It uses primary sources most, if not all, of the time. The author includes women from all sides of the conflict - north, south, white, black, and Native American. Overall, this is an excellent book. My only complaints are that there are times when the author refers to 'servants' and I'm not sure if the correct word is 'slave' or maybe she is talking about paid employees; and she works so hard at remaining neutral, that it might seem as though she condones both sides' reasons for going to war. My thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    This book taught me a lot about the Civil War on a more personal level--how it affected the people who lived and fought and suffered. Among those people were many remarkable women, both on the homefronts and in various capacities in the armies. There are many heroes here, some well-known and many I'd never heard of before. This book was written in a very interesting and accessible style as well, not dry at all. It treats both north and south from a sympathetic stance as we seek to understand how This book taught me a lot about the Civil War on a more personal level--how it affected the people who lived and fought and suffered. Among those people were many remarkable women, both on the homefronts and in various capacities in the armies. There are many heroes here, some well-known and many I'd never heard of before. This book was written in a very interesting and accessible style as well, not dry at all. It treats both north and south from a sympathetic stance as we seek to understand how it was for the people who lived it, it's not about the right or wrong, winner or loser in this case.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I really enjoyed this book about the unsung female heroes of the Civil War. Monson does a good job of offering stories about a wide variety of women—white, black, Native American, educated, slaves, wealthy, poor, etc. Although the expected figures (Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, etc.) appear in the book, most of the women were unfamiliar to me, which is amazing considering the unique and important contributions they made to the war—and peace—effort. In short, this is a fascinating, empowering boo I really enjoyed this book about the unsung female heroes of the Civil War. Monson does a good job of offering stories about a wide variety of women—white, black, Native American, educated, slaves, wealthy, poor, etc. Although the expected figures (Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, etc.) appear in the book, most of the women were unfamiliar to me, which is amazing considering the unique and important contributions they made to the war—and peace—effort. In short, this is a fascinating, empowering book that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark Stephenson

    Though only 230 pages, many devoted to notes and bibliography, this book was a heartrendingly tough read for me - but rewarding and ultimately very moving. I was taught much which had escaped my attention in past readings about the Civil War. I wish only to quote the concluding paragraph: "In spite of real tragedy, profound suffering, and destruction, these remarkable women found a way to make space for forgiveness - not because their enemies necessarily deserved it but because forgiveness is go Though only 230 pages, many devoted to notes and bibliography, this book was a heartrendingly tough read for me - but rewarding and ultimately very moving. I was taught much which had escaped my attention in past readings about the Civil War. I wish only to quote the concluding paragraph: "In spite of real tragedy, profound suffering, and destruction, these remarkable women found a way to make space for forgiveness - not because their enemies necessarily deserved it but because forgiveness is good for a soul - and good for a nation."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Wow, this book reveals so many untold stories and aspects of the Civil War. Whether they were soldiers, nurses, doctors, spies, writers, activists, or wives and mothers left behind to raise and protect their families, women were a HUGE part of this nation-wide conflict. The chapter on Native Americans’ part in the war was all new to me as well, and probably the most heartbreaking. This awful war truly affected SO many, and Monson really opens our eyes to what we’ve never read in history textbook Wow, this book reveals so many untold stories and aspects of the Civil War. Whether they were soldiers, nurses, doctors, spies, writers, activists, or wives and mothers left behind to raise and protect their families, women were a HUGE part of this nation-wide conflict. The chapter on Native Americans’ part in the war was all new to me as well, and probably the most heartbreaking. This awful war truly affected SO many, and Monson really opens our eyes to what we’ve never read in history textbooks! Very good book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This was a good book and written about how the Civil War impacted women and their families. I found it interesting that these women felt so liberated by what they were doing. Monson also gave citations at the end of each chapter for further reading. Thank you. I was not aware until I read this book that native Americans fought on both sides of this conflict, hoping that their service would help to implement the treaties they had signed with the government. This book was easy to read and contained This was a good book and written about how the Civil War impacted women and their families. I found it interesting that these women felt so liberated by what they were doing. Monson also gave citations at the end of each chapter for further reading. Thank you. I was not aware until I read this book that native Americans fought on both sides of this conflict, hoping that their service would help to implement the treaties they had signed with the government. This book was easy to read and contained so much new information to me. I would highly recommend it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Meri Beth

    I very much enjoyed getting to read an ARC of this book from ALA 2018! It's extremely well researched. I also enjoy that there are numerous points of view and not just those of one set of women in society. Some of the narratives on Southern women have negative undertones but this is most likely a result of the heavy reliance on primary sources, which would have disparaged these women for supporting the Confederate cause. I definitely recommend this book to any history buff! I very much enjoyed getting to read an ARC of this book from ALA 2018! It's extremely well researched. I also enjoy that there are numerous points of view and not just those of one set of women in society. Some of the narratives on Southern women have negative undertones but this is most likely a result of the heavy reliance on primary sources, which would have disparaged these women for supporting the Confederate cause. I definitely recommend this book to any history buff!

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