Book Review: Women in the Civil War



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In last several years, three solid treatments of women who served in nontraditional roles during the Civil War have been published. Along with a few earlier efforts, these follow on Richard Hall’s and my articles in MINERVA: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military in the early 1990s.

§ Women on the Civil War Battlefront, by Richard H. Hall. Lawrence, Ks.: University Press of Kansas, 2006, Pp. 396. Illus., append., notes, biblio., index.

§ They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers of the Civil War, by De Anne Blanton & Lauren M. Cook. New York: Random House, 2002. Pp. 277. Illus., notes, biblio., index.

§ All the Daring of a Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies, by Elizabeth D. Leonard. New York: Norton, 1999. Pp. 320. Illus., notes, biblio., index.

 All three books being reviewed are excellent works. However, the authors all cover much the same territory, that is, the most outstanding women who served in the Union or Confederate armies. The two most famous are S. Emma E. Edmonds, a.k.a., Pvt. Franklin Thompson, of the 2nd Michigan, and Loreta Janeta Velazquez, a.k.a., Lt. Harry T. Buford, CSA. Both women published autobiographies, unfortunately with fictionalized portions. This leaves researchers the daunting task of uncovering the real truth of their service.       

 Other famous women covered include: Dr. Mary Walker, assistant surgeon of the 52nd Ohio, the on

Reviewer: C. Kay Larson   

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