These 5 must-read books about women in the American Civil War feature strong, unforgettable women during one of the nation’s most studied and written about episodes in U.S. history.
1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
“This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.”
2. A Black Women’s Civil War Memoirs by Susie King Taylor
“These are the memoirs of a black woman who was born a slave, who had the good fortune to gain her freedom early in the war, with the education and ability to observe and the will to recall in later years the significance of the events in which she was a vigorous participant. Susie King Taylor’s recollections are invaluable for those who wish to understand the Civil War from the black woman’s point of view. … A treasure in the light of today’s feminist movement.” (from the Introduction by Willie Lee Rose)
3. The Whisper of a Distant God by David L. Gersh
“The untold story of the Angel of Santa Fe and the Gettysburg of the West.
“This is the story, based on historical events, of the little known War of New Mexico, of Henry Sibley, who commanded the Texas Mounted Volunteers, Edward R. S. Canby, the Union commander, and his wife Louisa, the Angel of Santa Fe. It explores the desperate struggle at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, called the Gettysburg of the West, and the men who fought on both sides. It examines the tragedies of war and the passion and compassion of those men and women who played a part. Through letters, diaries, newspaper articles and both first and third person exposition and dialogue, this deeply-researched historical fiction tells of those who heard The Whisper of a Distant God.”
4. Diary from Dixie by Mary Chestnut
“This original diary of the wife of Confederate General James Chestnut, Jr., who was also an aide to President Jefferson Davis, provides an eyewitness narrative of all the years of the war. Period photographs illustrate this you-are-there account of the daily lives and tribulations of all who suffered through the war, from ordinary people to the Confederacy’s generals and political figures.”
5. She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil War by Bonnie Tsui
“Examining the Civil War through the lens of these women soldiers who fought in the conflict offers valuable insight on existing historical work. This volume will acquaint readers with these women, offering in-depth biographies and behind-the-scenes information. While drawing from recent academic work, Women Soldiers of the Civl War is a lively text geared toward the general-audience reader.”1 comment