The Best Books On Women In The Civil War

DeAnne Blanton Author Of They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War
By DeAnne Blanton

The Books I Picked & Why

Behind the Rifle: Women Soldiers in Civil War Mississippi

By Shelby Harriel

Behind the Rifle: Women Soldiers in Civil War Mississippi

Why this book?

When Lauren Cook and I published They Fought Like Demons, we knew that our book, although groundbreaking, was only the tip of the iceberg in the story of women soldiers in the Civil War, and we always hoped that another scholar would pick up the torch and move the story forward.  Shelby Harriel has done just that.  Behind the Rifle is a meticulously researched and ably written account of the distaff soldiers who hailed from Mississippi, or found themselves there.  Citing previously unknown sources along with revealing newly-located photographs, Harriel’s contribution to the history of women soldiers is remarkable.


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Tara Revisited: Women, War, & the Plantation Legend

By Catherine Clinton

Tara Revisited: Women, War, & the Plantation Legend

Why this book?

This book completely debunks every romantic Old South and Lost Cause myth. Relying on a plethora of primary sources, especially letters and diaries, Clinton reveals the real and often heartbreaking lives of white plantation women and black enslaved women. Always an engaging writer, Clinton narrates the deep and troubled subject with empathy and a level hand. 


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All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies

By Elizabeth D. Leonard

All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies

Why this book?

This book is the best introduction to the many women who cast off traditional gender roles, and served the armies of the Union and Confederacy as spies, vivandierres, and soldiers.  Leonard uses contemporary sources to prove that valor, complexity, and patriotism are not the sole purviews of men.  This well-written book will make readers want to find out more about the Civil War women who refused to stay in their socially-mandated place.


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Three Weeks At Gettysburg

By Georgeanna Muirson Woolsey Bacon

Three Weeks At Gettysburg

Why this book?

This pamphlet, although only 24 pages, is one of the best first-hand depictions of Civil War nursing.  Miss Woolsey and her mother travelled to Gettysburg in the aftermath of the battle and immediately launched into the nursing ranks of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.  She published her account shortly after returning home, when her services were no longer needed.


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Women of the Civil War (Women Who Dare)

By Michelle A Krowl

Women of the Civil War (Women Who Dare)

Why this book?

This book provides outstanding biographies of the female luminaries of the Civil War, such as Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman, and Dr. Mary Walker, while also introducing readers to lesser-known women who made an impact during the great sectional conflict.  Beautifully written and full of rare photographs, Women of the Civil War is captivating.


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