Courageous Women of the Civil War: Soldiers, Spies, Medics, and More

M.R. Cordell. Chicago Review (IPG, dist.), $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61373-200-7
This addition to the Women of Action series tells the stories of 16 women who served as soldiers, nurses, spies, and vivandières (hired laundresses and cooks) during the Civil War. Among the women first-time author Cordell introduces are Maria Lewis, a slave who disguised herself as a white man and joined a cavalry; Susie King Taylor, an educated black woman who taught the black soldiers of the First South regiment how to read and write, as well as tended to their wounds; and Loreta Janeta Velazquez, whose life (under numerous aliases) as a mustachioed soldier, spy, and thief reads like a picaresque narrative. Cordell provides both a general understanding of the varied roles of women at the time and how the individuals she profiles (photographs of whom appear throughout) relied on their ingenuity, bravery, and integrity to survive and even thrive during a turbulent chapter in American history. Source notes and suggestions for supplemental reading are provided. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 08/01/2016
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