Emma's World: An Intimate Look at Lives Touched by the Civil War Era

Shirley Moskow, Author New Horizon Press $20.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-88282-059-0
As collected here, letters received by Emma Barbour from family, fiance and friends during 14 years before her 1868 marriage offer homely, often spirited insights into the everyday lives of Civil War women. In their wartime role, women were limited in the services they could render: sewing, knitting and bandage-rolling were commonly their contributions to the cause, and only in a few cases, apparently, did they attend sick or wounded soldiers. Emma, who lived in Cambridge, Mass., seems to have saved all the letters she received--her correspondents lived in all parts of the country, from the Confederacy to the Union--giving the volume depth. But the historical and social background offered by Moskow ( Hunan Hand and Other Ailments ) is at times of greater interest than the letters themselves. At their most parochial, these ramble into schoolgirlish gossip and domestic matters of limited scope, with only brief mentions of war-connected news--mostly concerning shortages, the draft and casualties. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
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