The Civil War has been studied, written about, even sun about for generations. Most people know that it was a conflict between North and South, Unionists and rebels, blue and gray. We recognize the names of Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee. Many people know about Clara Barton, the nurse who did so much to save soldiers' lives. But few have heard of Sarah Emma Edmonds, Rosetta Wakeman, or Mary Galloway. They were among the hundreds of women who assumed male identities, put on uniforms, enlisted in the Union or Confederate Army, and went into battle alongside their male comrades. In this compelling book, Anita Silvey explores the fascinating secret world of women soldiers: who they were, why they went to war, how they managed their masquerade. A few left memoirs, diaries, or letters. Newspaper stories, pension records, and regimental accounts yielded additional information, as did the writings of male soldiers who became aware of the women in the ranks. Undoubtedly, there were women soldiers whose true identity was never discovered or revealed. Accessible, accurate, and engaging, I'll Pass for Your Comrade invites readers to view the Civil War from an uncommon perspective and explores an often overlooked aspect of our history.
"While previous books for young people have profiled women who served as nurses and spies during the Civil War, this one spotlights Union and Confederate women who fought on the battlefields. Why these women fought; what their lives were like; how they hid their identities; how they fared in hospitals, in prisons, and in two significant battles; and what they did after the war ended are all topics that are covered. Readers will appreciate attention to mundane questions such as how women with so little privacy dealt with menstruation. Throughout the book, Silvey shows that though the women discussed all fought in the same war, their backgrounds, motivations, and experiences varied widely. Period photos, prints, drawings, and documents are among the many illustrations. Back matter includes source notes and a list of books, articles, and archival materials. Well researched and clearly written, this attractive book illuminates an aspect of the Civil War that is often overlooked.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2008 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In her first book for young readers, children's literature expert Silvey introduces unsung heroes of the Civil War: women who risked their reputations and lives to fight as soldiers. The volume, containing excerpts from first-person accounts and abundant vintage photographs and etchings, explores the motives, adventures and day-to-day struggles of women who shed their skirts and cut their hair to pass as male enlistees. In highly accessible language, the author shares enough background to enable readers to put into context pre-Victorian restrictions on women. At the same time, she captures the fiery spirits of unconventional individuals. Representing more than 30 years of the author's passionate interest in the Civil War, Silvey's is an engrossing, intelligently wrought account of 19th-century feminists making their mark. Ages 10-14. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved