Women's Biography

Mary Chestnut's Diary

Mary Chestnut's Diary

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An unrivalled account of the American Civil War from the Confederate perspective.

One of the most compelling personal narratives of the Civil War, Mary Chesnut's Diary was written between 1861 and 1865. As the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner and the wife of an aide to the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, Chesnut was well acquainted with the Confederacy's prominent players and-from the very first shots in Charleston, South Carolina-diligently recorded her impressions of the conflict's most significant moments. One of the most frequently cited memoirs of the war, Mary Chesnut's Diary captures the urgency and nuance of the period in an epic rich with commentary on race, status, and power within a nation divided.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Nurse, Soldier, Spy The Story of Sara Edmonds A Civil War Hero

Nurse, Soldier, Spy The Story of Sara Edmonds A Civil War Hero

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This fast-paced, high-energy picture book tells the true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who at age nineteen disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the Civil War. She took the name Frank Thompson and joined a Michigan army regiment to battle the Confederacy. Sarah excelled as a soldier and nurse on the battlefield. Because of her heroism, she was asked to become a spy. Her story comes to life through the signature illustrations and design of John Hendrix and the exciting storytelling of Marissa Moss.

Praise for Nurse, Soldier, Spy
"The incredible story of how Sarah Edmonds becomes Frank Thompson is full of adventure, bravado and pathos. Spirited pen-and-ink drawings, full of period detail and war action always focus on the intriguing Frank..." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Readers won't stop until the last page of Marissa Moss' exciting Civil War story about Sarah Edmonds' life as a man in the Union Army. Vivid illustrations by artist John Hendrix match Moss' exciting account of Sarah's life in the Army." -Sacramento Bee


"Hendrix's artwork is, as usual, a showstopper, and his bold caricatures convey Edmonds's strength and determination. Moss delivers a riveting narrative, making it clear that Edmonds was fighting for more than one kind of freedom." -Publishers Weekly, starred review


"The focused view makes the book accessible for children. The pen-and-ink with acrylic wash illustrations are full of vibrant detail. Hendrix presents a meticulous view of military life, including army camp layouts and fortifications. Hand-drawn typography highlights important or humorous points in the text and adds even more visual interest." -School Library Journal



"Hendrix's art emphasizes the horror and drama of war. Using hand-lettered text reminiscent of broadsides of the time, he visually shouts danger to the reader when tension is the highest." -Horn Book



"In ink-and-wash illustrations, Hendrix again displays his knack for visual narrative. The aerial view of Edmonds approaching the Confederate camp is particularly effective. This large-format picture book illustrates Edmonds' courage and determination while conveying a good deal of information in a highly readable way." -Booklist



"Admirable and enlightening. Moss is a lively prose writer, and Hendrix's illustrations inject humor into what is actually a serious subject." -The New York Times


"Boldly illustrated. The text is full of interesting details. This book strikes a fine balance which conveys the horrors of the Civil War without portraying too much blood and violence for elementary readers. A very useful and researchable picture book." -Library Media Connection, starred review

Wild Rose The True Story of a Civil War Spy

Wild Rose The True Story of a Civil War Spy

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For sheer bravado and style, no woman in the North or South rivaled the Civil War heroine Rose O'Neale Greenhow. Fearless spy for the Confederacy, glittering Washington hostess, legendary beauty and lover, Rose Greenhow risked everything for the cause she valued more than life itself. In this superb portrait, biographer Ann Blackman tells the surprising true story of a unique woman in history.

"I am a Southern woman, born with revolutionary blood in my veins," Rose once declared-and that fiery spirit would plunge her into the center of power and the thick of adventure. Born into a slave-holding family, Rose moved to Washington, D.C., as a young woman and soon established herself as one of the capital's most charming and influential socialites, an intimate of John C. Calhoun, James Buchanan, and Dolley Madison.

She married well, bore eight children and buried five, and, at the height of the Gold Rush, accompanied her husband Robert Greenhow to San Francisco. Widowed after Robert died in a tragic accident, Rose became notorious in Washington for her daring-and numerous-love affairs.

But with the outbreak of the Civil War, everything changed. Overnight, Rose Greenhow, fashionable hostess, become Rose Greenhow, intrepid spy. As Blackman reveals, deadly accurate intelligence that Rose supplied to General Pierre G. T. Beauregard written in a fascinating code (the code duplicated in the background on the jacket of this book). Her message to Beauregard turned the tide in the first Battle of Bull Run, and was a brilliant piece of spycraft that eventually led to her arrest by Allan Pinkerton and imprisonment with her young daughter.

Indomitable, Rose regained her freedom and, as the war reached a crisis, journeyed to Europe to plead the Confederate cause at the royal courts of England and France.
Drawing on newly discovered diaries and a rich trove of contemporary accounts, Blackman has fashioned a thrilling, intimate narrative that reads like a novel. Wild Rose is an unforgettable rendering of an astonishing woman, a book that will stand with the finest Civil War biographies.

Women of the Confederacy

Women of the Confederacy

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Despite the limited opportunities for them at the time, women made a significant impact during the American Civil War. Some chose to serve as nurses, helping wounded soldiers. Others worked secretly as spies or disguised themselves as men and enlisted in the Confederate Army. Enslaved women eagerly awaited their freedom, but didn't know what the future held. Others struggled to keep their farms and plantations going. These women not only survived, but also faced the unknown with courage and strength.
Women of the Union

Women of the Union

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During the American Civil War, women had limited opportunities and little political influence. But when thousands of women from Northern states offered their time and skills to support the war effort, they not only impacted the war but also transformed the role of women. Some daring women ventured to the battlefields to serve as nurses, doctors, cooks, and spies. Some even disguised themselves as men and secretly joined the Army. These women bravely faced the challenges of war and helped reshape the nation.