During the Civil War women worked as spies and as daughters of the regiment, and disguised themselves as male soldiers to play a heroic part in the conflict. Historian Elizabeth D. Leonard has combed archives, memoirs, and histories to unearth the stories of these hidden and forgotten women who risked their lives for the blue and the grey. Here are the stories of Belle Boyd, Confederate loyalist and key player in Stonewall Jackson’s struggle to hold the Shenandoah Valley, and Sarah Emma Edmonds, who enlisted as “Franklin Thompson” and fought at Fredericksburg. Leonard includes many other courageous women, investigates why they chose unconventional ways to help their cause, and shows how they were able to break through the traditional barriers of Victorian womanhood.
“All the daring of the soldier”