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I'll Pass For Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War Hardcover – December 29, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Women's history continues to be a burgeoning field, especially the study of women who fought in the Civil War. Silvey offers insights into the soldiers' daily lives in hospitals and prisons and on the battlefields, including Antietam and Bull Run. Interjected into this brief survey are the stories of the women, some of whom joined the military, both Union and Confederate, to follow their husbands or sweethearts, and others who were passionate about the cause and wanted to defend their homeland. Still others wanted adventure or wished to escape from poverty. Lieutenant Harry T. Buford was, in fact, Loreta Janeta Velazquez and served as a Confederate officer at the First Battle of Bull Run. Sarah Emma Edmonds, born in Canada, left a harsh farm life and enlisted in the Michigan Volunteers. Jennie Hodgers served for three years as a member of an Illinois infantry unit and continued to live as a man for the next 40 years. Her true identify was not discovered until her death in 1911; nonetheless she was buried with full military honors. These are a few of the intriguing stories told in this well-researched book. Another highlight of the book is the use of archival photographs and reproductions. This title can serve as a springboard for further reading and inspire exploration of primary accounts.—Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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. Grades 6-9. --Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1130L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; 1 edition (December 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618574913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618574919
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Fowler HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It wasn't uncommon for women to want to join the ranks of either the Union or the Confederate armies during the Civil War. In fact it was much more common that many would suspect. Literally hundreds of women joined the ranks. Some were spies, some became nurses, many helped with the laundry while others even disguised themselves as men to join the ranks of the fighting men at the front. Still others like Julianna Parker Monroe were so anxious to join their husbands they actually left their children behind!

One very unusual woman, Malinda Blalock, who called herself Sam, fought for both the Union and the Confederacy. It wasn't all that difficult for many women to actually enlist because the physical was brief and they were not required to disrobe. Others just skipped the whole process, found a uniform and showed up for battle. It was more difficult to find a private moment to go to the bathroom undetected than it was to fight!

Illness was also one way many women could be discovered and one woman, Sarah Emma Edmonds, contracted malaria. Private Franklin Thompson, as she was known, did not want to risk discovery and fled. She didn't want to be a known deserter, but she had no alternative. "I would rather have been shot dead than to have been known to be a woman and sent away from the army."

This fascinating page turner is very well done and thoroughly researched. There is a wealth of Civil War photographs, not only of the women, but also related items such as engravings, battle scenes and one of Jennnie Hodgers's (Albert D. J. Cashier) tombstone with her military history engraved upon it. A solid appendix is included. This is a quality book that can easily find a home in a variety of settings from the classroom, the library to the homeschool.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book, though good, really didn't live up to my expectations. Granted there isn't a lot of information out there about these ladies, but I think it could have been "filled out" more, and made them more real. I wouldn't really recommend for someone looking to reasearch the subject, but, as a general read it's okay.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Wilson on August 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not much is written about women who disguised themselves to fight along side men during the civil war and many may ask how did the do it? Medical exams were a lot different back then when a physical for a man going into the infantry consisted of having good front teeth (if they knocked them out to avoid going into the army, the army just put them into the artillery where teeth weren't needed to bite open the paper cartridge) and three fingers to hold and open the cartridges. A recruit didn't have to undress as is done today so it was easy for a woman to get pass the medical inspector. This gives the reader insight into women who for various reasons wanted to fight during the civil war. They served on both sides and I recommend this book and others like it to anyone who wants to learn more about women in the war. Some hid their gender so well that they were not discovered until either being wounded or killed. One was not discovered until years later when she was injured in an automobile accident. Good reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eve Beglarian on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
this book is a reasonable overview of the fascinating subject of women who served in the Civil War. It seems to be written for children, but if the goal is to interest kids in history or women doing non-standard stuff this wouldn't be a book I'd recommend. it's just not very interesting. the kid's review here says the same thing, you might want to listen to him/her!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anna on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This would be a fine addition to any young collection about the Civil War. It deals with topics about which the young historian, especially girls, would be curious about.
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