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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Vintage / Pub. Date: 2003-09-09 Attributes: Book 277pp / Illustrations: B&W Photographs Stock#: 2055759 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War Paperback – September 9, 2003


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They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War + An Uncommon Soldier: The Civil War Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Pvt. Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, 1862-1864 + She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (September 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400033152
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400033157
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At least 250 women served-disguised as men-in the ranks of both North and South during the Civil War. Although works about female Civil War soldiers have appeared over the past several years, this volume, by National Archives archivist Blanton and Cook, a Fayetteville State University employee in North Carolina, makes a nice summation. After covering the major combat actions in which women served (and in which several were killed), the authors reconstruct the reasons why women entered the armed forces: many were simply patriotic, while others followed their husbands or lovers and yet others yearned to break free from the constraints that Victorian society had laid on them as women. Blanton and Cook detail women soldiers in combat, on the march, in camp and in the hospital, where many were discovered after getting sick. Some even wound up in grim prisons kept by both sides, while a few hid pregnancies and were only discovered after giving birth. Many times the rank and file hid them from officers, who were duty-bound to discharge women if they were found out. Some remained in disguise for years after the war; Albert D.J. Cashier (nee Jennie Hodgers) of the 95th Illinois Infantry was only unmasked in 1911, when she suffered a fractured leg in an automobile accident. The authors make a strong case that the controversial Loreta Janeta Velazquez (alias Lt. Harry T. Buford, C.S.A.) actually did perform most of the deeds she wrote about in her 1876 memoir, which has previously been discounted as fiction by most Civil War historians. Solid research by the authors, including a look at the careers of a few women soldiers after the war, makes this a compelling book that belongs in every Civil War library.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“This book breaks new ground. . . . Documenting the service of more than 240 women soldiers . . . the authors show that courage and honor under fire were shared by men and women alike.” – James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

“Detailed and convincing” –Smithsonian Magazine

“A compelling book that belongs in every Civil War library.” --Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

It is actually more like a history book than the types of reading I have been doing lately.
sewbeads
The point of Blanton's and Cook's book is to provide and enlighten the reader with information on women who disguised themselves as soldiers to fight in the Civil War.
judy pierce
Two were detected when an officer threw apples at them; they were in uniform but reflexively tried to catch them with their non-existent aprons.
Dave Schwinghammer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This account of female combatants in the War Between the States is quite fascinating. The notion of women fighting for the Rebs and Yanks was something I had never even thought about, so reading this book served as a significant learning experience for me. Clearly, a great deal of research went into this monograph, and the authors do an excellent job of describing the significant limitations imposed upon the researcher into this topic. Military records are incomplete, especially in the case of the Confederate Army, and some women served without ever being discovered at all. In the case of many, there is no record of their real names. The best substantive evidence comes from those whose actual gender was ascertained while being treated for serious wounds or who really let the cat out of the bag by giving birth. It is quite amazing to me to learn that women in the late stage of pregnancy not only kept their gender a secret but actually fought fiercely in battle at the same time. Women soldiers were also captured and imprisoned along with men, many of them refusing to divulge their secret despite the fact it might well win them release from the terrible conditions of prison camps.
Clearly, one must ask why women chose to fight. The authors devote a lot of attention to this important question. Many women took up arms in order to remain close to a loved one, be it a husband, fiancé, father, or brother; many fought for truly patriotic reasons, fuelled by the same motivations as men to defend their land and way of life. Some fought for economic reasons, knowing they could earn much more money as a soldier than they ever could as females at home; some loved the independence and removal of Victorian restrictions that a soldier's life offered them.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Neither the Union nor the Confederate Army in the Civil War authorized women to enlist or welcomed women combatants. Indeed, they were actively discouraged from the traditionaly male preserve of combat. Yet a small number of women had the drive to assume male disguise and to enlist and fight. This book helps tell their story.
The authors of "They Fought Like Demons" DeAnne Blanton, a military archivist, and Lauren Cook, of Fayetville State University spent more than a decade in researching primary sources to recreate the role of women as Civil War combatants. Their book tells us something about roughly 250 women soldiers, who fought either for the Union or the Confederacy.
The book spends a great deal of space on the motivations that caused women to disguise their sex and enlist. It finds that patriotism and devotion to their respective cause was the chief motive, as it was with men; but also finds that in many cases women enlisted to be with a male loved one, whether husband, lover, father, or brother. This latter motivation seemed important in the accounts and it seems to me different from the motivation of most male combatants.
The book gives good detail on women soldiers and, in the process, of Civil War military life. It describes how many women managed to avoid detection (of course, many were unsuccessful in so doing, particularly if they were wounded), the strength with which they fought, how they were regarded by their peers, both when they were assumed to be men and following the discovery that they were women, how women were treated as prisoners of war, in hospitals, and the extent of female casualties in the war.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fruit Loop VINE VOICE on August 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Blanton gives us documented evidence of the many women who fought on both sides of the War Between the States, their motivations and how they hid their gender. Any reenactor who wants to portray a woman soldier should read this book, and it's also interesting for students of the war and those who insist women "can't hack it in combat."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Wendy A. King on January 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When authors dare to delve into the subject of women as soldiers during the 1860's, they are bound to run into roadblocks and resistance. So much of the information, even in the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, ends with the female in question being anonymous. This quite simply is a result of her enlisting under a male name and dying before she is "found out". Blanton and Cook have made what could be a dull study into fascinating reading. Any person can say "I would have presented the information differently" and perhaps they would; but the facts cannot be changed any more than one can change history.
Thank goodness there are folks that care enough to study and tell HERstory as well as history.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I like this book. As a Social Studies teacher I am always looking for new information/interpretations of history to share with my students. To date, the subject of women as soldiers in the Civil War has been skimmed but no in depth information existed that I could find. This book is readable, informative and gives interesting information about how and why women fought and how they managed to avoid discovery. They Fought Like Demons provides that depth I've been looking for by providing the names and stories of many women within the context of the experiences of all soldiers in the Civil War.
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