Readers who want to take a deeper look at the world today's profiled author explored in her first novel, "I Will Be Near to You," might want to check out a work of real historical research that is widely available.
"There are a couple of surveys of women's service in the military during the Civil War," Erin McCabe notes. "The one I relied on was 'They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War' by DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook. It gives the most complete picture of women's service during that time."
From the book's introduction: "Popular notions of women during the Civil War center on self-sacrificing nurses, romantic spies, or brave ladies maintaining the home front in the absence of their men. This conventional picture of gender roles does not tell the entire story, however. Men were not the only ones to march off to war. Women bore arms and charged into battle, too. Women lived in germ-ridden camps, languished in appalling prisons, and died miserably, but honorably, for their country and their cause just as men did."
-- Sue Gilmore, staff