by Marianne Monson
Shadow Mountain, 2018, 230 pgs., Nonfiction
Monson brings to light the incredible stories of women from the Civil War, whether they be from the North, or from the South. The women in these micro biographies were wives, mothers, sisters and friends whose purposes ranged from supporting husbands and sons during wartime to counseling President Lincoln on strategy.
If you enjoyed Monson’s other collection of micro biographies, Frontier Grit, you know to expect fascinating stories of interesting women whose contributions to the human story have been mostly lost to time. Women of the Blue and Gray spends less time editorializing on the lessons to be learned from each woman’s life, and instead focuses on trying to give as many viewpoints as possible on the topic of the Civil War.
I especially enjoyed learning about Virginia Mason McLean, whose homes just happened to be the places where both one of the first and one of the last encounters of the Civil War occurred. I was also fascinated by the efforts of Clara Barton and the Red Cross after the war to reunite lost loved ones.
This is a book that will make you amazed at the courage and fortitude of the people who lived during one of America’s most tumultuous times, and it might inspire you to document some of the bigger moments of your own life.