Liar, Temptress, Soilder, Spy Karen Abbott September 2nd

First of all I want to say this is a non-fiction book about four women who played important parts in the Civil War.  I read much more fiction than non-fiction, but this one looked good and I enjoyed it so I thought I would mention it in case anyone else wanted to check it out.  As I mentioned the book chronicles the lives and activities of four women over the course of the Civil War.  Belle Boyd is a well known Rebel spy from Virginia.  She spends time in prison, ends up being banished from the north as part of her sentence and eventually marries and spends time in Europe before returning to the south after the war.  Rose Greenlow was a widow who was the head of a confederate spy ring, she was eventually punished for her crimes including serving time in jail as Belle had, but in Rose’s case her youngest daughter shared her cell.  Eventually she was forced to leave her beloved country.  Elizabeth Van Lew was a southern women with northern roots whose family had respect within the community and she used her connections to provide food and necessary items to union prisoners held in her town and eventually she hid union soilders in a secret room and helped them leave the area.  The fourth woman was Emma Edmondson who impersonated a male officer for years even becoming part of an elite spy group, then a post master before she went AWOL and joined a group providing nursing care to wounded soilders.  The book has photos of the women, some of the places that are mentioned and sometimes of letters or other important documents.  I found the stories of these women fascinating both for the risks they took and for their passion and devotion to their cause.

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