The Civil War wrought cataclysmic changes in the lives of American Women on both sides of the conflict. Women in the Civil War demonstrates their enterprise, fortitude, and fierceness. In this revealing social history, Massey focuses on many famous women, including nurses Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, and Mother Bickerdyke; spies Pauline Cushman and Belle Boyd; writers Louisa May Alcott, Julia Ward Howe, and Mary Chestnut; pamphleteer and military strategist Anna Ella Carroll; black abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth; feminists Susan B. Anthony and Jane Grey Swisshelm; and political wives Varina Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln. The anonymous women who maintained farms and plantations are described, as are camp followers, businesswomen, entertainers, activists, and socialites in Charleston and Washington.
Mary Elizabeth Massey also wrote Ersatz in the Confederacy: Shortages and Substitutes on the Southern Homefront. Introducing this Bison Books edition is Jean V. Berlin. She is an assistant editor of the correspondence of William T. Sherman.
"For the first time we have in this energetic yet sensitive volume a thorough, comprehensive, and impartial history of the enormous work the women [of both North and South] did when the guns sounded, and the steps they meanwhile took toward the sweeping transformations that followed Appomattox. . . . Miss Massey’s book [is] one of the most original contributions we have had to the literature of the Civil War."—Allan Nevins
"This is a serious book, at once charming, scholarly and highly readable. . . . It is probable that the most enduring consequence of the war for women was the changed conception they come to hold of themselves. . . . Massey most skillfully brings out the contribution the press made toward this result."—New York Times Book Review