Consequences of Discovery for Women Civil War Soldiers

There are about four hundred known cases of women serving as Civil War soldiers on either side. They enlisted for varying reasons. They faced challenges  at every turn. They were discovered in a variety of ways.

The consequences for the women varied. They could be dismissed or imprisoned, depending on the officer’s decision.

Newspaper reporters wrote of Southern women who were arrested while in uniform. Federals captured two female soldiers and imprisoned them.

A female Union soldier was captured after being wounded in battle. She was sent back to Union lines with a note, “As Confederates do not use women in war, this woman, wounded in battle, is returned to you.”

After being imprisoned on Johnson Island, a Confederate officer delivered a baby boy in December of 1864.

A Union major ordered her men in battle. They later discovered her identity and imprisoned her for violating the “regulations of war.”

Loreta Janeta Velazquez disguised herself as Confederate soldier Lieutenant Harry T. Buford. She was arrested when the apparatus of her disguise slipped. She was charged with acting as a spy and then released. She was later arrested when comrades suspected her of being a woman. Loreta confessed. The mayor fined her $10 and ordered ten days imprisonment. After her release, she reenlisted in a different company, this one in the 21st Louisiana.

Confederate women who were imprisoned as POWs usually were kept there even after their identity became known.

Female soldiers facing a provost marshal received varying degrees of punishment.

Women were sometimes sent to civilian authorities where some were ordered to time in the city jail or the Guard House. Some women were sent to the workhouse while others were released.

One woman was court-martialed.

In my Civil War novel, A Musket in My Hands, two sisters have no choice but to disguise themselves as men to muster into the Confederate army in the fall of 1864—just in time for events and long marches to lead them to the tragic Battle of Franklin.

-Sandra Merville Hart

Sources

Abbott, Karen. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, Harper, 2014.

Blanton, DeAnne and Cook, Lauren M. They Fought Like Demons, Louisiana State University Press, 2002.

Massey, Mary Elizabeth. Women in the Civil War, University of Nebraska Press, 1966.

Silvey, Anita. I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War, Clarion Books, 2008.

Velazquez, Loreta Janeta. The Woman in Battle: The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Velazquez, Cuban Woman & Confederate Soldier, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2003. (Previously published 1876)

 

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To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling

Song of Blessing Series – Book 1

The town of Blessing, North Dakota, experiences a growth spurt in 1905. The new hospital keeps its two doctors busy and they request student nurses from Chicago. The doctors will receive help; the nurses will receive training.

Miriam Hastings is in nursing school in Chicago. Her family relies on the little bit of money she can give them. Her younger brothers and sisters do whatever jobs they can to feed themselves and their ailing mother. Miriam can’t go to Blessing and leave the family who needs her. But she must.

Trygve Knutson quits his job leading a construction crew that often keeps him on the road. He falls in love with the new nurse and dreams of their future.

There are multiple story threads in this novel, written in multiple viewpoints. This is book one of a new series, yet it constantly references events that took place in other novels in earlier series. The characters in the huge Bjorklund family are lovable, yet for me, as a new reader to the whole series, I couldn’t keep the characters straight. Nor does there seem to be any one main character—unless she is Ingeborg Bjorklund.

I do believe that readers familiar with the series will catch on to the plot more quickly. There is a Bjorklund Family Tree in front of the book that shows names and family relationships.

Perhaps true to many series novels, it ends with a cliffhanger. It worked! I want to know what happens next …

-Sandra Merville Hart

Christianbook.com

 

Corn Oysters Recipe

Around the time of the Civil War, corn fritters were commonly called corn oysters because the fritters resembled fried oysters.

Callie, my female protagonist in my Civil War romance A Musket in My Hands, made corn fritters several times while masquerading as a soldier in the Confederate Army of Tennessee. When I found this recipe shared by Mrs. H.B.S. in Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, I looked forward to trying it.

I cut the corn off two ears of corn. It yielded 1 ½ cups of corn so I modified the recipe in the book for this amount of the vegetable.

Stir ¾ cup milk into 1 ½ cups of fresh corn. Add ¼ cup flour, 1 teaspoon butter, and 1 beaten egg. Salt and pepper to taste—I added ¼ teaspoon of each.

A cast iron skillet or griddle works well for frying the fritters. Heat the skillet over medium high heat and then lower to medium while cooking. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet.

Use a tablespoon to drop batter into the skillet. The batter is very runny and it flattens out like a small pancake. Watch carefully as it browns quickly. Then flip it over. This seems to be an acquired art as I tore several fritters while turning them.

But boy, are they tasty! I loved the fresh corn and lightly fried flavor.

This is a quick, easy recipe. The longest part of the preparation is slicing corn off the cob—and that does not take long. I will make them again.

I’d love to hear if you try it.

-Sandra Merville Hart

Sources

Compiled from Original Recipes. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Applewood Books, 1877.

 

Civil War Romance Novel Releasing Today!

Releasing Today!!!

Sandra Merville Hart’s third Civil War romance, A Musket in My Handsfollows two sisters as they disguise themselves as soldiers and join the men they love in the Confederate army—just in time for the war to grow progressively difficult for Southern soldiers.

Tough marches lead them to the Battle of Franklin. How can anyone survive?

There are about four hundred known cases of women serving as Civil War soldiers on either side. What are some reasons that women chose to fight? What challenges  did they face? They feared discovery and rightly so.

Find out what two sisters faced on their dangerous journey leading to a fearsome battle, the Battle of Franklin, in A Musket in My Hands.

Back Cover Blurb

Can I count on you in times of great need?”

 Callie Jennings reels from her pa’s decision that she must marry his friend, a man older than him. Her heart belongs to her soldier hero, Zach Pearson, but Pa won’t change his mind. Callie has no place to hide. Then her sister, Louisa, proposes a shocking alternative.

Zach still hears his pa’s scornful word—quitter. He’s determined to make something of himself as a soldier. He’ll serve the Confederacy until they win the war. If they win the war.

Callie and Louisa disguise themselves as soldiers and muster into the Confederate army in the fall of 1864. Times are tough and getting tougher for their Confederacy. For Callie, shooting anyone, especially former countrymen, is out of the question—until truth and love and honor come together on the battlefield.

Available on Amazon

Endorsements for A Musket in My Hands:

I don’t always read Civil War novels, because I’m not into graphic battle scenes. Sandra Merville Hart’s A Musket in My Hands is a wonderful book. The characters grab your heart right from the beginning and they take you through a unique story line right into battles, where I followed willingly. The book isn’t battle-driven. It’s character driven, and the reader becomes intimately acquainted with these people who had to face things they never dreamed about happening. This is my favorite Civil War novel. I highly recommend it.

Lena Nelson Dooley – bestselling, multiple-award-winning author of Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides. 

Sandra Hart, author of the acclaimed A Stranger on My Land and A Rebel in My House has done it again with her third and best novel to date, A Musket in My Hands.  In this brilliant historical fiction, Sandra has sat against the backdrop of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s Tennessee Campaign a study of the little known but genuine phenomenon of women masquerading as men to serve and fight in the opposing armies of the Civil War.  An excellent and well-researched read, this is one of the first books I’ve read to put a touchingly human face on the horrendously bloody Battle of Franklin. 

Kevin Spencer – author of “ON THIS DAY in North Carolina History”

A Musket in My Hands shines with Sandra Hart’s talent for historical romance. Vivid historical details highlight the romance and adventure, excitement and heartache of those desperate to survive the Civil War, while an endearing collage of characters evaluates their own allegiances to God, country, and their fellow man.”

Carrie Del Pizzo – Del Pizzo’s Pen Editing “Words have value … use them well”

What would make two sisters escape the only home they’ve ever known to join the Confederate Army, disguised as men? Prompted by both love and fear, Callie and Louisa are caught up in the War between the States in a way they never imagined. It soon became a nightmare they couldn’t possibly foresee.

In “A Musket in my Hands,” author Sandra Merville Hart has penned a thrilling, well-researched novel set in the latter months of the Civil War. Her characters are believable, likeable, and, at times, frustrating in their decisions. But readers will find themselves rooting for the protagonists and anxiously awaiting resolution, not just in the fighting field, but in the battleground of their souls.

Inspiring and exciting, this novel will capture your heart as well as speed up your heartbeat. A historical romance well worth the read!

Elaine Marie Cooper – Author,  Saratoga Letters

Through A Musket in My Hands, Sandra Merville Hart brings to life the last months of the Confederacy as experienced by two Tennessee sisters who become soldiers for the South. Detailed research contributes to the realism in a tale of courage and strength during a tumultuous time in America’s history. I was moved by the despair and deprivation yet inspired by the characters’ resolve. A captivating read for historical fiction fans!

Sandra Ardoin – author of the award-winning historical romance A Reluctant Melody

 

Mist O’er the Voyageur by Naomi Musch

Brigitte Marchal disguises herself as a man to join Rene DuFour’s voyaguers on their journey west, the direction her father went. Brigitte faces danger if she remains in Montreal from a cruel suitor—she’d rather take her chances rowing the canoes on the dangerous rivers and lakes ahead, hoping to find her father.

Rene discovers her secret early in the journey and vows to protect her from the crew on the journey of months.

But the beautiful Brigitte captures the eye of many men in her search for her father—as the honorable Rene captures hers.

Musch has woven a mesmerizing tale that immerses readers into a dangerous adventure from the start. With believable and honest characters encountering situations true to the period, this suspenseful story captivated my attention and didn’t let go until the end.

Musch’s depth of research enabled her to transport readers back in time. I highly recommend this novel to lovers of historical romance.

-Sandra Merville Hart

Amazon

Stuffed Baked Fish

Today’s post is by talented editor and fellow author, Pegg Thomas. Welcome back to Historical Nibbles, Pegg!

My story in The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection, Anna’s Tower, is set on Thunder Bay Island near Alpena, Michigan. There was a thriving fishing village there in the 1800s, so I went looking for a fish recipe that might have been enjoyed by Anna and the rest of the characters living at Thunder Bay Lighthouse in 1883.

From Cement City Cookbook, Alpena, Michigan, 1910

STUFFED BAKED FISH

After cleaning fish, wipe out inside and rub in a little salt. Make a dressing of raw potatoes, chopped fine, and season with salt, pepper, onion and poultry savory. Stuff the fish with this dressing, sew it up and dredge with flour. Pepper and salt the whole and put pieces of pork or butter over the top, and 1 cup of water. Bake slowly 1 1/2 hours. Garnish the whole with chip potatoes or lemon.

My first challenge was finding a whole fish. It seems that not one single grocery or market in the county sells whole fish. That left one option … catching our own.

A call to our friend, Steve Benedict, resulted in a Friday evening spent on a pontoon at Lake Winyah. My husband caught a 16” small mouth bass, and Steve caught a 20” walleye. I caught a perch that was, ahem, a little under optimum size. Two fish were more than enough.

I’ve never been very good at following recipes. I view them as loose guidelines. To be historically accurate, we should have left the heads on the fish. But today’s diner has a bit of an aversion to an entrée that stares back from the platter. So the heads were removed. I grated the potatoes instead of chopping fine. It was faster. I have no idea what poultry savory is, so I used salt, pepper, and a little rubbed sage. The recipe doesn’t say whether or not to cover the roasting pan, so I did. A slow oven is about 325 degrees, and that worked out perfectly at an hour and a half.

Then, just to be bold and daring, I invited Steve and his wife plus another couple from church to come to dinner and be guinea pigs. Because if I’m going to have an epic fail, I want witnesses. Thankfully―it wasn’t! It was very tasty. If I ever do it again, I’ll omit dredging the fish in flour. And, to be honest, I’d probably fillet the fish and sew the two fillets together. I’m spoiled. I like the bones removed before the fish is cooked. Still, it was fun to play with this recipe from yesteryear.

-Pegg Thomas

Anna’s Tower is Pegg’s novella, part of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection.

 Blurb:

Anna’s dream of running the lighthouse was difficult enough to achieve, but then a Russian stowaway was left on the island, and that complicated everything.

Amazon

 About Pegg

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls. Connect with Pegg on her blog at https://peggthomas.com/.

 

 

Civil War Romance Novel Releasing Next Week!

R E L E A S I N G   N O V E M B E R   8 t h ! ! !

Sandra Merville Hart’s newest Civil War romance, A Musket in My Hands , follows two sisters as they disguise themselves as soldiers and join the men they love in the Confederate army—just in time for the war to grow progressively difficult for Southern soldiers. Tough marches lead them to the Battle of Franklin. How can anyone survive?

Can I count on you in times of great need?”

 Callie Jennings reels from her pa’s decision that she must marry his friend, a man older than him. Her heart belongs to her soldier hero, Zach Pearson, but Pa won’t change his mind. Callie has no place to hide. Then her sister, Louisa, proposes a shocking alternative.

Zach still hears his pa’s scornful word—quitter. He’s determined to make something of himself as a soldier. He’ll serve the Confederacy until they win the war. If they win the war.

Callie and Louisa disguise themselves as soldiers and muster into the Confederate army in the fall of 1864. Times are tough and getting tougher for their Confederacy. For Callie, shooting anyone, especially former countrymen, is out of the question—until truth and love and honor come together on the battlefield.

So thrilled that A Musket in My Hands received such a glowing endorsement from Civil War historian, Kevin Spencer:

Sandra Hart, author of the acclaimed A Stranger on My Land and A Rebel in My House has done it again with her third and best novel to date, A Musket in My Hands.  In this brilliant historical fiction, Sandra has sat against the backdrop of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s Tennessee Campaign a study of the little known but genuine phenomenon of women masquerading as men to serve and fight in the opposing armies of the Civil War.  An excellent and well-researched read, this is one of the first books I’ve read to put a touchingly human face on the horrendously bloody Battle of Franklin. 

-Kevin Spencer – author of “ON THIS DAY in North Carolina History”

Buy today on Amazon  for preorder prices!

 

Ways that Women Civil War Soldiers were Discovered

Women desiring to fight as Civil War soldiers—whatever their reasons—kept their guard up constantly. There are about four hundred known cases of female soldiers fighting on either side. Many others likely joined for a short time and then donned a dress to quit without detection. Still it was challenging for the women to remember their pretense twenty-four hours a day. Some were discovered.

A Wisconsin woman, Sarah Collins, donned her stockings and shoes the way a woman did and, before her regiment left town, was sent home.

It’s unclear what Mary Burns did, but she was probably recognized even wearing a uniform. She was arrested in Detroit—her company hadn’t left town yet.

“Charles Norton,” a female private in the 141st Pennsylvania Infantry, stole an officer’s boots. When her identity was discovered, she was quickly mustered out.

Two women soldiers got drunk on apple jack while on a foraging expedition. In their drunken state, they fell into a river. Comrades saved them from drowning. Their rescuers were shocked to discover they were women.

Comrades tossed apples to two female soldiers in the 95th Illinois. The women reached for their nonexistent aprons to catch the apples and were immediately discharged.

A female soldier from Rochester, New York, tried to don pants by pulling them over her head.

A corporal in a New Jersey regiment was promoted to sergeant for her bravery at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December of 1862. She hid her pregnancy by wearing an over-sized coat. On January 19, 1863, she went into labor on picket duty and complained of feeling unwell. Her complaints were ignored until the pain increased. Comrades carried her to a farmhouse where her healthy baby was born. Everyone learned the news but protected her by not mentioning her real name or her alias. Her name is still unknown today.

The most common way that the women were discovered was when they were wounded.

A girl from Brooklyn wanted to be the second Joan of Arc. Her family, desiring to save her, sent “Emily” to an aunt in Michigan. She ran away and joined the Army of the Cumberland as a drummer. Her identity was discovered when she was mortally wounded on Lookout Mountain.

Mary Owens enlisted with a man she secretly wed during their eighteen months in the army. She was wounded in the battle that took his life.

Malinda Pritchard Blalock, an excellent shooter, enlisted when her husband, Keith, was forced to muster into the 26th North Carolina Infantry. She pretended to be Keith’s brother, Sam. Her identity was discovered when she was wounded.

In my Civil War novel, A Musket in My Hands, two sisters have no choice but to disguise themselves as men to muster into the Confederate army in the fall of 1864—just in time for events and long marches to lead them to the tragic Battle of Franklin.

-Sandra Merville Hart

Sources

Abbott, Karen. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, Harper, 2014.

Blanton, DeAnne and Cook, Lauren M. They Fought Like Demons, Louisiana State University Press, 2002.

Massey, Mary Elizabeth. Women in the Civil War, University of Nebraska Press, 1966.

Silvey, Anita. I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War, Clarion Books, 2008.

 

Book giveaway! Enter for a chance to win A Musket in My Hands

Two sisters disguise themselves as men to muster into the Confederate army in the fall of 1864 to join the men they love. But the situation grows desperate for Hood’s Army of Tennessee at the Battle of Franklin.

Who can survive?

The dratted war had taken the best the South had to give … and demanded more.

Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of A Musket in My Hands, my Civil War novel that releases next week!