With the cover photo of the armed woman who looked as if she had fought in the Civil War, I thought that this book was about women who had served in the War Between the States. However, most of the book was about the woman abolitionists before the war and traditional ways women helped the war effort on both sides. One chapter covered woman spies and the few known examples of woman soldiers.
This book for young readers did spend time explaining just how hard the war was for the women left behind and how they struggled to continue their lives during wartime. Some went to work in factories and others tilled the soil for food, as well as the many jobs women already did in the home.
Some of the photos, woodcuts and artist renderings were remarkable. Pay particular attention to the pair of photos of Frances Clalin, showing her in soldier's uniform and usual woman's dress.
Most of the book was of the usually-mentioned women of the era: Harriett Tubman, Clara Barton and Dorothea Dix. I think this would have been a much stronger book if more of the common women had been mentioned and discussed.
One of the best parts of this short book was the description of life for Southern women as Sherman marched through the South. It must have been harrowing to be fired upon (by Northern soldiers) and to lose what little the women and children had to eat. The book lightly brushed across the escaping ex-slaves and how the Northern soldiers didn't know what to do with them.
As a first book on the subject, this book is adequate. However, the research was of the typical subjects, with the exception of white Angelina Grimke. Her early life opened the book and the story of her ex-slave nephews drew the circle closed in a nice fashion.
Wonderful Civil War photographs plus very interesting history.