Monday, September 7, 2020

J.R.R. Tolkien's Warrior Woman: Éowyn - Part 4 - Escape

In my previous articles, I introduced Éowyn and examined possible bases for her character and background while illustrating how these concepts parallel those involving women soldiers of the Civil War.  In this piece, I will discuss how these women's dire need for escape from their tumultuous lives ultimately led them to serve clandestinely in military roles.

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Battle of Ezra Church and Women Soldiers

Part of the Atlanta campaign, the Battle of Ezra Church was a nasty affair fought on this day in 1864.  And I was excited to learn recently that a previously undocumented woman soldier fought in it.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Finding "William Bradley": Black Woman Soldier of Miles' Legion

I shared new information regarding the remarkable account of "William Bradley" in my book.  In this article, I'd like to explain the sources I used and how I arrived at the conclusions I did.

To summarize, Pvt. Bradley enlisted in what would become Company G of Miles' Legion and served briefly in April 1862.  All of the infantry units that comprised this legion originated from south Louisiana except for Company G, which was raised in the Natchez, Mississippi area.

"Mustered in through mistake,
was of female sex."

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Video: A Woman Soldier at Camp Strong, Iowa

In this video shot last year, Mark and I talk about Camp Strong, a training camp in Muscatine, Iowa, and a woman soldier who mustered in there.

Monday, June 1, 2020

J.R.R. Tolkien's Warrior Woman: Éowyn - Part 3b - A Background of Cages - Unrequited Love

In my previous article in this series (click HERE), I discussed Éowyn's familial dynamics and how the challenges she faced at home mirrored those that several women soldiers of the Civil War endured.  These trials included growing up without one or both parents and coping with abusive family members.   This blog post reveals another element that pushed these women deeper into despair and ultimately on a path to war:  unrequited love.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

She Sleeps Upon Her Field of Fame

With Memorial Day weekend approaching, I thought it appropriate to briefly share the account of one particular woman soldier who lost her life on May 17, 1863, during the Battle of Big Black River Bridge.  This was the last action before the Confederates retreated into Vicksburg.  I'll have to compose a more detailed account of the engagement itself at a later time.

Yesterday, I visited the site and reflected on this Confederate woman's death and others who shared a similar fate.  Like her sister soldiers who perished, her dead body was discovered by her foes.  And thus, we don't know anything about her.   The scant information available is courtesy Henry Clinton Parkhurst, an Iowa soldier who told of her discovery in his memoirs.  She was a "young woman," he said, and that the incident so moved him, that he composed a poem about it.

They buried her, Clint noted, in a grave "upon her field of fame."   And thus, she may still be resting there on the other side of this bridge where Confederates took up a defensive position.  (This isn't the Big Black River Bridge, by the way.)  I wasn't able to get a good picture, so I had to rely on Google Maps.

But just after crossing the bridge, I snapped this one:

It's just trees and brush — a common sight in any rural area — but it shows the location of the Confederate works, now overgrown.

......and perhaps the final resting place of a woman soldier.

I talk about this woman in my book and shared Parkhurst's poem in full in a previous blog post, which you can read [HERE].  I highly recommend that you do.  The ending is quite poignant:

Her woes unknown, unknown her name
She sleeps upon her field of fame
No storied page her deeds will tell
But calm she sleeps
And all is well.

Until next

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Female Gladiators: We Salute You

Can you believe that the movie Gladiator came out twenty years ago today?  What's even more astonishing is that, for whatever reason over all those years, I have not once pondered whether there were female gladiators.  Well, now I have.  And after doing some research, I found that yes, they did exist.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Women Soldiers at Old Capitol Prison

My friend, Aaron, recently pointed me to a website which includes a virtual recreation of the Old Capitol Prison.  He recalled me mentioning that women soldiers were held there and thought I would be interested in seeing these images.   Indeed I would.  And you probably would, too.  First, let's start with a period photograph.

Old Capitol Prison, Library of Congress

Old Capitol Prison, virtually recreated

Monday, April 6, 2020

J.R.R. Tolkien's Warrior Woman: Éowyn - Part 3a - A Background of Cages - Family Dynamics

In my previous articles, I introduced Éowyn and discussed possible bases for her character in The Lord of the Rings.  In this post, I will continue my examination of J.R.R. Tolkien's warrior woman by exploring her background while illustrating similarities that several women soldiers of the Civil War shared.  This concept is important because life history often dictates decision making.  The first post in this series can be found [HERE].

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Video: Women Soldiers at Spanish Fort - Mobile Campaign - 155th Anniversary

Today, March 26th, marks the 155th anniversary of the opening action that would culminate in the Siege of Spanish Fort and Battle of Fort Blakeley.  Also in this initial clash that occurred south of Spanish Fort, the Federals captured a Confederate woman soldier.  She was not the only female fighter involved in the Mobile Campaign.  On the Federal side was Jennie Hodgers, "Pvt. Albert Cashier," of the 95th Illinois Infantry.

In this video, fellow author Paul Brueske and I talk about the Mobile Campaign and these women soldiers.

Read previous blog posts I wrote about this topic [HERE] and [HERE].

Until next