Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review: Behind Rebel Lines, The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit

Recently I shopped at Barnes and Nobles. Browsing through the children's area I came across several great historical books. Behind Rebel Lines is the first book I've read and am reviewing from this shopping trip. Soon I'll be reviewing other history books on westward expansion, traveling in a covered wagon, Colonial America, and the Titanic.
It has been nearly 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic. I noticed at Barnes and Nobles they have several choices in books for young readers. I may make a trip back to browse more from this subject.

Sarah Emma Edmonds had left Canada at a young age and relocated to Michigan where she worked as a farm hand. She was physically hardy, independent, brave, bold. When the Civil War began she enlisted in the Union Army as a man, her new identity was Franklin Thompson. Thankfully she was able to work as a nurse, which meant she was able to have more privacy in her living quarters, "instead of a crowded company tent.".
Later she interviewed for and got a job as a spy. Several times she crossed Rebel enemy lines disguised as a black slave man or woman. She also disguised herself as an Irish peddler woman. She made 11 spying missions for the Union. She was apparently a talented actor and master disguiser.

I loved reading this book! It is a story I'd not heard before. I learned that there were over 400 women during the Civil War that disguised themselves as men in order to fight in the war.
Emma Edmonds was a gutsy woman. She certainly had no qualms about rebelling against society and culture standards for her day. She made a decisive and brave choice to fight for her country.
Her personality was such that she was not an impulsive dreamy person. She was instead intelligent, perceptive, wise.

For more information about Sarah Emma Edmonds:

Published by Harcourt August 1, 2001
Young Adult Non-Fiction/Civil War/Spy/Biography
144 pages

This book to me would be for ages 9 and up. 

I bought my copy at the Barnes and Nobles store:
Paperback $6.25

Link @ Barnes and Nobles for more Great Episode Books:
Link @ Amazon:
Paperback $6.95

Blissful Reading!

1 comment:

Anna said...

I read a little about Edmonds in Petticoat Spies, so this book sounds good to me!