Write Quick: War and a Woman's Life and Letters, 1835-1867

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9780978973681: Write Quick: War and a Woman's Life and Letters, 1835-1867
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Amid the gathering clouds of war, far from the nation's centers of power, two American families felt the first ripples on the breeze. Andrew Bean, a teacher and farmer from small-town Bethel, Maine, answered the call to the Union infantry. His younger sister Eliza, having found both employment and a suitable marriage in the bustling mill city of Lowell, Massachusetts, soon saw her husband, Henry Foster, enlist as well. In more than 150 revealing letters dispatched from camp and field and home front, as well as Eliza Bean Foster's own diary, the honors and horrors of war play out on an intimate stage. Seldom does a surviving cache of documents illuminate the full span of the antebellum and war years in such close detail, from so many different angles. While Andrew wrote from the eastern battlefields of Bull Run and South Mountain, Henry posted lines from New Orleans, Fort Monroe, and Sabine Pass in the Western Theater. Eliza s replies describe children and family and sometimes desperate circumstances. ''I have a good mind to send this [money] right back,'' wrote Eliza to her brother near war's end. ''I shant use it until I hear from you. Write quick.'' Illustrated with more than 50 original documents and never-before-published photographs, the volume traces Eliza's life from New England mill girl, to young married woman and mother, to war widow and victim of consumption. Write Quick presents a valuable case history and a poignant story of one Northern woman through her own pen and the lens of her contemporaries.

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About the Author:

ANN FOX CHANDONNET, a New England native and longtime Alaska resident, is the author of numerous books, including Alaska s Inside Passage (Fodor s, 2009). Her food history Gold Rush Grub (University of Alaska Press, 2005) won an Outstanding Book award from the American Association of School Librarians. She currently resides in the Hickory, N.C., area. ROBERTA GIBSON PEVEAR, who spent thirty-five years in business administration and law before serving as a New Hampshire state representative, grew up in Eliza Bean Foster's hometown of Bethel, Maine, and attended Gould Academy. She lives in Exeter, N.H.

Review:

Delightfully prefaced, impressively narrated and edited . . . Document[ing] such topics as why soldiers fought, day-to-day privations, and even Henry's imaginary worries about Eliza's fidelity. Ann Fox Chandonnet and Roberta Gibson Pevear can indeed be proud of their achievement, clearly a labor of love as well as sound scholarship. --H. Draper Hunt, author of Dearest Father: The Civil War Letters of Lt. Frank Dickenson, a Son of Belfast, Maine

Write Quick is an insightful collection engaging the reader with the hardships and insecurities of two soldiers separated from family and home during the American Civil War. Contributing to the little known Western Theater, intimate correspondence laced with historical annotation makes for a heart-felt and informative read. This intriguing story appeals to the genealogist, historian and lover of romance alike. --Jim Head, Civil War interpreter, author of Clash at Picacho Peak

Ann Fox Chandonnet and Roberta Gibson Pevear . . . have painstakingly researched and compiled this inspiring book, providing especially moving and insightful portraits of women's lives and work from childrearing, cooking, cleaning, and health care. Whimsy and humor add to what might have become a dreary catalog of labor at home and at the battlefield, and Write Quick is a delightful and engaging read. . . . Generations of readers will thank [the editors] for collecting and sharing these artifacts of history. --Roxanne Newton, author of Women Workers on Strike: Narratives of Southern Women Unionists

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ISBN 10:  0978973690 ISBN 13:  9780978973698
Publisher: Winoca Press, 2010
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