Cordelia Harvey: Civil War Angel tells the story of an iconic figure from Wisconsin’s Civil War history. As the wife of a promising young governor, Cordelia Harvey seemed destined for great things. Then tragedy struck: her husband, Louis Harvey, drowned, and Cordelia found herself widowed and alone. Like Louis had, Cordelia cared deeply about the Wisconsin soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and she jumped at a job offer from the new governor: working as the sanitary agent for Wisconsin. In this position, Cordelia could fight for the well-being of the state’s men and boys wounded in battle.
Young readers will follow Cordelia on her travels up and down the Mississippi to visit Wisconsin soldiers in military hospitals. In her efforts to make sure soldiers were well cared for, Cordelia wrote to the governor about their need for wholesome food, clean supplies, and fresh air. Eventually, she would travel to Washington to plead with President Lincoln for a Soldier’s Home hospital in Wisconsin. When Cordelia returned home after the war, she continued her humanitarian work by starting an orphanage for the children of fallen Civil War soldiers.
Cordelia Harvey: Civil War Angel includes sidebars on medical care, early nursing, and military prisons. A timeline, glossary of terms, and suggestions for activities and discussion round out this spirited narrative.
Joshua Chamberlain has fascinated historians and readers ever since his service in the Civil War caused his commanding officers to sit up and take notice when the young professor was on the field. What makes a man a gifted soldier and natural leader? In this compelling book, Diane Monroe Smith argues that finding the answer requires a consideration of Chamberlain’s entire life, not just his few years on the battlefield. Truly understanding Chamberlain is impossible, Smith maintains, without exploring the life of Joshua’s soul mate and wife of almost fifty years, Fanny. In this dual biography, Fanny emerges as a bright, talented woman who kept Professor, General, and then Governor Chamberlain on his toes. But you don’t have to take Smith’s word for it. Liberally quoting from years of correspondence, the author invites you to judge for yourself.
The Russian Empire had a problem. While they had established successful colonies in their territory of Alaska, life in the settlements was anything but civilized. The settlers of the Russian-America Company were drunk, disorderly, and corrupt. Worst of all, they were terrible role models for the Natives, whom the empire saw as in desperate need of moral enlightenment. The empire’s solution? Send in women. In 1829, the Company decreed that any governor appointed after that date had to have a wife, in the hopes that these more pious women would serve as glowing examples of domesticity and bring charm to a brutish territory.
Elisabeth von Wrangell, Margaretha Etholén, and Anna Furuhjelm were three of eight governors' wives who took up this domestic mantle. Married to the Empire tells their stories using their own words and though extraordinary research by Susanna Rabow-Edling. All three were young and newly wed when they left Russia for the furthest outpost of the empire, and all three went through personal and cultural struggles as they worked to adjust to life in the colony. Their trials offer a little-heard female history of Russian Alaska, while illuminating the issues that arose while trying to reconcile expectations of womanhood with the realities of frontier life.