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Unvanquished: How Women of the South Survived the Civil War

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Amazon Best Seller. If you are a Civil War buff or enjoy reading eyewitness accounts, this book is for you! Entries from over 50 diaries of southern women, and slave women. As starvation stalked the land, they hid food and heirlooms in wells and swamps. They outwitted Yankee soldiers. They watched cities burn and fed hungry children. Loyal slaves and kind and cruel plantat Amazon Best Seller. If you are a Civil War buff or enjoy reading eyewitness accounts, this book is for you! Entries from over 50 diaries of southern women, and slave women. As starvation stalked the land, they hid food and heirlooms in wells and swamps. They outwitted Yankee soldiers. They watched cities burn and fed hungry children. Loyal slaves and kind and cruel plantation mistresses tell their stories. Frugal Civil War recipes: oatmeal pie, "idiot's delight cake", etc. Authentic photos. Bravery in the face of humiliation, terror, and grief.


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Amazon Best Seller. If you are a Civil War buff or enjoy reading eyewitness accounts, this book is for you! Entries from over 50 diaries of southern women, and slave women. As starvation stalked the land, they hid food and heirlooms in wells and swamps. They outwitted Yankee soldiers. They watched cities burn and fed hungry children. Loyal slaves and kind and cruel plantat Amazon Best Seller. If you are a Civil War buff or enjoy reading eyewitness accounts, this book is for you! Entries from over 50 diaries of southern women, and slave women. As starvation stalked the land, they hid food and heirlooms in wells and swamps. They outwitted Yankee soldiers. They watched cities burn and fed hungry children. Loyal slaves and kind and cruel plantation mistresses tell their stories. Frugal Civil War recipes: oatmeal pie, "idiot's delight cake", etc. Authentic photos. Bravery in the face of humiliation, terror, and grief.

30 review for Unvanquished: How Women of the South Survived the Civil War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Unvanquished: How the Women of the South Survived the Civil War by Pippa Pralen is a great book of eye witness history that is amazing! What these women did to survive, what they saw, and to hear their tales is heartbreaking and amazing at the same time. A great book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tony Parsons

    The life & times of wealthy white woman & poor black slave woman on how they endured the Civil War. Warning: This book is for adults only & contains extreme violent or graphic adult content or profanity &/or sexually explicit scenarios. It may be offensive to some readers. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one. A very awesome book c The life & times of wealthy white woman & poor black slave woman on how they endured the Civil War. Warning: This book is for adults only & contains extreme violent or graphic adult content or profanity &/or sexually explicit scenarios. It may be offensive to some readers. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one. A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written Civil War historical book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great Civil War movie, a PP presentation or better yet a mini TV series or even a documentary (A & E, History channel). I can only rate it at 4/5 stars, there are no references or works citied. Thank you for the free author; booksends; Amazon Digital Services LLC.; book Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate Robertson

    I'm sorry to say this was such a huge disappointment. I couldn't even finish the book. I found it lacking any depth and storyline. Is this suppose to be a textbook. It would work for Grades 5-8. The layout is certainly simplistic enough for that age group. I had expected to gain a sense of personality or character about the women, but the letters and short quotes did not provide that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ann Wilson

    From the not so long ago Interesting reading regarding a pivotal point in our nation. There are many books on battles and military strategies but this tells of daily life and survival. Enjoyed the pictures and recipes as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    I really enjoyed this book. It's written report style, not like a story book. I like that each bit was referenced do further study could continue! That author is a terrific writer!

  6. 4 out of 5

    MaryD

    I didn't finish reading this. I tried, but all the author did was to gather snippets from many different sources and not organize them in any particular way, nor did she attempt to make it a cohesive narrative.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Pralen handled a very difficult topic very well. I appreciated several entries, which could have been left out, but gave a needed balance to the issues at hand. I was not always sympathetic with some of the women's complaints in this book. The diary accounts included paint a pretty grim picture of Sherman's march to the sea. But I appreciate what Pralen said about this. "The full story, however, may not be this simple. Certainly, Sherman practiced destructive war, but he claimed he did not do it Pralen handled a very difficult topic very well. I appreciated several entries, which could have been left out, but gave a needed balance to the issues at hand. I was not always sympathetic with some of the women's complaints in this book. The diary accounts included paint a pretty grim picture of Sherman's march to the sea. But I appreciate what Pralen said about this. "The full story, however, may not be this simple. Certainly, Sherman practiced destructive war, but he claimed he did not do it out of personal cruelty. Instead, he sought to end the war as quickly as possible, with the least loss of life on both sides. He claimed he wanted to curtail the battlefield slaughter. During this march fewer than 3,000 causalities resulted, much less than the 51,000 killed, wounded and missing at Gettysburg in three days of fighting." Even in the diary accounts Pralen exposes the good with the bad. One account was so shocking as the writer records her thoughts on the election of Lincoln as president. "This morning I heard that Lincoln was elected. I had prayed that God would thwart his election..the idea of being mixed up with free blacks is horrid. I have never been opposed to giving up slavery if we could send the out of our country. If the North had let us alone - the Master and the servant were happy without advantages...I never am cross to my servants without cause." Another idea that many of these women held was this, "...Women of African descent were expected to work from sunup to sundown in cotton fields. White women, like herself, care for dahlias, make blackberry wine and decorate elaborate cakes for family celebrations. " Pralen has accounts as well of the intense suffering the slaves endured. "Slavery was the worst days was ever seed in the world. They was things past tellin', but I got the scars on my old body to show to this day. I seed worse than what happened to me." The horrid realities of slavery could not be hidden from these women any more because with their men gone they were forced to deal with the slaves first hand. "The aspects of southern life that had been hidden to women; the dark side, the violence intrinsic to slavery, were now unavoidable, and women were forced to painfully confront them." A statistic appeared that end of the book was arresting. "The confederacy lost around 260,000 men. 93,000 were killed in combat, disease killed the rest." Even when the war ended the women had to deal with their shattered husbands. They needed all of their strength to raise up the next generation, many times alone. What was beautiful to see were those slaves who considered their owners as their own family. Many continued to freely serve their owners even though a battle was being fought for their freedom. It says a lot about the character of many of these men and women who had long ago had settled the internal question of being owned. Maybe their Christ-likeness had fooled their owners into thinking they preferred being slaves.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    This book shows the difficulties that women underwent while their husbands, sons and friends went off to fight in the Civil War. They were left alone and, possibly, could have managed all right except for the fact that the war was coming to them. Sherman's March to the Sea serves as the major example of what happened, including the scorched earth policy which resulted in the destruction of homes, livestock and virtually everything else burnable. In addition to that you had the soldiers themselves This book shows the difficulties that women underwent while their husbands, sons and friends went off to fight in the Civil War. They were left alone and, possibly, could have managed all right except for the fact that the war was coming to them. Sherman's March to the Sea serves as the major example of what happened, including the scorched earth policy which resulted in the destruction of homes, livestock and virtually everything else burnable. In addition to that you had the soldiers themselves and others who would take everything from the homes including any valuables they could find and food. There was also the loss of slaves who ran away to follow the Union army. The book covers the Siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Northern blockade of Confederate ports, blockade runners, the Freedmen's Bureau and the effect of the war on children. One of the major things was the effect of disease on the soldiers. Even when the surviving soldiers returned many were suffering from what would be PTSD and other illnesses. The overall effect was extreme poverty. This also left almost a genetic hatred for the people of the North and what was done to the Confederacy (although they did start the war.) There were very strong women who managed somehow to carry on through one of the darkest times in Southern history.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ginger Stephens

    I decided to listen to this book since I thought it might be a good overview that would lead me to more research. Unfortunately, I found that I had read or heard most of this material and this seemed to fall short of minimum expectations. Part of my problem is that the narrator tried Southern accents and got them wrong to the point where I began to suspect that she never meet anyone from the South. I also wondered how she could consistently mispronounce the names Ballou and Beaulieu as bell-you. I decided to listen to this book since I thought it might be a good overview that would lead me to more research. Unfortunately, I found that I had read or heard most of this material and this seemed to fall short of minimum expectations. Part of my problem is that the narrator tried Southern accents and got them wrong to the point where I began to suspect that she never meet anyone from the South. I also wondered how she could consistently mispronounce the names Ballou and Beaulieu as bell-you. I also wonder why the book ended with the letter of Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah. It is a beautiful letter and it always makes me cry, but Sullivan Ballou was from Rhode Island and why that letter was chosen to end a book on Southern women is a confusing mystery. I did notice that the author did not mention that the Ballous were Notherners, so I assume that the letter was included to evoke a sense of loss. That hints that the research for the book was not extensive since there are Southern diaries and letters aplenty that could have provided that. In the end, this would be a good book for someone who knows little of the invasion and devastation that the Southern states endured during the War Between the States, but if you know more than the average person, you will be frustrated.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    First off I want to state that this is a book written from many different diaries giving the details from them. It shows the life and hard ship of the way things were for both the wealthy white woman, poor black slave woman and their children. It is based on actual events. It shows the difficulties they underwent – while their husbands, sons, fathers and friends were off fighting. It tells about the Siege of Vicksburg, Sherman’s March to the Sea, the Siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Gettysburg First off I want to state that this is a book written from many different diaries giving the details from them. It shows the life and hard ship of the way things were for both the wealthy white woman, poor black slave woman and their children. It is based on actual events. It shows the difficulties they underwent – while their husbands, sons, fathers and friends were off fighting. It tells about the Siege of Vicksburg, Sherman’s March to the Sea, the Siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Gettysburg, Blockade on Confederate ports and Blockade runners. How the Freedmen’s Bureau affect the war on children. It shows you that there were Cherokee’s who fought against the Union and that they also owned slaves. The worst was the effect that disease from the war had on the soldiers and on the Southern side the destruction of homes, livestock, scorching of the land, and the taking of the food from the women and children and their valuables. The only reason I gave this a 4 and not a 5 star is that a lot of people are not as much into this war as I am and would not relate to it as much and myself and my almost Sister. We are very much into the Civil War. Personal it is a very good book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Terena

    What Suffering The writer takes a delicate situation and brings it to the front and puts it in your face. I feel the writer didn't embellish and tried to put things in the book that mattered. There were tales of kindness among the Federals and of cruelty also. There are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation concerning this era. It seems that it just brought out the worst in some people, Northern and Southern. Good or bad- this took place. I was viewing a series on the Civil War, apart from t What Suffering The writer takes a delicate situation and brings it to the front and puts it in your face. I feel the writer didn't embellish and tried to put things in the book that mattered. There were tales of kindness among the Federals and of cruelty also. There are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation concerning this era. It seems that it just brought out the worst in some people, Northern and Southern. Good or bad- this took place. I was viewing a series on the Civil War, apart from this book. Imagine you wake up and someone is president that wasn't on the ballots of some states. And there's nothing you can do. What if it happened today? My third great grandfather fought for the South. He lost his life in the Battle of South Mountain, Maryland. I have a flag- not an antique or battle flag. Just a copy of General Lee's battle flag. I have it hidden because very few understand what it means. I'm proud of my Great Grandfather. That he gave his life because of what he felt were the rights of the States. It saddens me to think of the violence, anger, destruction of General Sherman's "bummers" and other Federals. For the atrocities perpetrated by North and South, may God have mercy on their souls.

  12. 4 out of 5

    K

    If it weren’t for the fact that this book was short and I refuse to give up on my first book of the year, I wouldn’t have finished this. It is very poorly written, the categories seem to be thrown together in no particular order. Some of the excerpts from the diaries were so short and pointless I wonder why they were included. The photos were somewhat interesting, but too many of them were not labeled and didn’t seem to fit in their placement in the book. There is one photo in particular of a la If it weren’t for the fact that this book was short and I refuse to give up on my first book of the year, I wouldn’t have finished this. It is very poorly written, the categories seem to be thrown together in no particular order. Some of the excerpts from the diaries were so short and pointless I wonder why they were included. The photos were somewhat interesting, but too many of them were not labeled and didn’t seem to fit in their placement in the book. There is one photo in particular of a lady with a caption saying she was a Confederate spy, yet there is no mention of her anywhere near the photo. What’s the point? I read the Kindle version and the editing was terrible. The book was loaded with typos and grammatical errors. I’m no history expert, but I’m pretty sure the 3-day battle at Gettysburg did not run from July 1, 1983 -July 3, 1863!

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Cook

    I received this as a free book. It is a compilation from the diaries of the southern white women and slave women during the Civil War. It is a vivid and chilling reminder that war is hell. Even the "good guys" can and do commit horrible acts of violence on civilians. Sherman's march was perhaps the crowning savagery of the war and made me wonder if it is what led to decades of division between the North and South. Even though Sherman appears have simply wanted to disable the South so no further I received this as a free book. It is a compilation from the diaries of the southern white women and slave women during the Civil War. It is a vivid and chilling reminder that war is hell. Even the "good guys" can and do commit horrible acts of violence on civilians. Sherman's march was perhaps the crowning savagery of the war and made me wonder if it is what led to decades of division between the North and South. Even though Sherman appears have simply wanted to disable the South so no further war could be waged his scorched earth policy and the barbarism of his troops was almost without equal. To learn that over 450 Union soldiers were prosecuted for sexual crimes most during Sherman's march says something about Sherman's leadership and motives.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beverly Laude

    This was an interesting short book told from the viewpoint of women who lived through the Civil War. The stories were taken from diaries, letters and journals written by women who witnessed the atrocities of the War. Each one was heartbreaking in its own way, telling tales of hunger, depravation and slavery. Although nothing can really give a reader the true feelings of something like this, I felt like the author did a good job depicting the emotions of the times. The narrator, Virginia Ferguson, This was an interesting short book told from the viewpoint of women who lived through the Civil War. The stories were taken from diaries, letters and journals written by women who witnessed the atrocities of the War. Each one was heartbreaking in its own way, telling tales of hunger, depravation and slavery. Although nothing can really give a reader the true feelings of something like this, I felt like the author did a good job depicting the emotions of the times. The narrator, Virginia Ferguson, does a pretty good job with her different voices for the women. Her performance kept me engaged and added a lot to the book. I was given the chance to listen to the audiobook version of this book by the author/narrator/publisher and chose to review it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen Hoffman

    Not enough information on Confederate women who worked in the hospitals, armaments, and the smuggling of Quinine and morphine for the soldiers. No information of Southern women having sewing circles to make flags and the ceremonies regarding the presenting of said flag to local units. The author wouldn't be familiar with certain aspects of Southern life as " Dcoration Day" and the women who formed the UFC fight after war. Something about the widows of Generals Lee, Jackson, Stuart, and later Hel Not enough information on Confederate women who worked in the hospitals, armaments, and the smuggling of Quinine and morphine for the soldiers. No information of Southern women having sewing circles to make flags and the ceremonies regarding the presenting of said flag to local units. The author wouldn't be familiar with certain aspects of Southern life as " Dcoration Day" and the women who formed the UFC fight after war. Something about the widows of Generals Lee, Jackson, Stuart, and later Helen Longstreet would have been important. Read above commentary concerning this book. A good try but left out many aspects of women's contribution to the war effort itslf.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kerrie

    I was lured into reading this book by the title. The title is somewhat misleading in that it also highlights the plight of others who survived the war: soldiers, slaves, children. This book is a combination of author comment, excerpts from diaries, newspaper articles, and interviews. The book seems well documented. It even has recipes, recipes of substitutions for unavailable foods and recipes for meals. My commentary: How sad that people suffered through this national trial. However, admiratio I was lured into reading this book by the title. The title is somewhat misleading in that it also highlights the plight of others who survived the war: soldiers, slaves, children. This book is a combination of author comment, excerpts from diaries, newspaper articles, and interviews. The book seems well documented. It even has recipes, recipes of substitutions for unavailable foods and recipes for meals. My commentary: How sad that people suffered through this national trial. However, admiration is extended to those who did survive and didn't give up. The human suffering was difficult to read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Szulborski

    Interesting information, poor format I love reading books, diaries and general personal information about our past here in the U.S. I thought this book would be a good choice. It is full of good information but it reads like one of my grandchildren books. I feel like it is too simply worded and lacks depth. There are plenty of old photos throughout the book and you are lead to believe that these are photos of the person being written about. No information is given about nor credit given to the ph Interesting information, poor format I love reading books, diaries and general personal information about our past here in the U.S. I thought this book would be a good choice. It is full of good information but it reads like one of my grandchildren books. I feel like it is too simply worded and lacks depth. There are plenty of old photos throughout the book and you are lead to believe that these are photos of the person being written about. No information is given about nor credit given to the photos. There are some Civil war era

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Gauss

    I would like to say I enjoyed this book but the reading of the hardships in the South during the civil war reminded me again that man's inhumanity to man was apparent once more. Every war seems to affect women who suddenly have all the responsibility of a family, household, business, etc. This was particularly hard on the women of the plantation society of the old south. The letters and diaries tell us of their hardships and struggle just to survive. I would recommend this book to those who do n I would like to say I enjoyed this book but the reading of the hardships in the South during the civil war reminded me again that man's inhumanity to man was apparent once more. Every war seems to affect women who suddenly have all the responsibility of a family, household, business, etc. This was particularly hard on the women of the plantation society of the old south. The letters and diaries tell us of their hardships and struggle just to survive. I would recommend this book to those who do not know the history of that terrible war.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cinnamon

    I enjoyed this book. It was a short, easy read. I read i in a couple of hours. I learned some about culture and attitudes during the Civil War, which was such a sad time in our history. There were several typos that bugged me. They distracted from the overall quality of the book, which I thought was good. I don’t understand the reviews from people who are unhappy that there is no “storyline.” This is a collection of diary entries. I don’t think a storyline was necessary. Just my opinion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ramona Wetzel

    A True Eyewitness Accounting I learned more of mine and my countries history from the very personal accounts of the women in this book. Didn't realize my mother's people (Cherokee) not only fought against the Union but also owned slaves. They were from the Carolina's and Tennessee. Even found a recipe in the back my grandmother used to make. Wow. Read somewhere those who forget their past are condemned to repeat it. Hope we remember how sacred peace is.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Suzie

    Written by the women who lived through the Civil War An eye opening account of the atrocities of war and the resilience of the people who did what it took to survive. Recipes from this book remain an integral part of the Southern woman’s kitchen. Try a cracker pie recipe. America had to be torn apart in order to stay together. Today, our states manage to be autonomous, and united.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paula Dyches

    This was a fantastic telling of what the lives of the women looked like during the Civil War. The narration was incredible and really brought the stories to life. This is a compilation of journal entries and letters from the women of that era. Absolutely a must-read/listen for those history buffs out there. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Hard truths... An enlightening look at harsh times when our country was divided. These Southern women had the ability and drive to provide for & protect their children. An enjoyable read. The dialogue was not stilted & the pictures were really great. I enjoyed the recipes..some look good enough to try now! Would highly recommend..😊 Hard truths... An enlightening look at harsh times when our country was divided. These Southern women had the ability and drive to provide for & protect their children. An enjoyable read. The dialogue was not stilted & the pictures were really great. I enjoyed the recipes..some look good enough to try now! Would highly recommend..😊

  24. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Grant

    Sad but True I was raised in the South till my senior year of High School when we moved to the extreme North, Alaska. So this subject has always been one I have followed. This book goes a step further and deeper than most by using actual diaries and letters and interview of women who were there!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Hurrelbrink

    Stories from surviving Confederate Women Interesting facts from the Confederate women left to fend for themselves after Sherman's March to the sea. A different perspective of Southern living. The strength of the women left behind to rebuild the South was an interesting story. Many diary selections tell of what was left after the destruction by Northern troops.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sue Klein

    I started reading this book realizing it would be snippets from diaries. The author did not try to build a story "based on actual events" but used the details in the diaries themselves to give us "small details" of life for real people, not made up stories. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in one setting.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Interesting little book that reads a bit like a research paper. Excerpts from diaries and other first-person accounts have been organized loosely into categories that offer some personal insight into the acivil War for those living in the South. While not comprehensive, it is certainly enlightening.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bernard Holler

    Accounts of what actually happened The diaries of the southern women and slave women from the time of the Civil War give a much different view of accounts than the usual "glossed" over happenings. Good to hear the real thing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen Harris

    This book was too short! I really enjoyed reading actual writes from the ladies that lived through this horrible time in history. I was also open to a new insight of General Sherman. Read the book and you might be surprised as well!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marie Norton

    Unvanquished was a quick easy read. It was excerpts from various diaries, unedited from the original spelling and colloquial language. The stories showed various sides of how the women and slaves reacted to the war, and their freedom. I found it very interesting.

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