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Forthcoming titles

(Book titles are subject to change)

Artillery at War with Napoleon

Woman of the Revolution

Third Leonaur Book of Ghost and Horror Stories

John Hawkwood

Sikhs, Russians & Sepoys

Hew Ross of the Chestnut Troop

Sir Howard Douglas

Supernatural Theo Gift

Supernatural James Platt

Australians in Action: New Guinea

British Hussar on the Western Front

Campaign of a French Infantry Officer (WW1)

Experiences of a French Dragoon (WW1)

Billy the Kid

Battle of Jutland

Congreves Rockets

Hew Dalrymple

Marshal Ney's Military Studies

Harriet Tubman

A Flying Soldier

The Novik

The Orphan Brigade 

and many others

Ladies of the South

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Ladies of the South
Leonaur Original
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Author(s): Mary A. H. Gay & Myrta Lockett Avary
Date Published: 2013/07
Page Count: 456
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-78282-127-4
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-78282-126-7

Life in Dixie During the War 1861-1865
by Mary A. H. Gay

A Virginia Girl in the Civil War
by Myrta Lockett Avary

Two ladies in the struggle for Southern independence

This unique Leonaur edition brings together two personal accounts of the American Civil War as it was experienced by Confederate ladies. This was a war notable for the willingness of American women to become directly involved in the conflict—including, on some notable occasions, actually dressing in military uniforms and joining the men on the battlefield. Women spies on either side were not uncommon and the famous—or notorious, depending upon the loyalties of the arbiter—female Confederate spy Belle Boyd, who proved to be invaluable as a source of intelligence for General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, makes an appearance in these pages. It was characteristic of many women to rise above the expected position of ‘they also serve who stand and wait.’ In these accounts readers will learn how two women waged their own war. Here are accounts of hospitals for the wounded, a notable attempt at blockade running, capture by Union troops, daring rescue, open battle and romance—even the famous cavalry commander Jeb Stuart makes an appearance in these pages. This is an excellent two-in-one volume for all those interested in the activities of redoubtable Southern women in a time of conflict.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.

Distant roar of cannon and sharp report of musketry spoke in language unmistakable the approach of the enemy, and the rapidity of that approach was becoming fearfully alarming. Decatur offered many advantages as headquarters to an invading, devastating foe, “and three hundred thousand men” under the guidance of a merciless foe ought to have entered it long before they did—and would have done so if their bravery had been commensurate with their vandalism.<br>
“Yank! Yank!” exclaimed our deaf negro girl, Telitha, as she stroked her face as if stroking beard, and ran to get a blue garment to indicate the color of their apparel, and this was our first intimation of their appearance in Decatur. If all the evil spirits had been loosed from Hades, and Satan himself had been turned loose upon us, a more terrific, revolting scene could not have been enacted.<br>
Advance guards, composed of every species of criminals ever incarcerated in the prisons of the Northern States of America, swooped down upon us, and every species of deviltry followed in their footsteps. My poor mother, frightened and trembling, and myself, having locked the doors of the house, took our stand with the servants in the yard, and witnessed the grand entre of the menagerie. One of the beasts got down upon his all-fours and pawed up the dust and bellowed like an infuriated bull. And another asked me if I did not expect to see them with hoofs and horns. I told him, “No, I had expected to see some gentlemen among them, and was sorry I should be disappointed.”<br>
My entire exemption from fear on that occasion must have been our safeguard, as no personal violence was attempted. He who personated a bull must have been the king’s fool, and was acting in collusion with the house pillagers sent in advance of the main army to do their dirty work, and to reduce the people to destitution and dependence. While he thought he was entertaining us with his quadrupedal didos, a horde of thieves were rummaging the house, and everything of value they could get their hands upon they stole—locks and bolts having proved ineffectual barriers to this nefarious work. By this time the outside marauders had killed every chicken and other fowl upon the place, except one setting-hen. A fine cow, and two calves, and twelve hogs shared a similar fate.<br>
Several hours had passed since the coming of the first instalment of the G. A. R., and a few scattering officers were perambulating the streets, and an occasional cavalryman reconnoitring. Having surveyed the situation, and discovered that only women and children and a few faithful negroes occupied the town, the main army came in like an avalanche. Yea, if an avalanche and a simoon had blended their fury and expended it upon that defenceless locality, a greater change could scarcely have been wrought.<br>
The morning’s sun had shone upon a scene of luxuriant beauty, and heightened its midsummer loveliness, but the same sun, only a few hours later, witnessed a complete transformation, and blight and desolation reigned supreme. My mother and myself, afraid to go in the house, still maintained our outdoor position, and our two faithful servants clung very close to us, notwithstanding repeated efforts to induce them to leave. Our group had received addition. Emmeline, a negro girl whom we had hired out in Decatur, had been discharged, and had now come home. She was not so faithful as her kith and kin, and was soon on familiar terms with the bummers. Toby complained of being very tired, and when we all came to think about it, we discovered that we, too, were tired, and without being asked took seats upon the capacious lap of mother earth.<br>
As we were not overly particular about the position we assumed, we must have presented quite an aboriginal appearance. But what mattered it—we were only rebels. Notwithstanding the insignia of the conqueror was displayed on every hand, we felt to a certain degree more protected by the presence of commissioned officers, and ventured to go into the house. I will not attempt a description of the change that had taken place since we had locked the door, and, for better protection, had taken our stand in the yard.<br>
Garrard’s Cavalry selected our lot, consisting of several acres, for headquarters, and soon what appeared to us to be an immense army train of wagons commenced rolling into it. In less than two hours our barn was demolished and converted into tents, which were occupied by privates and non-commissioned officers, and to the balusters of our portico and other portions of the house were tied a number of large ropes, which, the other ends being secured to trees and shrubbery, answered as a railing to which at short intervals apart a number of smaller ropes were tied, and to these were attached horses and mules, which were eating corn and oats out of troughs improvised for the occasion out of bureau, washstand, and wardrobe drawers.<br>
Men in groups were playing cards on tables of every size and shape; and whisky and profanity held high carnival. Thus surrounded we could but be apprehensive of danger; and, to assure ourselves of as much safety as possible, we barricaded the doors and windows, and arranged to sit up all night, that is, my mother and myself.<br>
Toby complained of being very tired, and “hurting all over,” as he expressed it. We assisted him in making the very best pallet that could be made of the material at our command, and he lay down completely prostrated. Telitha was wide awake, and whenever she could secure a listener chattered like a magpie in unintelligible language, accompanied by unmistakable gestures—gestures which an accomplished elocutionist might adopt with effect—and the burden of her heart was for Emmeline. Emmeline having repudiated our protection, had sought shelter, the Lord only knows where. Alas, poor girl!<br>
As we sat on a lounge, every chair having been taken to the camps, we heard the sound of footsteps entering the piazza, and in a moment, loud rapping, which meant business. Going to the window nearest the door, I removed the fastenings, raised the sash, and opened the blinds. Perceiving by the light of a brilliant moon that at least a half-dozen men in uniforms were on the piazza, I asked:<br>
“Who is there?”