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Ladies of Blue & Grey

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Ladies of Blue & Grey
Leonaur Original
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Author(s): Madeline Moore-Albert & Justin Jones
Date Published: 2012/04
Page Count: 312
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-875-0
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-874-3

Two novels of true blue American heroines

The idea of the ‘female warrior’ in fiction once had great commercial appeal and these two novels of the American Civil War—which have been brought together for added value in this Leonaur edition—are fine examples of the genre. The intrepid young ladies of these stories are, in fact, fervent supporters of the cause of the Union. Their tales of courage and daring—including the concealing of the ‘fair sex’ in uniform, so that they can pass as fighting soldiers—tell of bold exploits and great deeds of audacious espionage behind enemy lines in the guise of loyal Confederates. In reality there have been few wars where formidable and determined women have failed to join the campaign and battle line. The American Civil War was no exception and there are notable examples of real life reflecting these exciting fictional exploits on both sides of the conflict.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.

The consternation excited in the city of Vicksburg by the vigorous and terrific bombardment of the federals, was not confined alone to the populace, but extended even to the soldiery, who seemed to be as much panic-stricken as those who did not bear arms. However, to their credit be it said, there were bold spirits enough to man all the guns that could be made available in returning the fire of the dread Yankees. Whether or not this fire of the besieged had any effect in lessening the terrific storm of the besiegers, it certainly was effective in imparting courage to thousands of all classes and conditions within the walls of the doomed city.<br>
The confusion that reigned supreme in the streets, and in the caverns and arches underground, and the general lax of discipline, during this warring of artillery, enabled me not only to examine a portion of the inner works of the citadel, but enabled me to gain almost precise information as to the real strength of the main outer defences, which once overcome, would very soon eventuate in the surrender of the city.<br>
For two hours I traversed the line of inner and outer defences, carefully noting the strength of the batteries, estimating the number of artillerists engaged, and even computing the amount of ammunition visible, and in several instances, looking into magazines, which were opened many times during the bombardment. All of this was accomplished without being suspected or even questioned; for I wore the staff uniform, which I found to be a passport to any point. The greatest danger which I incurred was from the bursting of shells, sometimes in such proximity that I trembled even after the danger had passed; and more than once did I avoid the blazing meteors by throwing myself flat upon the ground, or by dodging into some friendly arch, or behind some wall close at hand.<br>
Towards eleven o’clock the fire of the besiegers began to slacken, and when the clock struck the eleventh hour, the thundering of heavy ordnance, and the flying of shot and shell through the air entirely ceased.<br>
But there was yet no peace within the walls of the fated city. Fires were raging in several quarters, and lurid flames darted up into the smoky atmosphere, making the entire canopy of heaven appear as the dome of Hades.<br>
Soldiers and civilians waged war against the fiery element with more zeal, courage and effect than they had fought the enemy. But, throughout that dread night, at least, it seemed as if Vicksburg had become the abode of Satan and the spirits of the damned, for crimes and outrages were committed of such a diabolical nature as might have made even angels weep. Thieves, vagabonds, courtesans, and drunken soldiers held high carnival during the conflagration, the lax of discipline and consequent reign of terror.<br>
But for all this, the terrible, evil day of the doomed city had not yet come. A series of military operations were in progress to bring about the fatal period when the ‘Gibraltar of the Mississippi’ must inevitably change masters.<br>
In returning to my quarters that eventful night, between the hours of eleven and twelve o’clock, I was compelled to pass through a street where a conflagration was raging, and which was choked up by fire-engines, hose-carriages, firemen, soldiers and civilians. I elbowed my way slowly through the thronged thoroughfare, and was about congratulating myself that no serious impediment existed between that place and my lodgings, when I was startled by a rude hand which was laid heavily on my shoulder.<br>
Instinctively I grasped one of my revolvers, and turned to look the familiar intruder in the face. I was compelled to look upward, when I beheld the tall, gaunt form and the unmistakable features of Obadiah Tomlinson, the father of Potiphar, standing before me!<br>
My resolution not to be startled at anything certainly failed me this time, for I had not the courage to raise my revolver and send a leaden messenger to the old hypocrite’s heart. In fact, I dared not make any demonstration to rid myself of him, lest I should attract the attention of others nearby, to whom the Quaker might denounce me, if, indeed, he had discovered the person who had caused such a change in his worldly affairs at Jackson.<br>
‘Why am I thus rudely assaulted?’ I at length asked, in as brusque a manner as I dared assume.<br>
‘I beg thee wilt forgive me if I seemeth rude,’ replied Broadbrim; ‘for verily that is not the way with us men of peace. I would speak with thee apart from this multitude of men of war and fire. Yea, I conjure thee to follow me.’<br>
‘Whither?’ I demanded.<br>
‘Thither!’ and he pointed to the entrance of a dark alleyway nearby, which appeared to be unfrequented.<br>
I assented, and without hesitation followed his footsteps, and we were soon hidden from the gaze of any one in the street.<br>
‘I will lend thee no farther,’ said the quaker, turning round and facing me. ‘Dost thou not know me?’<br>
‘By your dress and speech you seem to be of the persuasion called Friends,’ was my reply.<br>
‘I can be thy friend or thine enemy, as thou pleaseth,’ said he.<br>
‘I know not how your friendship can be of service to me; and as for your enmity I fear it not, for experience has taught me that it is unsafe in these perilous times to go unarmed.’<br>
All these words the click of a revolver in my hand gave a significant meaning to.<br>
Almost at the same moment he displayed a similar weapon, and a sharp ‘click’ assured me that the Quaker was at least equally well armed.<br>
‘Verily!’ he exclaimed with a hissing voice and with great earnestness; ‘verily, thou seest before thee a desperate man. I know thee well despite the disguise which thou assumest. Through thy machinations I am reduced from affluence to poverty. If I choosest to do so I can denounce thee as a spy of the damned Yankees, and thou wilt be hung. But I will not if thou wilt be guided by my directions.’<br>
‘Who do you take me for?’ said I, boldly.<br>
‘For an impostor—a she-devil in the garb of a man of war. I have followed thee from Jackson, and have been on thy track for many days. Escape is now impossible, unless thou givest heed to that which I shall request.’
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