With all the media on the 150th anniversary date of the start of the Civil War today, it made me pull my book Stitch of Courage off the shelf. I did a lot of research on the effects the Civil War had on the new state of Kansas, and was surprised by how the residents knew about the start of the war, considering how far away they were from South Carolina.
Here’s an exerpt of my Introduction in Stitch of Courage.
“While researching for this last book in the Trail of Thread series, my main queston was, How did the women survive the battles and hardships caused by the war?
We think the Civil War took place in the South, but the plains states endured their share of battles and tragedy. The Kansas and Missouri feud over slavery flared up during the war because of the raiding carried out by both factions.
Even though Missouri stayed with the Union, it also kept its slaves. This caused Kansas Jayhawkers, under the protection of the Union uniform, to raid bordering Missouri counties to free the slaves, often returning with the looted belongings of the slaveholders. These men wanted a reason to retaliate against Missiouri for its raids on Kansas when it was trying to become a free state (between 1855 and 1861) and the Civil War as the perfect excuse.
Think of the horrors these women witnessed. They were truly caught in the middle. They didn’t know where their men were fighting, or even if they were alive. They had to feed their families, and keep their farms and businesses going while their providers and protectors were away. In many cases their husbands were murdered, their belongings plundered, and their houses burned, right before their eyes.”
Can you imagine if this happened in America today? Of course the news would be instant with our forms of media, but the anxiety would be the same!