Book Launch The Grand Illusion: A Girl Soldier in the Civil War

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CivilWarTalk

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  • @caralyn is the author Caralyn Frooman Lipschutz and will be proud to launch her book:
    • The Grand Illusion:
      A Girl Soldier in the Civil War
    • Published March 1, 2019
    • Belatedly Launched on CWT on 8/28/2019
    • Buy it on Amazon

In 1861, 15 yr. old Alexandra is sent to Virginia to learn how to be a proper lady. The country is already in the grips of Civil War when a battle begins nearby. Eager to observe and not be detected, she borrows a young man's clothes. Hidden behind trees, Alexandra watches as the first Battle of Bull Run unfolds before her.

After the devastating clash, she is drawn onto the field when a Union officer mistakes her for an out-of-uniform soldier. Alexandra makes the decision to carry on the charade and joins the fight disguised as Alex, the Union soldier.

In the American Civil War, over four hundred women dressed as men to serve as soldiers and spies. The character of Alexandra is based on the real life experiences of Sarah Edmonds Seelye, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, and the other women who disguised themselves as men to serve as soldiers in the American Civil War.

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Equestriangirl93

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I wonder how many dudes found out...you can't keep stuff like that secret for long...
I've heard stories that sometimes the captain or soldier the were very close to would be the only ones who knew that they were indeed a woman. There was one soldier who gave birth while on picket duty....obviously at least one soldier knew she was a woman!
 
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NH Civil War Gal

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Unless a woman was very ugly and peed standing up, she couldn't have gotten away with being disguised as a man for very long. Especially with the comraderie and close quarter camp life.
But they did. There is more than one account, but one I'm particularly thinking of, where one woman had been with the regiment for a number of months and it wasn't until she got wounded and sent to the hospital where it was discovered.
 

Yankee Brooke

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I think this might be a good quick read(I imagine it's a children's book, and therefore not very long or detailed of a story), thank you for sharing!
 
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Tom Hughes

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But they did. There is more than one account, but one I'm particularly thinking of, where one woman had been with the regiment for a number of months and it wasn't until she got wounded and sent to the hospital where it was discovered.
We had a woman that served in an Union regiment here at Vicksburg and she served the entire war. Although she continued to dress and act like a man for many years afterward. It wasn't until she was in an traffic accident at the turn of the century before it was discovered that "he" was actually a woman.
 

Equestriangirl93

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We had a woman that served in an Union regiment here at Vicksburg and she served the entire war. Although she continued to dress and act like a man for many years afterward. It wasn't until she was in an traffic accident at the turn of the century before it was discovered that "he" was actually a woman.
I remember one woman, who went as A, something or other Albert? She made it into the 1900s before being discovered.
I believe you're both referring to Albert Cashier who continued to live as a man even after her discharge and was only "found out" after she got hit by a car.

 

Mrs. V

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Unless a woman was very ugly and peed standing up, she couldn't have gotten away with being disguised as a man for very long. Especially with the comraderie and close quarter camp life.
They got away with it because there were so many young men, who did not have beards...and the Victorian mores of the day..it would not have been odd to go off by oneself to pee or bathe...plus..no one was looking, as women just didn’t act that way!
 
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Tom Hughes

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They got away with it because there were so many young men, who did not have beards...and the Victorian mores of the day..it would not have been odd to go off by oneself to pee or bathe...plus..no one was looking, as women just didn’t act that way!
I just think it would've been strange to know that your close-quarter tent mate during the war was of the opposite sex.
 

Tom Hughes

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I believe you're both referring to Albert Cashier who continued to live as a man even after her discharge and was only "found out" after she got hit by a car.

That's her, Albert Cashier. I was trying to remember her name earlier.
 
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