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The Resource An uncommon soldier : the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, edited by Lauren Cook Burgess ; with a foreword by James M. McPherson

An uncommon soldier : the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, edited by Lauren Cook Burgess ; with a foreword by James M. McPherson

Label
An uncommon soldier : the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers
Title
An uncommon soldier
Title remainder
the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers
Statement of responsibility
edited by Lauren Cook Burgess ; with a foreword by James M. McPherson
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"I don't know how long before i shall have to go into the field of battle. For my part i don't care. I don't feel afraid to go. I don't believe there are any Rebel's bullet made for me yet."--Pvt. Lyons Wakeman. Similar sentiments were expressed by tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers in their diaries and in their letters to loved ones at home. What transforms the letters of Pvt. Lyons Wakeman from merely interesting reading into a unique and fascinating addition to Civil War literature is who wrote them--for Private Wakeman was not what "he" seemed to be. The five-foot tall soldier's true identity was that of a simple young farm girl from central New York state named Sarah Rosetta Wakeman. Her letters, the only such correspondence known to exist, provide a rare glimpse of what life was like for a woman fighting as a common soldier in the Civil War under the guise of a man. Written shortly after she left home to pursue her fortune in 1862, Rosetta's letters over the next two years tell of army life in the defences of Washington, D.C. and on the march and in battle during the 1864 Louisiana Red River Campaign. She wrote frequently to her family in Afton, NY, and her letters contain feelings and observations like those expressed by the majority of her fellow soldiers. We read of her determination to perform honorably the duty required of a soldier, the trials of hard marching and combat, her pride in being able to "drill just as well as any man" in her regiment, and her eventual fatalistic attitude toward military service, and her frequent expressions of faith in God and the afterlife. Although Rosetta did not survive the war, her letters remain as an singular record of female military life in the ranks, a phenomenon largely ignored by historians and researchers. Private Wakeman was not alone in embarking on her strange adventure. Hundreds of women, from both the North and South, disguised themselves as men and enlisted in the armies of our nation's bloodiest war. The experiences of these women during the Civil War are just beginning to be recognized as elemental to understanding the life of this country during those turbulent times. Little is known about these women precisely because they enlisted and served in constant secrecy, fearful of revealing their true identities. This unique collection of letters offers a firsthand look at the personality and character of a woman who defied convention to take a man's place in the Union army
Biography type
autobiography
Cataloging source
DN-HC
Dewey number
973.781
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
  • portraits
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Label
An uncommon soldier : the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, edited by Lauren Cook Burgess ; with a foreword by James M. McPherson
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-108) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
xvii, 110 pages
Isbn
9780963489517
Lccn
94076283
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations, map, portraits
System control number
(OCoLC)30933373
Label
An uncommon soldier : the Civil War letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, edited by Lauren Cook Burgess ; with a foreword by James M. McPherson
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-108) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
xvii, 110 pages
Isbn
9780963489517
Lccn
94076283
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations, map, portraits
System control number
(OCoLC)30933373

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