By Seymour Reit
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Additional resources for Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy
PATRIOTISM AND LOVE OF kingdom! . . . RUTHLESS SOUTHERN TREACHERY! . . . guard OUR NOBLE UNION! . . . VINDICATE the respect OF OUR wonderful FLAG! She frowned on the fancy wording—all that fuss and bombast. nonetheless, she needed to admit that used to be how she relatively felt—she and millions of others. trouble the fondness speeches and flag-waving politicians—the truth was once that alarm bells have been ringing in all places. the rustic was once in danger and needed to be kept. in simple terms ten days earlier than, Abe Lincoln had requested for seventy-five thousand volunteers. Now they have been pouring in from outlets and factories, turbines and mines, workplaces, farms, and dockyards—rallying in each urban, city, and village. And so have been the neighborhood militias, with their fancy names and uniforms. Emma had learn within the papers approximately Ellsworth’s Avengers, Smallwood’s Marylanders, Sprague’s gentle Cavalry; she knew of the Black Rifles, the Winslow Blues, and the Hibernian vegetables. She’d obvious images of latest York’s fireplace Zouaves who wore saggy purple pantaloons. The Putnam Phalanx of Connecticut sported white plumes on their hats. Boston’s Highland Guards had uniforms of Scotch plaid. And one team, the Mozart Regiment, had marched off to conflict in dependent double-breasted frock coats. yet that was once altering; these kind of devices, so nobly costumed, have been now being welded right into a unmarried strength donning Federal blue. right here in Flint, the place Emma lived, males have been wanted for the Michigan Volunteer Infantry referred to as the Union Grays. Emma was once aching to be a nurse in a tent medical institution at the battlefield, yet that used to be harmful paintings: in basic terms male nurses got these jobs. the road carried Emma to the foot of the courthouse steps. She climbed them slowly, her center hammering. With each one step, her nervousness grew. definitely there have been issues she may well do as a lady to aid out. She may possibly knit socks, roll bandages, or stitch flags for the hot regiments. She may paintings in a brand new England cloth mill, making fabric for blankets and uniforms. Or fill cartridge sacks with gunpowder at a Federal arsenal. Or paintings in a refreshment canteen. Or write letters domestic for the ailing and wounded. lady nurses have been additionally wanted at hospitals in sizeable towns like Philadelphia, Boston, and manhattan. It was once all reliable paintings, very important work—useful paintings that might capture her at the sidelines, far-off from the realities of the struggle. yet safeguard wasn’t for Emma Edmonds. whatever was once riding her to do extra, to play an even bigger half. there has been one of those imp voice within her, pushing her to take dangers. It used to be an analogous voice that, years earlier than, had dared her to climb the top bushes at the farm, to journey the main risky horses, to swim the river raging wild after the spring floods. Emma couldn’t positioned this sense into phrases, yet she sensed that no less than a part of it used to be her father’s doing. He had constantly sought after a son and will by no means forgive her for being lady. She’d attempted challenging to thrill him and to win his approval, yet with no luck. Her father had acted as if the whole lot have been her fault, and his challenging demeanour by no means softened. After Emma’s mom died, his feedback and harsh tirades obtained worse, and whilst Emma was once 16, she ran for her lifestyles.