Library JournalThis biography of Mary Greenhow Lee (1819-1907) is based on three journals Lee wrote, including her well-known Civil War journal. Lee was born to an aristocratic family living in Winchester, VA, and could have led the typical privileged life of a Southern lady. But the war years tested her, and she proved to be a strong-willed and intelligent woman who stepped outside proscribed social and gender roles to support the Confederate cause. She nursed Confederate soldiers, supplied them with contraband, fed them strategic information, and ran an underground postal service until a Union general banished her from Winchester. This biography also addresses wider questions about class systems, women's power, Southern nationalism, and Confederate identity. Phipps (history, Appalachian State Univ.) provides a painstakingly researched bibliography of primary and secondary sources and includes illustrations taken from archival photographs. The result is a worthy addition to collections emphasizing Civil War history, Virginia history, or women's history, but the subject is too specialized to be of interest to a general public or academic library.-Cathy Carpenter, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Meet the Author
Sheila R. Phipps is an assistant professor of history at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
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