Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg

Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg

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by Tanya Anderson
     
 

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Imagine being fifteen years old, facing the bloodiest battle ever to take place on U.S. soil: the Battle of Gettysburg. In July 1863, this is exactly what happened to Tillie Pierce, a normal teenager who became an unlikely heroine of the Civil War (1861-1865). Tillie and other women and girls like her found themselves trapped during this critical three-day

Overview

Imagine being fifteen years old, facing the bloodiest battle ever to take place on U.S. soil: the Battle of Gettysburg. In July 1863, this is exactly what happened to Tillie Pierce, a normal teenager who became an unlikely heroine of the Civil War (1861-1865). Tillie and other women and girls like her found themselves trapped during this critical three-day battle in southern Pennsylvania. Without training, but with enormous courage and compassion, Tillie and other Gettysburg citizens helped save the lives of countless wounded Union and Confederate soldiers.

In gripping prose, Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle Gettysburg takes readers behind the scenes. And through Tillie’s own words, the story of one of the Civil War’s most famous battles comes alive.

This acclaimed library title is offered as an affordable softcover for the first time.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Tillie Pierce was fifteen years old when Confederate soldiers arrived in her hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Shortly after the arrival of the Confederate troops under the command of General Robert E. Lee, Tillie was engulfed by the storm of battle. For the first three days of July in 1863 the Union and Confederate armies struggled to gain victory in what was to be the penultimate battle of the American Civil War. After the dust settled, over 51,000 American soldiers were dead, wounded, captured, or missing and the Union had won a great victory. For Tillie Pierce, those three days were filled with fear, violence, and terror. A young witness to the suffering that war brings with it, Tillie Pierce later wrote a personal remembrance of her experiences during the battle that is often called the turning point of the Civil War. In this illustrated book by Tanya Anderson readers are offered both a summary of Tillie's writing and the contextual background that underscores the civilian experiences that were part of the Battle of Gettysburg. In telling this story Anderson shows Tillie Pierce as she observes the suffering of the wounded, sees death, and is nearly killed. This brave teenager comes down through the years and once again tells her story for a new generation of readers. By framing Tillie Pierce's experiences at Gettysburg in the way she capably does in this excellent book, Anderson offers her audience insights into the face of war and its impact on those who see it. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
VOYA - Sarah Cofer
Matilda Pierce, aka Tillie, was fifteen years old when the confederates invaded her beloved town of Gettysburg. Soon after the fighting begins, Tillie flees to the countryside with her neighbor in hopes of being safely out of harm's way. Instead of being safer in the country, the trek to the Weikert farmhouse is dangerously rugged and the farm is surrounded by battlefields. As the battle rages, the farmhouse becomes a makeshift hospital and Tillie is put to work caring for wounded soldiers. Tillie eventually publishes her firsthand account of the battle's bloodshed, injury, and death in 1889. Covering the span of six days, Anderson's account is intended to provide a snapshot of what life was like for a teenager during the battle of Gettysburg and is not an in-depth review. Anderson succeeds in giving a teen voice to the civil war through Tillie's story. In order to help readers understand Tillie's historical setting, Anderson includes key cultural and historical information such as the Emancipation Proclamation, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Gettysburg Address. Photos and quotes from Tillie's memoir accompany almost every page, providing readers with a real firsthand view. Instructions on how to follow Tillie's path using Google Earth is included. While the book is well written and superbly researched, the main flaw is that it does not read like narrative nonfiction. It would have a much bigger draw if it were more literary and less report-like in its delivery. However, it is an exceptionally thin and an incredibly fast read which should lend to its appeal. It will most likely be picked up by teens needing it for school or for those with a special interest in Gettysburg and the civil war. Reviewer: Sarah Cofer
Kirkus Reviews
An insightful perspective on one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl. Tillie Pierce was a normal teenager for her time, but she became an unlikely heroine when the Civil War literally came to her backyard in Gettysburg. Tillie and other women and girls like her found themselves trapped during this critical three-day battle in southern Pennsylvania in July 1863. Compensating for a lack of training with extraordinary courage and compassion, Tillie and other Gettysburg citizens helped save the lives of countless wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. Anderson wisely relies heavily on Tillie's own words in the narrative. Her eyewitness observations are vivid and compelling: "The approaches were crowded with the wounded, dying and dead. The air was filled with moanings, and groanings. As we passed on toward the house, we were compelled to pick our steps in order that we might not tread on the prostrate bodies." Archival images, including photographs and prints, add critical visuals, while occasional sidebars flesh out some details. Particularly helpful are the maps that occasionally orient readers. Tillie's words bring the sights, sounds and smells of a civilian and teenager experiencing war straight to today's readers in a way a retrospective account cannot. (source notes, suggestions for further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781467706926
Publisher:
Twenty First Century Books
Publication date:
08/28/2012
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
827,657
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Tanya Anderson is an award-winning editor of more than 30 books for young readers. She was an American history teacher for more than 10 years before she she followed her dream of joining the children's book publishing world. She continues in her role as a teacher and guide through the books she edits and writes

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Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Andrea_C More than 1 year ago
What I loved about this book... I love the real photographs. The Civil War was the first major event that was photographed, thanks in part to Matthew Brady. It was the first time that we saw a true picture of the devastation of war. The Civil War has always felt the most real to me because of that. These pictures are amazing. I love that Tillie's real words are used throughout the book. Tanya explains the history and then uses Tillie's comments to further illustrate what she is saying. Real eyewitness accounts are significantly more powerful than someone else's interpretations. The fact that these are the observations of a teenager should speak to younger readers, as Tillie is more of one of their peers telling the story. I have visited Gettysburg and have tried to imagine what it was like. Reading her descriptions and feelings, in conjunction with the pictures, brings it more to life as a real event. I do wish that more of Tillie's words would have been in the book. I think I need to actually find her book and read it to fulfill that desire, though. When I originally read the description, I thought it was going to mostly be Tillie, with a little commentary thrown in. Instead, it was the other way around. Another aspect of this book that I appreciated was the section at the end that gives follow-up activities and further reading and research that kids can do. With the amount of reading in this 100-page book and the language used, I would recommend it for middle grades and above. Adults looking for a quick read about the Civil War may also enjoy it. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.