Gunpowder Girls: The True Stories of Three Civil War Tragedies
Never before told account of CW arsenal explosions and the girls and young women who were the victims. "We can now add their names to the human toll of America's greatest conflict," declares Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, who calls Gunpowder Girls "outstanding" and "thoroughly researched and beautifully written." More
"With thousands of men off fighting in the Civil War, the government hired women and girls—some as young as ten—to make millions of rounds of ammunition. Poor immigrant girls and widows paid the price for carelessness at three major arsenals. Many of these workers were killed, blown up and burned beyond recognition.
As Steve Sheinkin did with The Port Chicago 50, Tanya Anderson in Gunpowder Girls tells an amazing war story that finally gives its subjects their due. Hidden history comes alive through primary-source research and page-turning narrative.
Gunpowder Girls is a story of child labor and immigrant hopes and the cruel, endless demands of an all-consuming war.
"Outstanding," raves Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. "Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this tragic story of 140 girls and young women killed by gunpowder explosions in three arsenals where they produced ammunition for Civil War armies reveals details previously unfamiliar even to Civil War historians. We can now add their names to the human toll of America's greatest conflict."
“Clear, engaging prose," writes Kirkus Reviews in its September 2016 issue. "Extensive backmatter adds gravitas. The employment plight of so many women of the era — few jobs and low pay — is amply illustrated. This grim, enlightening tale is most likely to appeal to those who seek out disaster stories or have an interest in American history. ”
“Wow! This story is unprecedented. The accounts of the explosions themselves are as harrowing as narrative gets.” —Elizabeth Norton, Commerce Township (Mich.) Community Library
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