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Undaunted Heart: The True Love Story of a Southern Belle and a Yankee General
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Undaunted Heart: The True Love Story of a Southern Belle and a Yankee General

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Suzy Barile, a great-great-granddaughter of Ella Swain and Smith Atkins, tells their story, separating facts from the elaborate embellishments the famous courtship and marriage have taken on over the generations. Interwoven throughout Undaunted Heart are excerpts from Ella's never-before-published letters to her parents that reveal a loving marriage that transcended differ ...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published September 30th 2009 by Eno Publishers (first published July 14th 2009)
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Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
"Undaunted Heart" gave an interesting look at post-American-Civil-War conditions and how citizens of both the North and the South felt about the changes occurring around them. The book was an easy read and covered details of Ella and Smith's life before they met (including how Ella and Smith felt about the War and the issue of slavery), how they met, and their life after they married. Their life together contained many sorrows, but the marriage was a happy one. Letters, neighbor's journals, and ...more
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Since I'm currently reading a book with slave narratives, I found it difficult to really sympathize with any of the problems the people had (although the untimely deaths in the family were really unfortunate). I didn't think the author included enough information about the racism of the day, though it was mentioned several times. For example when one hears of a Secretary of State, they would assume them to be reputable but in one instance I knew the NC SoS she mentioned was also the head of the ...more
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because it's written by the great-great-granddaughter of Ella Swain and Smith Atkins. Ella was the daughter of the president of the University of North Carolina - and Smith Atkins was a Union general who came to Ella's father's house to inform him that the town was under Union occupation.

Against this unlikely backdrop began a passionate and controversial love story still vivid in town lore. When President Swain's daughter Ella met the Union general, life for these two young peop
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was an enjoyable and quick read. The author spoke at a lecture series at our golf club. I was intrigued by the fact that she is a great, great, great grandaughter of one of the characters. Living in Chapel Hill I particularly enjoyed references to our church, landmarks on Franklin Street, and the inside info on UNC's financial problems. The idea of a Union officer and a young southern daughter marrying was a rare experience.

I was annoyed by the fact that 1/3 of the book consisted of n
Joy Gerbode
Feb 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Wow ... why did my mother-in-law have to choose a book (for our local book club) that required kleenex? This was a wonderful love story that bridged a whole world of controversy between the north and the south at a time when that animosity was fresh. Yet their love survived repeated trials and heartaches, many separations for various reasons, and wow ... what a love story. What a life story. While I am not usually drawn to non-fiction written in this style, I couldn't help but love the story of ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fascinating part of North Carolina history. Reminds us of the unsung role David Swain played in the days after the Civil War - his diplomatic surrender likely saved our state's treasures from looting and burning, among other things.

I invited Suzy Barile (descendant of the Ella Swain, the book's title character) to speak at a DAR meeting. What a fascinating speaker - she brought all kinds of family memorabila, which made the story come to life.
Nov 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Sarah by: book club
Shelves: book-club
In all fairness, this was a book club selection and not something I would have read on my own. I found it pretty boring and tedious to read, but for someone who is more of a history buff--this might be a great read!
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Sometimes truth is stranger, and more romantic, than fiction. A wonderful love story about two people who would never have met without the Civil War. Yes, there is history here as well, but mainly their love story, beautifully told. I enjoyed the book thoroughly.
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. Very interesting account of Chapel Hill at the end of the Civil War. Didn't realize that Sherman was in Raleigh at the end of the war. Recommend highly.
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book.
In today's society it's hard to wrap your head around the scandal this marriage caused!
And the hardships of life at the time are heartbreaking.

Great read.
Christy Simpson
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you love history...especially NC history this is a quick and interesting book to read. Those of you who are Chapel Hill fans would love it!
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it
A historical nonfiction about an important family from North Carolina. As a reader my heart went out to the mothers for all their pain and suffering.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great history, especially for those of us who live in North Carolina.
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Aug 23, 2014
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May 11, 2010
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Dec 24, 2012
Beautiful true story. I could not put it down.
Robin Hammond
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Feb 06, 2017
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Ann James
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Michael Kaess
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Sarah Chao ❅
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Hannah Edwards
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Brittney Papadopoulos
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Jan 18, 2014
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