Alicia Thomas-Woolf asked Erin Lindsay McCabe:
When I was reading your book, I kept wondering about the real women who fought. If you have anything more to add that you did not cover in your book, what would it be?
Erin Lindsay McCabe There are just so many interesting tidbits about the women who fought-- for instance, there is one known African American woman who fought. There were 6 women who served while pregnant and at least two who gave birth in the ranks. There were women who went alone-- without husbands or family members (including my original inspiration, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman). There were two women who continued living as men for most of the rest of their lives (Jennie Hodgers is one, the other is known only as Otto). There are definitely other stories to be told about the women who fought, but I'm not sure there's anything that I would want to add to (fictional) Rosetta's experience. I did really wish there were a way to address the issue of slavery through her perspective, but the real Rosetta never mentions slavery in any of her letters, mentioning only that black men had been drafted along with white men, and a brief mention of "contraband." That silence was something I wanted to stay true to-- I felt that it revealed a truth about many of the soldiers who fought that we tend to overlook now--that many of them were not fighting to end slavery. I don't know if that really answers your question-- the women who fought are just so fascinating and I feel like there is still so much we don't (and probably won't ever) know about them.
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