A Soldier’s Secret
Private Frank Thompson of the 2nd Michigan Volunteers is not your typical Civil War infantryman. He is also a battlefield nurse and writes dispatches for a weekly newsletter. Frank even serves as a spy, scouting Rebel lines dressed as a Confederate soldier or as an old woman. He provides information on troop movements and artillery placements, and reveals the identities of Confederate spies who have crossed Union lines on their own covert missions.
Frank is an expert on concealing his identity for a very good reason: Private Thompson is actually Sarah Edmonds. This bold young Canadian ran away from an abusive father and a forced marriage, crossed the border as a man, and worked as a bookseller before enlisting in the Army of the Potomac.
Sarah Edmonds’s story is true, and that makes Marissa Moss’s charming A Soldier’s Secret even more amazing. Many women are known to have served in the Civil War with their husbands, who helped conceal their true gender, but Sarah is the only one to have created a male identity before the war. Other women’s sex became known when they were wounded or pregnant – will Sarah’s secret be revealed?
Using Sarah’s own memoirs and her fellow soldiers’ diaries, Moss creates a delicious blend of history, biography, and fiction. One might think Sarah’s tales of survival and rescuing the wounded under fire to be too incredible, but they actually happened! Moss creates a romantic fillip at the end of Sarah’s heroic story, but it is one that would have delighted Sarah. You don’t need to be a Civil War buff to enjoy A Soldier’s Secret. It will enthrall all teens and adults who enjoy a courageous woman’s tale well told.