Women’s Voices from the Civil War in ‘Such Anxious Hours’

Letters from Civil War soldiers to their families often provide poignant narratives of the war, but what about the messages from the women who maintained homes and farmsteads alone while providing emotional support to their loved ones at the front?

Such Anxious Hours: Wisconsin Women’s Voices by Jo Ann Daly Carr features letters and diaries of eight women. Among them, 21-year-old Emily Quiner sought a way to join the war effort that would feed her heart and mind. Annie Cox wrote to her pro-slavery fiancé to staunchly defend her abolitionist principles. Sisters Susan Brown and Ann Waldo faced the devastation that each battle brought to families.

In Such Anxious Hours, Carr places this material in historical context, detailing what was happening in the nation, state and local communities. History enthusiasts will appreciate these enlightening perspectives that demonstrate the variety of Midwest experiences during the bloody conflict.The book will come out in December. Carr is a librarian and director emerita of media, education resources and information technology at UW-Madison’s School of Education.