Praise for The Civilian War
"Sherman's March is certainly the most infamous, significant, and discussed march of the Civil War, but until Lisa Tendrich Frank's The Civilian War, no one has considered how and why it was also a battle, a battle that was fought, won, and lost when military men faced off against civilian women. Everyone interested in the conduct, outcome and long-range consequences of the Civil War will want to read this deeply researched and engagingly written work." LeeAnn Whites, author of Gender Matters: Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Making of the New South and Director of Research at The Filson Historical Society
"The Civilian War illuminates the degree to which William Tecumseh Sherman understood that elite women formed a powerful component of the Confederate war effort. With deft analysis and telling descriptive passages, Lisa Tendrich Frank takes readers beyond a 'hard war' against conventional military resources to one where gender and psychology mattered a great deal--and along the way helps readers understand why Confederate women powerfully shaped postwar attitudes and memories." Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Union War and John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War
"Sherman's March holds a large place in the memory of the American Civil War, but those popular recollections commonly focus on military strategy and physical destruction. In The Civilian War, Lisa Tendrich Frank puts Confederate women at center stage. This deeply researched volume explores how Sherman sought to undermine the morale of these devoted Rebel women, and how they fought back with all the tools at their disposal, in a series of confrontations in bedrooms and parlors, on front stoops and in fundraising bazaars, and--finally--in diaries and letters. Frank has uncovered a fascinating gender conflict, in which the South's elite white women were far from passive victims, and in which soldiers--both Union and Confederate--cared deeply about the role of these women in the Confederate cause." J. Matthew Gallman, author of Defining Duty in the Civil War and Professor of history at the University of Florida.
“Lisa Frank is one of the history profession’s rising stars on the role of women in the Civil War.... Frank has provided a thought-provoking book using the lens of gender to examine the impact of Sherman’s marches on Southern society.”
"a fresh view of Sherman’s marches to the sea and through the Carolinas." John Marszalek in Civil War News
"Frank, in her sparkling presentation about the gendered nature of Sherman’s march and the reactions it provoked among elite southern women, has shown yet another important facet of the Civil War. It is essential reading about the southern homefront in the last years of the war.” The book is "both deeply researched and highly readable." Jane Turner Censer in American Historical Review.
“The Civilian War focuses on slaveholding women and draws effectively from a rich source base of their diaries and letters as well as those of William T. Sherman, his men, and Confederate soldiers. . . . Frank achieves her goal of demonstrating that we cannot understand Sherman’s March, or the Civil War more generally, without gender.” Review in Civil War History.
“Powerfully written and cogently argued, The Civilian War is an easy read and was clearly a labor of love for its author. Frank uses primarily sources written at the time and relies heavily on such gems as the journal of North Carolinian Catherine Edmondston. . . . By asking historians to focus less on the quantity of destruction and more on the specific cultural effects of Union invasion, this work pushes the dialogue forward in new and interesting ways." Review in North Carolina Historical Review
“The strength of Frank’s work really emerges as she demonstrates the gendered and class-based approach Sherman took as his troops made their way through the area and interacted with the local women. . . . In developing The Civilian War, Frank painstakingly examined hundreds of sources for her argument and carefully crafts the parameters of her study. . . . Lisa Tendrich Frank’s The Civilian War adds a needed perspective to the fields of gender studies and military history. Her meticulous work demonstrates Sherman’s campaign targeted the wealthy as well as the ideals of white womanhood, bringing war into the domestic realm.” Review in Civil War Book Review