My Stitch of Courage book features Maggie Kennedy Pieratt, my great-great grandmother. She was orphaned at age three, and eventually sent to the Territory Kansas in the late 1850s to live with her brothers.
As a young woman, and arriving in the Territory of Kansas at the end of the period known as Bleeding Kansas, she didn’t realize the effect of the war would have on her state and family until she was thrust into it.
In her letters to her sister in back in Ohio, Maggie describes how the women of Kansas faced the demons of the Civil War, fighting bravely to protect their homes and families while never knowing from one day to the next whether their men were alive or dead in a faraway battlefield.
She was married in 1864 and her new husband was mustered into service just six weeks later. Can you imagine the worries for her husband James as he left home?
The Civil War caught Americans by surprise and forced them to cope with extraordinary circumstances. Maggie was just one of millions of women who had to live through this horrible situation.