Reminiscences of My Life in Camp
An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir

Susie King Taylor
Introduction by Catherine Clinton

The only Civil War memoir by an African American woman

Reviews

"Taylor’s experiences, as Dr. Clinton explains in her typically clear and elegant language, provide interesting windows into the special burdens and opportunities afforded black women in the Civil War. An extremely well done introductory essay."
—John David Smith, Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Description
Near the end of her classic wartime account, Susie King Taylor writes, "there are many people who do not know what some of the colored women did during the war." For her own part, Taylor spent four years--without pay or formal training--nursing sick and wounded members of a black regiment of Union soldiers. In addition, she worked as a camp cook, laundress, and teacher. Written from a perspective unique in the literature of the Civil War, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp not only chronicles daily life on the battlefront but also records interactions between blacks and whites, men and women, and Northerners and Southerners during and after the war.Taylor tells of being born into slavery and of learning, in secret, to read and write. She describes maturing under her wartime responsibilities and traveling with the troops in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. After the war, Taylor dedicated herself to improving the lives of black Southerners and black Union Army veterans. The final chapters of Reminiscences are filled with depictions of the racism to which these efforts often exposed her.

This volume reproduces the text of the original 1902 edition. Catherine Clinton's new introduction provides historical context for the events that form the backdrop of Taylor's memoir, as well as for the problems of race and gender it illuminates.

Page count: 136 pp.
Illustrated
Trim size: 5 x 7

 

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Paper
List price: $17.95
978-0-8203-2666-5
4/25/2006
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Susie King Taylor (1848-1912) was the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences and the first African American to teach openly in a school for former slaves in Georgia. Catherine Clinton, an independent scholar, is currently affiliated with the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University. She is the author of twenty books, including Civil War Stories (Georgia) and highly praised biographies of Harriet Tubman and Fanny Kemble.