Bitter Tears: Missouri Women and Civil War Their Stories
This book tells of outrages committed against Confederate sympathizers, mostly women in western Missouri, during the Civil War. Very partisan, it celebrates the courage of those women and praises their dedication to the Southern cause. It presents Yankees as brutes and Confederate soldiers as heroes, but there are a couple of chapters toward the end that mention the suffering on the Union side. These vivid accounts capture the horror, the brutality, the “blood in fever heat,” the true nastiness of the time. They give interesting insights into the private lives and thinking of Confederates, including the kin of leaders such as Generals Quantrill and Shelby. This is the "home front" of the war, if there was such a thing. This is not a military history, not about battles or military strategies. It is about civilians, refugees, Missouri women and children living in fear, being forced from their homes and "sent through the lines" to the South.
This book needs professional editing. There are typos and misspellings. The punctuation is poor. The text is not always clear. But on the whole, a readable book. Its historical authenticity compensates for some of its faults. It is 100% nonfiction and drawn from first-hand accounts. Recommended to anyone interested in the history of western Missouri.