“History has long neglected the inspiring and incredible tale of Dr. Mary Walker, a pioneering Civil War surgeon who overcame rampant prejudice to save countless soldiers’ lives. In Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War, Theresa Kaminski has finally given this American hero her due. With impeccable research and engaging prose, Kaminski captures Walker’s outsized bravery and delicious swagger. The result is a vivid, eloquent portrait sure to thrill history buffs and anyone fascinated by the lives of audacious, before-their-time women.” — Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghosts of Eden Park
“I will always be somebody.” This assertion, a startling one from a nineteenth-century woman, drove the life of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the only American woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor and the subject of Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War (Lyons Press). President Andrew Johnson issued the award in 1865 in recognition of the incomparable medical service Walker rendered during the Civil War. Yet few people today know anything about the woman so well-known–even notorious–in her own lifetime. Theresa Kaminski shares a different way of looking at the Civil War, through the eyes of a woman confident she could make a contribution equal to that of any man. She takes readers into the political cauldron of the nation’s capital in wartime, where Walker was a familiar if notorious figure. Mary Walker’s relentless pursuit of gender and racial equality is key to understanding her commitment to a Union victory in the Civil War. Her role in the women’s suffrage movement became controversial and the US Army stripped Walker of her medal, only to have the medal reinstated posthumously in 1977.
“Dr. Mary Walker, once spurned as “the famous man-woman” for her insistence on wearing pants in public, is a heroine not just of the Civil War, when her service as a doctor made her the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor, but of the unfinished revolution for equal rights and fair treatment women are still waging today. Theresa Kaminski’s compelling narrative, thoughtfully contextualized and filled with vibrant characters, brings a complicated reformer and nearly a century of movement history back into the light.”— Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast
“Dr. Mary Walker is primarily remembered for one thing, when she is remembered at all: her work as a surgeon in the Civil War. In Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War, Theresa Kaminski gives us an engaging and impeccably researched portrait of Walker as a whole person: devotion to reform, prickly personality, and all. She also demonstrates how easily an important woman can be erased from history during her own lifetime. If you’re interested in Civil War medicine, the history of women’s rights or kick-ass historical women, you’ll want to read Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War.” – Pamela D. Toler, author of Women Warriors
“Theresa Kaminski tells Dr. Mary Walker’s incredible story with an easy to read style and impeccable research. A must read for those interested in not only the Civil War, but also medical history and the history of women’s rights.” — Lori Handeland, New York Times bestselling author