Transcribed and edited by Ann Fox Chandonnet and Roberta Gibson Pevear, and published by the Bethel Historical Society, this long-awaited book is based on Civil War era documents, letters and diaries donated to the Bethel Historical Society by Mrs. Pevear in 2005. Impressively narrated and edited, the book tells the story of one New England family’s daily experiences on the Civil War home front and battlefield, through never-before-published primary source materials.
Amid the gathering clouds of war, far from the nation’s centers of power, two American families felt the first ripples on the breeze. Andrew Bean, a teacher and farmer from Bethel, Maine, answered the call to the Union infantry. His younger sister, Eliza, having found both employment and a suitable marriage in the bustling mill city of Lowell, Massachusetts, soon saw her husband, Henry C. Foster, enlist as well.
In more than 150 revealing letters dispatched from camp and field and home front, as well as Eliza Bean Foster’s own diary, the honors and horrors of war play out on an intimate stage. Seldom does a surviving cache of documents illuminate the full span of the ante-bellum and war years in such close detail, from so many different angles. Illustrated with original documents and never-before-published photographs, the book traces Eliza’s life from New England mill girl, to young married woman and mother, to war widow and victim of consumption. Write Quick presents a valuable case history and a poignant story of one Northern woman through her own pen and the lens of her contemporaries. The book contains over 50 photographs, illustrations, and maps, plus an index. 572 pp., softcover.