A novel by John Blackburn
Elsie Farmer is only twenty-five when she loses her family and farm in the first battle of Bull Run, and John H. Blackburn's "Elsie's Story" tells the inspiring story of this courageous woman's journey from her shattered life in northern Virginia to her new life as a pioneer in the West. Elsie starts off along her way with Josh and Bill, two Civil War veterans whom she has nursed back to health. Also accompanying her are Adam and Lisa, who are hopeful that in the West, their lot as ex-slaves will be easier than it was in the South. Along the way, Elsie andher friends encounter Jesse Rutherford, her lost husband's kinsman; Cissy, Betsy, and Honey, ex-prostitutes seeking a new way of life; and Henry Murray, a survivor of the Civil War and the Nebraska-Missouri war, on his way home to find his lost sweetheart and his family. On their way from northern Virginia to mid-Missouri and beyond, the little band encounters roadway bandits; long-lost relatives of several members of the group; Indians; hostile townsfolk who don't like the fact that the women as well as the men carry firearms or that the group advocates racial equality; and a persistent group of private detectives who are searching for an AWOL army surgeon. Elsie's entourage aids many fellow travelers and soon becomes known along the National Road for their medical expertise, kind hearts, and strength and fortitude. Elsie's expert use of her army training in medicine smooths their path in many places, and she and her companions save the lives and better the lot of many of the people they meet. "Elsie's Story" blends Civil War history and geography with an engrossing tale of one brave woman's trek across an unknown and unfamiliar territory on her way to a new and better life.
Used availability for John Blackburn (2)'s Elsie's Story
September 1998 : USA Mass Market Paperback