In the Bookcase


Book Review: Behind Rebel Lines

Behind Rebel Lines

Behind Rebel Lines

"The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy"

written by Seymour Reit

130 pages
originally published in 1988 (re-published since then)

A person requires much courage if they are going to become a soldier.
It took a woman of great courage & bravery to freely decide to join the Union army of the Civil War.

Although most people didn't know at the time, several women (at least 400) joined the army undercover during the Civil War, and no one ever suspected it. At the age of 21, that is what Emma Edmonds, a Canadian-born, did. This book fictionalizes her true story. Emma Edmonds enlisted under the name of Franklin Thompson, but it didn't stop there. The journey of her first alias led her into becoming a reliable spy for the Union. She created new characters for herself on almost every mission the army sent her on, so that her old characters wouldn't be recognized by the Rebel army.

Bridget O'Shea, Irish peddler.

Cuff, freed slave.

Charles Mayberry, detective.

Those are just a few of her undercover names & disguises. The lengths Emma went to in order to keep her true identity a secret for years from either army... Amazing.

Behind Rebel Lines is one author's account of how the real Emma Edmond's story came to be. It is a simple, easy book to read, but I won't be forgetting what I learned.

Recommended for ages 8-12, and up.


  1. I remember my two younger sisters had to read this book for school a few years ago, and they both really enjoyed it. =)

  2. Hi Tarissa
    Sounds interesting! I'll see if I can get it from the library.

    Maria Elisabeth

  3. It sounds like a good book, and I love stories like this. ;) I'll have to check it out!

  4. This book sounds so interesting. I enjoy Civil War history, and I've read of that several hundred women joined the army undercover. It'd be cool to read about it from one woman's perspective.

  5. Hi Tarissa,
    Sorry! I guess I should have posted where I got the tag. It's from here:
    Thanks for commenting!
    -Maria Elisabeth

  6. Wow! Sounds like an awesome book!!! I just reserved it from the library!


  7. I remember this book. I did one of my first book reports on it. Actually come to think of it, when I had the choice all of my book reports were Civil War related!