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TILLIE PIERCE by Tanya Anderson


Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg

by Tanya Anderson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4677-0692-6
Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

An insightful perspective on one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl.

Tillie Pierce was a normal teenager for her time, but she became an unlikely heroine when the Civil War literally came to her backyard in Gettysburg. Tillie and other women and girls like her found themselves trapped during this critical three-day battle in southern Pennsylvania in July 1863. Compensating for a lack of training with extraordinary courage and compassion, Tillie and other Gettysburg citizens helped save the lives of countless wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. Anderson wisely relies heavily on Tillie’s own words in the narrative. Her eyewitness observations are vivid and compelling: “The approaches were crowded with the wounded, dying and dead. The air was filled with moanings, and groanings. As we passed on toward the house, we were compelled to pick our steps in order that we might not tread on the prostrate bodies.” Archival images, including photographs and prints, add critical visuals, while occasional sidebars flesh out some details. Particularly helpful are the maps that occasionally orient readers.

Tillie’s words bring the sights, sounds and smells of a civilian and teenager experiencing war straight to today’s readers in a way a retrospective account cannot. (source notes, suggestions for further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-14)