Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top Authors—Perry, Apps & Hildebrand—Join Literary Forces May 10, Eau Claire WI

 Wisconsin Historical Society Press 
March 2015

Top Authors—Perry, Apps & Hildebrand—Join Literary Forces
for Wisconsin Historical Society “Writers Forum” in Eau Claire

New York Times Bestselling Author Michael Perry, Celebrated Rural Historian Jerry Apps,
and Award-Winning Author John Hildebrand join literary forces for a special Wisconsin
Historical Society “Wisconsin Writers Forum” at 10 a.m. May 12 at the Eau Claire Regional
Arts Center (the State Theater) in downtown Eau Claire.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press’s top-selling trio will discuss how to capture a “sense
of place” and how to write about personal history and experiences in captivating ways. The
panel discussion will include time for audience Q&A. Eau Claire’s The Local Store will host an
on-site book signing at the Regional Arts Center featuring each author’s Society Press and
other titles immediately following the Forum. The Writer’s Forum is free, but reservations 
are suggested through the Wisconsin Historical Foundation at the website by May 8. 

The Wisconsin Writers Forum is part of the Wisconsin History Tour: Sharing Wisconsin’s
Stories One Community at a Time, a statewide outreach program conducted by the Wisconsin
Historical Society. The Tour offers a sampling of the history and stories the Wisconsin
Historical Society has been gathering since its founding in 1846 in a traveling exhibit and
history- related programming. The handcrafted exhibit will be displayed in Eau Claire
throughout the month of May at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library. History-related
programming, including the Writer’s Forum and many other presentations and workshops,
runs from May 12-19. Check the Wisconsin History Tour web site at for updates and more Tour programming information.
For more about the Wisconsin Writers Forum, contact Society Press Marketing
Manager Kristin Gilpatrick at or Wisconsin History Tour
Coordinator Mary Jane Connor at 608-212-5497 or

Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Collecting, Preserving and Sharing Stories Since 1846

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Alice Allan writes Mrs. Ballou, Civil War-era reformer

~~Shedding new light on American history through the life of Addie L. Ballou (1838-1916), one story at a time~~

The biography (second edition) Addie L. Ballou
Spiritualist Reformer, Poet, and Artist 
ISBN-13: 978-1502496324 
LCCN: 2014917346
Published: September 2014
Buy on Amazon

The novel Mrs. Ballou
A novel inspired by actual people and events 
ISBN-13: 978-1499575538 
LCCN: 2014915144
Buy on Amazon

Her husband's Civil War diary He Said
Diary of a Civil War Hospital Steward

ISBN-13: 978-1475225068
Buy on Amazon

Sept. 24, 1861: At 33 years of age, A. D. Ballou enlisted in Company C of the 10th Reg't of Wisconsin Volunteers. He asked to serve in a hospital as a nurse, or somewhere suited to his tastes. Reflecting on his enlistment that day, he wrote, "It is a great step and I feel that my life is to change."

Indeed it did.

With no prior medical training, he started as a private and was promoted to a hospital steward (at times directed to be Acting Assistant Surgeon during battle).

His diary covers the Battles of Tunnel Hill, Hoovers Gap, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge; winter at Chattanooga and Tyner's Station; Sherman's campaign to Atlanta (Peachtree Creek, Kennesaw Mountain and more). Maps (by Hal Jespersen), genealogy connections of those appearing in the diary, annotations, and a comprehensive index have been added.

From the Author

For nearly fifteen years, I determinedly researched Addie Ballou's life and involvement in the Spiritualism movement that flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century. Doing so enriched not only my life, but other lives as well, in ways none of us could have foreseen.
     In particular, I was contacted by other descendants of Albert and Addie Ballou and offered pieces of history, including Addie's original diary from the year 1873. It was filled with names, observations, and beautifully written descriptions of her Spiritualist activities and family life. I spent the next two years deciphering her handwriting and determining which entries were meaningful and which ones were not.
     As I dug deeper into the Spiritualism movement and its connection to social reform in America, I realized the personal stories of women had been left untold and at a minimum misunderstood. Due to their inability to express what happened to them, and the lack of social acceptance if they had, unspeakable secrets went with them to their graves.
     That is, unless, a woman recorded just enough of those remembrances in a diary that somehow, miraculously, surfaced nearly 140 years later. Mrs. Ballou, as a historical novel, is the result.
Alice Allan holds a B. A. (Humanities) from Colorado State University and currently lives with her much-needed sense of humor in Denver, Colorado.

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