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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