Soldier Girl Blue, by James Knights, is a fictionalized account of the true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds of New Brunswick who, disguised as a man, fought in the American Civil War. During her two years in disguise, she went behind Confederate lines as a spy as many as nine times.
More than 550 women disguised themselves as men to fight in the war. And up to 55,000 Canadians and Maritimers fought, most on the side of the North. Edmonds was the only person we know of who was a member of both groups.
A young Canadian woman escapes her abusive father by disguising herself as a man and seeking refuge in the United States, a country about to be torn apart by civil war. Though able to claim neutrality as a foreigner, she finds it impossible to turn her back on an enslaved people and risks everything to continue her masquerade and join the fight to free them. As a Union soldier, she learns that neither the constant fear of being unmasked nor the danger she faces under fire can compare to the unrelenting peril she must endure as a spy behind Confederate lines.
Jim Knights is an American whose 19th century family members fought on both sides of the Civil War, including his paternal great-great-grandfather who served with Company E, 6th Massachusetts Militia Infantry. Another of his great-great-grandfathers was a “Bluenose” sea captain from Windsor, Nova Scotia. Through this connection Knights began researching Canadian involvement in the Civil War. He came across the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds. He says that he found it astounding that Edmonds was one of 400-550 women who disguised themselves as men to fight and that she was a foreigner, one of between 40,000-55,000 Canadians who joined the fight.
The book is published by S & H Publishing with print and ebook editions are available on Amazon.ca or from the publisher at SandHBooks.com. The Kobo ebook is available on chapter.indigo.ca.
James Knights owns a cottage in Sea View, PEI, and wrote part of the novel there.