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Annotated Greenhow Memoir #1 New Release

May 7, 2021

Our new annotated edition of Rose Greenhow's "My Imprisonment" debuted as the #1 new release in the "U. S. Civil War Women's History" category on  Congratulations to all!

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Online Book Launch Video

May 6, 2021

Missed the online book launch with Emily Lapisardi, editor of Rose Greenhow's My Imprisonment: An Annotated Edition? Watch it here:


Advance Praise for Rose Greenhow's My Imprisonment: An Annotated Edition

May 1, 2021

“Meticulously, and in fascinating detail, Emily Lapisardi has annotated the memoir of one of the most controversial figures of the Civil War. Rose Greenhow—Confederate spy, provocateur, consummate name-dropper and social climber—lived a brief but tumultuous life, and Lapisardi puts it into thorough and proper context.”

— Abbott Kahler, author (as Karen Abbott) of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

“Approximately 400 women served as spies for either the Union or the Confederacy during the Civil War. One of the most daring, alluring, and controversial was Rose O’Neal Greenhow, a noted Washington socialite and staunch Confederate sympathizer and diplomat. After decades of research and study, Emily Lapisardi has come to know Greenhow as well as any living historian, and has resurrected her intriguing story in this much-needed annotated edition of Greenhow’s rare 1863 memoir, My Imprisonment.”

--Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of History, UNC Wilmington, and author of The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope

“The editing of an existing diary is deceptive.  It appears at first glance that it is simply copying what had been written by the diarist, and perhaps correcting grammar and punctuation.  However, a successful editing project includes a great deal of research into the details of the diarist's life and the ability to put the diary entries into a comprehensible form for the modern reader.  This is what Emily Lapisardi has done with the diary of Rose O'Neal Greenhow.

Greenhow lived in the social and political crucible of Civil War Washington D.C.  Her diary describes how she used her social position to gain valuable information she subsequently passed on to the Confederacy.  As the widow of a respected Southern bureaucrat who did not relocate to the Confederacy upon the outbreak of the conflict, she gave the outward appearance of a loyal Unionist, gaining the trust and the confidences of Washington elites.  Greenhow had a distinctly political mind during an era where women were not encouraged to engage in political issues especially during times of war.  Lapisardi provides the context that Greenhow assumed her contemporary reader understood: the identification of the "who, what, when, where" of 19th century Washington is critical in understanding the significance of Rose Greenhow and her espionage activities historically. 

This edition, edited by Emily Lapisardi, is a valuable resource and should be part of any serious library of the Civil War.  It is also an important resource in understanding the role of women in this era through Greenhow's own narrative.”

--Janet Elizabeth Croon, Editor of The War Outside My Window: the Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865 

"While the Civil War is one of the most intensely-studied periods of U.S. history, Emily Lapisardi's annotated work of Rose Greenhow's first-hand account of the Civil War proves there is still more to uncover. This work is necessary, riveting, and adds to the body of work around the country's bloodiest conflict."

-- Claude Berube, PhD, Director, US Naval Academy Museum

“The past is certainly a distant country.  The language and conditions of life in the U. S. 165 years ago are nearly beyond our imaginations.  Emily Lapisardi’s annotations provide a bridge to and a residence within that distant country.  Lapisardi neither judges nor sympathizes with Greenhow and her biases.  She does bring Greenhow back from a distant country and allows readers to make what they may of her espionage work.  Detectives often locate motives before investigations are made.  Lapisardi’s annotations allow readers to have that opportunity.”

--Rea Andrew Redd, Director, Waynesburg University library; Author of Civil War Librarian blog; Gettysburg Campaign Study Guide, Vols. 1 & 2 and From Altars to Amputations: Gettysburg Churches Become Battlefield Hospitals (forthcoming 2021), contributor to Engaging the Civil War: Turning Points of the Civil War

“Emily Lapisardi has provided a painstaking and intimate examination of Rose Greenhow. Her introduction and annotations help to shed additional light on the circumstances and broader tapestry of the America in which a woman, filled with self-conviction, attempted to persuade people to support the cause of the Confederacy both in the active spying she did in Washington, and the lobbying she did overseas.”

--LTC Paul N. Belmont III, Department of History, United States Military Academy