Heartbreak of a Civil War Widow


Life of Sarah Harper McWhirter, 1825-1883, Including Harper Family Ancestry Traced to Oxfordshire, Noke, England in Early 1500's and Selected Information on the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV 

In this book, Sarah Harper McWhirter tells the story of her life growing up as the oldest child in a family of fifteen children, her marriage, the wagon train trip from Smith County, Tennessee to Alabama, her children, information about her husband's family, and her experiences during and after the Civil War. Sarah's story is based on Civil War pension records and Southern Claims sworn to and signed by different friends and relatives.

This book ranges from the factual to the fictionalized. The factual obviously being the facts dealing with families, dates of birth, marriage, death, and other historical events. Civil War documents and diaries were also used. The letters written to Sarah by her sons and brothers were based on official records, pension records, Thomas A. McWhirter's diary, and diaries written by 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV officers and other members who were serving alongside her sons and brothers when they wrote home.

The author has made every attempt to match the fictionalized portions with the documented experiences and actions of the true Sarah Harper McWhirter. Each of the excerpts from diaries, Southern Claims, Civil War pension applications, speeches, official records, wills etc. was left in its own unique style. In some instances, the people who wrote them were illiterate but the spelling was used exactly as it was found. Vintage portraits, photographs, and pictures of period tools used during her lifetime enhance the text.


Glenda McWhirter Todd

2010, 6x9, paper, index, 338 pp.

ISBN: 9780788452529