"Move over, Scarlett O'Hara. Yankee in Atlanta mixes grit and grace in ways that transcend stereotypes and tug at your heart. A terrific must-read."
~Jane Hampton Cook, historian and author of American Phoenix
She hid from her past to find a future—and landed on enemy soil. When soldier Caitlin McKae wakes up in Atlanta, the Georgian doctor who treats her believes Caitlin’s only secret is that she had been fighting for the South disguised as a man. In order to avoid arrest or worse, Caitlin hides her true identity and makes a new life for herself in Atlanta as a governess for the daughter of Noah Becker—on the brink of his enlistment with the Rebel army. Though starvation rules, and Sherman rages, she will not run again. In a land shattered by strife and suffering, a Union veteran and a Rebel soldier test the limits of loyalty and discover the courage to survive.
“So far as civil war is concerned, we have no fears of that in Atlanta.” So proclaimed the Atlanta Daily Intelligencer shortly after a Georgia convention voted to secede by a margin of only 2 percent. The day after the vote, the earth literally cracked, rattling Atlanta but causing no damage. “May not its coming and passing away so easily,” wrote the paper’s editor, “with the clear and bright sky, be symbolical of the present political convulsion in the country, which in the South will pass away so easily, leaving the spotless sky behind.” He could not have been more wrong. Founded in 1836 as a dusty frontier town at the end of the railroad tracks, Atlanta soared to significance during the Civil War—or War Between the States—becoming the second most important city in the Confederacy, after Richmond. As it rose in prominence as a manufacturing, transportation, medical, and government center, the population surged from eleven thousand people before the war, to twenty thousand by 1863. The booming city was home to both the upright and the unsavory, to staunch Rebels and secret Unionists. As war encroached upon the city, every able-bodied man was pressed into service. A small portion of Atlanta enjoyed extravagant wealth. Most were middle-class families, many driven to poverty and homelessness by the end of the war. But before Sherman’s army ever set foot in Georgia, and regardless of their loyalties, the women on the home front were squeezed by the blockade, hunted by hunger, plagued by uncertainty, and still played hostess to refugees and convalescents. Though their strength is often passed over in the tale of Sherman’s fire, they were heroines behind the lines. As Atlanta rose on the tide of war, so it would be crushed by it. Yankee in Atlanta is a story of conflicting loyalties, divided families, and hearts refined by fire.