Villager pays tribute ‘Women of the Civil War’ 

By WILMA FLEMING, DAILY SUN

THE VILLAGES – A sketch-artist mother and history-buff father who often conversed at the dinner table gave this author a special interest in the Civil War, and she dedicated her latest book to them.

Darlene Funkhouser’s new title, "Women of the Civil War – Soldiers, Spies and Nurses," has hit bookseller Web sites. The book reveals her deep respect for some of our nation’s strongest and most dedicated women.

"Being born and raised south of the Mason-Dixon line, it was not unusual to grow up hearing stories of the Civil War," Funkhouser said. "My mother, Millie, was a true Southern belle, but she was also for equal rights for women. She thought women should strive to become whatever they wanted to be."

Funkhouser gravitated toward writing as her personal form of expression in early childhood, when her report cards from teachers showed high creativity in writing. From there, she started with publishing cookbooks.

"It was about 10 years ago that I had an agent, working from Hollywood, who was trying to sell my screenplays," she said.

Funkhouser has since put those projects on the back burner as her fascination with historical women took over, and her first book on the subject, "Civil War Cookin’, Stories, ‘n Such," led her into the second.

She said she recently has agreed to a local speaking engagement for the Civil War Club in The Villages on March 1, where her presentation will be open to the public.

She then gave insight into women from both the North and South who inspired her.

"In the book, it was women like Dr. Mary Walker, who was the second American woman to graduate from medical school, and she caught my interest. Or Sarah Wakeman took my fancy, because she wanted to save money to buy her family a farm, so she disguised herself and joined up to fight," she said.

"Or there was Jennie Hodgers, who came from Ireland without being able to read or write. She later settled in Illinois, but lived some of her life as a soldier, serving under Gen. Grant in Kentucky."

Funkhouser felt that Southern women, like Rose Greenhow and Phoebe Pember resembled the coined title of "steel magnolias."

"Whether right or wrong, Rose Greenhow actually died for her cause," she said.

Perhaps the best point made in Funkhouser’s latest book was found in the chapter called "Everywoman," where she detailed the different strata of female society during those unusual times. She said, "The women then, just as the women now, were determined individuals who made a real difference."

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