“Candice Hooper’s vivid new look at the lives of these Union generals’ wives reveals a hidden chapter of Civil War history. Brimming with rich detail, Hooper’s brisk and beguiling narrative weaves together the military and the personal to introduce a fascinating cast of characters: John Charles Frémont and Jessie Benton, George McClellan and his wife Nelly, Ellen and William T. Sherman, and Ulysses Grant and Julia Dent. These Union women emerge from the shadows and take their rightful place in the forefront of Civil War women’s history.”

—Catherine Clinton, author of Mrs. Lincoln: A Life

“With Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives, Candice Shy Hooper has opened a new door in Civil War scholarship. Her invaluable book sheds light not only on the lives of these four remarkable women and their marriages, but on the broader theme of Civil War era politics, of both the national and gender varieties.”

—Clay Risen, coeditor of Disunion, The New York Times’s series on the Civil War

“For those who think they know everything about the Civil War, here are fresh, revealing, well- crafted portraits of women who not only helped propel their husbands to major military careers, but established themselves, for better or worse, as formidable battlers in their own right. Yet this is even more than behind-the-scenes history. For in turning the spotlight on the generals’ wives, the author invariably shines humanity on chieftains we have heretofore imagined only in tents, not homes; in the company of fellow officers, not families. Candy Hooper’s research and analysis helps us better understand what inspired—or inhibited—these generals, and how their spouses helped shape them into heroes—or failures.”

—Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion (winner of the Lincoln Prize)

“Here is the Civil War glimpsed in an entirely new light. In this deeply researched, artfully framed, lucidly written, and cogently argued work, Candice Shy Hooper reminds us that war is not—and has never been—an exclusively male preserve. Not since the publication of Mary Chesnut's Civil War have we seen our country's greatest conflict so memorably refracted through a feminine lens.”

—Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and In the Kingdom of Ice

Hooper’s book gives us a fresh look at some of the most famous military men in American history - through the prism of their marriages.  Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives proves the old adage that the toughest job in the military is that of a military spouse.”  

—GEN US Army (Retired) Paul Kern

"(Hooper’s) eight years of diligent research give readers very personal accounts of Gens. John C. Fremont, George B. McClellan, William T. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, with emphasis on the influence the wives brought to bear on the men themselves, or by entreaty to Washington, D.C., insiders including even Lincoln. . . Hooper has written a highly readable portrayal of four generals, their wives, and the times in which they lived.”

Army Magazine

“Breaking the usual mold (of Civil War books) is Candice Hooper’s unique profiles of the wives of four Union generals. . . This volume provides an interesting inside look at Lincoln’s generals through their wives.”

Civil War News

"Candice Hooper has written a dandy book for those who love Civil War stories, people and nineteenth century women in general. Read it! You will enjoy it!”

Presidential History Blog – Feather Foster

“Hooper’s book is unique in the annals of Civil War history. Here I found Julia Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, and my great-great-grandmother, as I’d never known her before. Thoroughly researched and readable, the book is remarkably moving.”

—Ulysses Grant Dietz, board member and Vice President, the Ulysses S. Grant Association and Presidential Library

“Cliches ought to be avoided like, well, cliches, yet occasionally one has substance, and none more than the old adage about there being a good woman behind every successful man. It is almost always true, and demonstrated nowhere better than in Candice Hooper's fine new work Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives. No women gave their husbands greater entree into high political and military circles than Jesse Benton Frémont, ‘Nelly’ Marcy McClellan, and Ellen Ewing Sherman. None acted as a greater stabilizing force and safe haven from the pressure of command than Julia Dent Grant. Among them they reveal the full gamut of a spouse’s potential influence on her husband’s career, from the harm to be done by Jesse's too strong an advocacy, to the damage done by Nelly’s ego boosting, to Ellen’s unflinching faith and loyalty that sustained her ‘Cump,’ and perhaps most of all in Julia, whom Hooper aptly summarizes in three perfect words: ‘center of gravity.’ This is a fine book, imaginatively conceived, deeply researched, and ably written. Our hats should be off to all five of the women involved.”

—William C. Davis Jr., author of Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee--The War They Fought, the Peace They Forged

“In this insightful study, Candice Shy Hooper reminds us of the important role played by the wives of several key players in the Union high command. Even as they served as sounding boards and personal advisers for their husbands, these women took it upon themselves to protect their men’s interests and advocate on their behalf; at times they became subjects of controversy. Essential reading for those who want to understand these men, the war they waged, and the women who stood beside them.”

—Brooks D. Simpson, Arizona State University

“If ever there has been a need for a particular book, it is certainly for this one. Candy Hooper has studied the wives of four Civil War generals and demonstrated the essential roles they played in their husbands’ lives and the life of the nation. She presents important insights into military history, the Civil War, and gender history. Scholars and the general public will find this book well-written and intriguing. It is a must read.”

—John F. Marszalek, executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association’s Ulysses S. Presidential Library, Mississippi State University and the author of important books on Grant, Sherman, and the Civil War


. . . Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives provides an in-depth look at these women’s lives and their marriages as they evolved before, during, and after the war. Along the way, Hooper reviews in detail the military successes and failures of generals Fremont, McClellan, Sherman, and Grant. Hooper is particularly concerned with how each of the generals’ wives influenced her husband’s relationship with his commander-in-chief, President Abraham Lincoln. . . Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives is a compelling read that will appeal to historians and laypeople alike. As a historian of women, I would have preferred more gender analysis and less detail on the generals’ careers. Yet, in the end, the focus of the book is on the lives of these four women as military wives. Hooper makes a strong case for their significance in that role during the Civil War.

Civil War Monitor (civilwarmonitor.com)