An American Princess in the Civil War

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A remarkable woman relates a decade lived more fully than the entire lifetimes of any ten of her contemporaries. The daughter of an American general, married to the love of her life, she followed her husband throughout the Civil War and then to more adventures abroad.

She was an American married to Prince Felix Salm-Salm, a Prussian soldier of nobility who volunteered his services for the Union cause in the Civil War. During the war, Princess Agnes tended to the wounded and dying on the battlefield. But she also met Abraham Lincoln, kissed him, and offers one of the most interesting descriptions of him.

The post-war period found Prince Salm-Salm in service to Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico. With indomitable courage, Princess Agnes worked to get her husband out of prison when he was captured with Maximilian. Escaping execution, the pair left for Europe. There they met with Bismarck, Wilhelm I, Lord and Lady Palmerston, and many other notables.

During the Franco-Prussian War, Agnes once again found herself caring for soldiers near the front while her husband was serving in battle. Crushed when he was killed, she nevertheless continued service until the end of the war.

With her nerves frayed and her health failing, she seriously considered joining a nunnery. Settling in Germany, she penned this amazing memoir of a life lived ten-fold. Despite her traumas and sorrows, her lively and attractive intelligence shines through her writing with wit and irony.

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