I ran across an article this morning that mentioned that Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind turns 75 this month. In June of 1936, Mitchell published this now classic saga while recovering from a broken ankle. It was an instant hit, and brought immediate fame to the Atlanta journalist.

What is it about? Well....er...I haven't actually read it. "I'll never go hungry again!", right? But I only know that from the movie. It is high time to put this book on my to-read list.

But in the course of reading the article, I was reminded of two of my favorite civil war novels, both of which feature complex and interesting female characters.

Cold Mountain is a book that is hard to describe and the simple plot elements don't seem like they would add up to much. Warning! For the most part, not much happens. Inman walks. Ada grows. Ruby softens. Despite the action at the end, that is about it for plot details. But the combination of those three unforgettable characters is enough to fill more than the written 400 pages. The movie starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law follows the book very closely, but the language and writing of the book make it a fantastic read.

Widow of the South by Robert Hickman is based on a true story of Carrie McGavock and the bloodiest battle of the Civil War - the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Carrie's plantation is requisitioned for a Confederate hospital, and the ghosts of the past and future change Carrie's life forever. The real Carnton Plantation is now the location for the largest privately held Confederate cemetery, and was originally carefully arranged and documented by Carrie.