Thursday, May 9, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: An Interview with Rose Carrigan

Interview with Rose Carrigan 
from Rescuing Rose by Susan Pope Sloan

Can you tell me who you are and why you’ve come to Louisville, KY?

My name is Rose Carrigan, and I just arrived in Louisville, along with a few hundred other mill workers and their families, courtesy of the Union army. They burned down the cotton mill in Georgia where we worked—the army, that is. Burned it to the ground and arrested all the workers. Then they loaded us on wagons and took us to Marietta, where the Union had commandeered the town and the railroad.

As you can imagine, it took several trips in those wagons to get everyone to Marietta. The first arrivals were housed at the Georgia Military Institute, but it soon filled up. Fortunately, a kind officer found an abandoned house for my group. We were there for several days before they put us on a train going north. It was awful—dozens of women and children piled into a baggage car for two days before we reached Louisville.

What happened when you arrived?

Our situation in Louisville left a lot to be desired. The building had been designed as a hospital, and we
Photo: Pixabay/
had a dozen people in each room. There was no water inside the building and no heat—which wasn’t a concern in July, but it would pose a problem if we had to stay there through the winter. With small children and elderly folks among us, sickness was likely to be a serious concern.

That’s why I decided to look for employment. I mentioned it to the other women, and they all agreed to do the same. I figured my sister and I should be able to find something easily enough, since we have more education than the others. Most of our group can neither read nor write. I guess it depends on what kind of work is available and whether the employers are willing to hire Southern women.

What will you do when the war is over?

I don’t know. It’s unlikely we’ll be able to return to Georgia. Maybe some of the women will find a husband here.

Will you be one of those? You’re blushing, so I suspect you might.

I have started corresponding with that officer who helped us in Marietta. He’s asked to court me, so perhaps it will work out for us. One thing is sure: we’ll be do a heap of praying, now more than ever, that this war will soon come to an end.

About Rescuing Rose

His army destroyed her livelihood. She represents the people he scorns. How can they reconcile their differences when the whole country is at war?

When the Union Army marches into Roswell, Georgia, and burns down the cotton mill where Rose Carrigan worked, not only is her livelihood destroyed but she’s also taken prisoner and shipped northward with the other workers. Only the unlikely kindness of one of her guards makes the trip bearable.

Union Captain Noah Griffin hates the part of his job that requires him to destroy the lives of innocent civilians, but at least he’s able to protect these women he’s been ordered to transport to Louisville, Kentucky. Especially the one whose quick wit and kindness draw him.

While they’re forced to wait in Marietta, two fugitives arrive to complicate matters between Rose and Noah. As Rose heads north and Noah returns to the battlefront, they each face fears and prejudices. With survival so tenuous, only faith can help them find love in the midst of so much tragedy.

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