At the beginning of the Civil War, Lula McLean’s family home in Manassas, Virginia, is taken over by the Confederate army and used as its headquarters. Forced to flee by the oncoming Union army, Lula and her family and her favorite rag doll move south to a small village called Appomattox Court House. Then one day in 1865, Lula left her doll behind, and what happened next made history.
This is the story of the Civil War's impact on one little girl, her family, and her doll. In 1861, the peaceful existence that four-year-old Lula McLean had always known was abruptly shattered. Her father agreed to allow the Confederate troops to use the family plantation in Manassas, Virginia as a base for their camp. The family lived alongside the troops and helped to care for them until the fighting got so close as to cause Mr. McLean to fear for his family. Then, they packed up and moved to a house in Appomattox Court House. There, far from their beloved plantation, the family celebrated Christmas in 1864. Months later, the family would once more be in the background of history, as Generals Grant and Lee used their parlor as a meeting place for the brokering of the Confederates' surrender to the Union forces. Although Lula herself was not present for the event, her beloved doll was. This is a brief, but significant story that may serve to interest readers further in a long-ago conflict. An informative "Author's Note" provides additional details. 2005, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 4 to 8.