A Civil War Widow and Her Granddaughter


by Virginia Foote


Paperback / $20.00 / ISBN-13: 978-1-58790-165-4 / 284 pages / 5.5” x 8.5”/

illustrated with photographs


Biography / Memoir / Civil War History

The theft of a gold pocket watch that had once belonged to her grandmother led Virginia Foote into a search to recover Amorette Foote’s life story. In doing so, Virginia discovered a parallel between her grandmother’s life and her own. Both of them came of age in time of war. For Amorette, the Civil War; for Virginia, World War II. But Amorette was more directly affected by war than Virginia ever was, for Amorette’s husband Seth died of a wound he received at the Battle of Missionary Ridge.


Widowed at the age of twenty-four, Amorette raised her son alone. Then, after he had established himself as a physician, she embarked on a professional career of her own. At the age of forty-nine she took a job as matron at the Chicago Training School, which prepared women to be Christian missionaries. From there she went to a similar position at Talladega College, where almost all the students were African-American. Her last two positions were in southern California.


Amorette’s story touches on important themes: hard economic times, the unfortunate consequences of debt, the losses brought about by war, the treatment of wounded soldiers, social reform movements headed by women, and evidence of racial and religious prejudice in institutions founded on high moral principles.


Virginia Foote is a retired teacher of English. Before retirement she taught in a university, before that in high school and before that in elementary school. Even now she leads a small seminar that meets monthly to discuss works of English literature. But most mornings find her at her desk, writing something, short or long. Amorette’s Watch is her first full-length book. Virginia has published an article on Wordsworth and has coedited, with Richard E. Jensen, A Pike’s Peak Gold Rush Diary published in Nebraska History. Excerpts from it appear in Amorette’s Watch.

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