From Wikipedia: Phyllis Haislip (born September 1, 1944) is an American author and historian. Her best-known work may be “Lottie’s Courage,” the story of a contraband slave growing up during the American Civil War.

Haislip’s work is informed by a Ph.D. from Columbia University in history and extensive, primary source research. She has taught history at universities such as The College of William and Mary and the University of Richmond. Her scholarly historical works range from the European Renaissance to the United States in World War II. Her published works on World War I submarine warfare and naval commerce raiders have been especially popular. She writes both fiction and non-fiction and has won awards such as The Beacon of Freedom.


Lottie’s Courage: A Contraband Slave’s Story (White Mane 2003)

Ten year old Lottie is sold away from her mother at a slave auction in Williamsburg, Virginia. Bought by the evil slave trader Nephus Slye, Lottie travels south tied to other slaves. The uncertainty of her future leads Lottie to attempt escape. With Weza, an older woman who befriends her, Lottie slips away in the darkness. Morning finds the slave trader and his dogs closing in.

The yelping grew nearer. Soon it was replaced by growling and barking as the dogs surrounded the thicket. One dog began crawling toward them, baring his long teeth and snarling. Lottie buried her head in Weza’s chest, waiting for the dog to reach them. Lottie’s heart beat fast. She heard a horse neigh somewhere nearby. She raised her head. The dog lunged toward her neck.

This historical novel is based on memoirs and other records describing the experiences of runaway slaves who found refuge at Fortress Monroe in Virginia during the Civil War. Life among the contraband slaves provides the setting for Lottie’s struggle to overcome her fears and keep alive the hope that someday she will find her mother.

Marching in Time: The Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps (Dietz Press 2003)

This book takes you behind the scenes to observe 10-year-olds being transformed into accomplished professionals of the Fife and Drum Corps. It also gives the reader a detailed history of the Corps. It is the first and only comprehensive history of one of America’s most well-known group of child performers and historical interpreters.

Anyone who has ever been to Colonial Williamsburg knows of this unique performing group. I first became interested in the Corps when my son joined and played in it for seven years. The history of this unique organization fascinated me as it replete with myth, legend and tradition. I’ve captured some of the most critical points in the Corps’ history and interviewed nearly all of its seminal members.

Anybody’s Hero: The Battle of Old Men and Young Boys (White Mane 2004)

Luca, 12 years old and new in Civil War Petersburg, wants to fit in. No one, except Jim, the class brain, is friendly. Luca and Jim team up to investigate the mysteries surrounding the doll with no face, the Voodoo pouch, and the Trapezium House. They decide to share their suspicions with Luca’s grandfather on the day the Union army advances on Petersburg.

Luca, his grandfather, and Jim, join the old men and young boys defending the city. Luca and his wounded grandfather take cover in a ravine as the Confederates retreat.

Anybody’s Hero is based on the memoirs and records of the Battle of Old Men and Young Boys on June 9, 1864, in historic Petersburg, Virginia.

Divided Loyalties: A Revolutionary War Fifer’s Story (White Mane 2005)

The Revolutionary War has torn apart eleven-year-old Teddy’s family. His father is a Patriot, his mother a Loyalist. Problems at home lead to Teddy’s enlistment. He mistakenly joins the wrong unit of the State Garrison Regiment and enters a whole new world of men and boys leaving Williamsburg, Virginia, for the relief of Charleston, South Carolina. As a member of the fife and drum corps, Teddy contends with old enemies and forges new loyalties. Marching at night, the regiment clashes with the British at the Battle of Camden in August 1780.

Teddy advanced with the others. His legs quivered with each step, but he knew he must go forward. The soldiers would be listening for the calls of the fifers and drummers to tell them what to do. A volley of rifle fire swept the regiment. In the moonlight, Teddy saw Colonel Porterfield careen backwards and fall. Still, they moved forward. Teddy heard a roar as loud as thunder followed by a terrible burning sensation on the side of his head. He staggered. Josh grabbed him, cushioning his fall. Teddy reached up and felt hot blood streaming from his head. The last thing he heard was the corps sounding Retreat.

Lili’s Gift: A Civil War Healer’s Story (White Mane 2007)

Twelve-year-old Lili has an unwanted gift, the power to heal. She doesn’t understand her gift and it keeps getting her into trouble. Her father is missing and presumed dead at the Civil War Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. Lili’s mother cannot support the family on the meager wages of a seamstress and entrusts Lili and her brother to a Philadelphia orphanage. After a daring escape, they follow their father’s trail to Clara Barton’s “flying hospital” on the battlefield at Petersburg, Virginia, and from there into the besieged city. In Petersburg, Lili must come to terms with her healing gift.



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13-year-old, Jeff’s dad trusts him to test an advanced computer called the Magus. It mysteriously disappears, traveling back in time to 1937. Jeff has to get back the Magus before his father returns. Claire, seriously ill with tuberculosis, finds the Magus. The kids e-mail across time and have to save Claire’s family from traveling on the Hindenburg.