Story Background

This is written by Beverly, my author.


One summer, my husband and I visited the small town of Vicksburg, MS, sitting on a hill high above the Mississippi River. The Civil War is my favorite time period in history, and we’ve visited several battlefields, museums, and parks dedicated to the brave men and women who fought in the war and sometimes gave their lives. I fell in love with the town.

We toured Victorian homes that were standing during the war. The guides told us fascinating stories about the families that lived in those houses. I wish I had time and space to share them with you. We went to the Old Courthouse overlooking the river of today as it once overlooked the ironclads that fought in the waters. The courthouse is now a museum. Wandering through the displays of old furniture, clothing, and uniforms brought the period alive. I bought books and newspapers from the time. I listened to stories of how the people fled to caves they’d had dug behind their homes to escape the cannon shells that rained down on the city sometimes night and day. How the Federal army cut off the city from the rest of the world. Supplies ran low. No food or medicine or ammunition for the soldiers. And I thought, I have to write the story of the brave men, women, and children who fought their own battle while their sons and husbands were fighting theirs.

The Stamford family is fictional though their life is loosely based on some of the journals and books I read. I wanted to show both sides of the war and hope that I succeeded. If you enjoy historical stories, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of my novel and share Lizzie’s joys, her sorrows, her courage and also the times she’s simply human and her courage fails her. Many of you have ancestors who fought, lived, and even died standing up for their beliefs.

Thank you.



Latest News!

My historical fiction novel CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES has been awarded the gold medal in the Children’s
Literary Classics Book Awards
. YA fiction category.

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines also has won the Honor Award from Readers Favorite
Awards, YA Other Category.


As promised, here is a snippet of the review of my book by Donna M. McDine, author of The Golden Pathway. 

“McClure balances the emotions of the Confederate and Yankee characters with such in-depth feeling the reader will find themselves switching sides throughout the perilous journey of Lizzie Stamford and her family, and their quest to reclaim Vicksburg.”

Learn more about Donna M. McDine at her Web site


Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has posted a super review on her blog. also. 

“Caves, Cannons and Crinolines” is thought provoking young adult
historical novel. Set in the days of the Civil War where families are
torn apart, readers are given a very real picture of life in 1863. Ms.
McClure has clearly done her research and skillfully brings her
characters to life.”


Cheryl Malandrinos at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection has this to say:

“Having studied the American Civil War for many years now, I can say without a doubt that McClure did her research and used it well. I felt I was right in the middle of Vicksburg alongside Lizzie. In an age where we teach our children so much about tolerance and acceptance of others, this book could be helpful in relaying that message. Students studying the Civil War would also get a great deal out of reading Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, as it would open up room for discussion on a variety of topics surrounding this period of American history.”


From Darby Karchut, author of the forthcoming Griffin Rising.

“In Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, Beverly Stowe McClure has deftly crafted an appealing tale of war, family, and the coming of age of a headstrong heroine.”


Midwest Book Reviews:

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is an intriguing read, not to be missed for historical fiction readers.”


Wayne S. Walker, “Home School Book Review” says:

“All the characters are portrayed quite naturally, and the action is carried forth in a way that will keep the reader turning the pages. One can really get a feel for how the war affected the lives of the people who experienced it. Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines would make good historical fiction supplementary reading in connection with any study of the Civil War, especially the capture of Vicksburg. 


N. A. Sharpe, author of If Wishes were Fishes, has nice things to say.

“I highly recommend this story. The characters are compelling, the story well written and thought provoking.”


Author of The Giving Meadow, Stephanie Burkhart,  also relates the story to modern times.

“Even though the story takes place during the civil war, young readers can understand the same hardships faced today when their loved ones deploy. “Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines” is a rewarding story that uses a subtle touch to show the reader what history is all about.”


From Beth B. Reinke, author of In My Bath, we have her thoughts.

“Ms. McClure did a lovely job bringing Lizzie to life. I enjoyed the young heroine’s spunk, impulsiveness and wry humor. Lizzie’s close friendship with her younger brother, Nathan, made for interesting scenes – tender one moment, typical sibling bickering the next, but with a fierce loyalty to one another.”


pksm says from reading the book on the Kindle:

“This historical fiction is steeped in emotion, danger and trauma. It is so compelling that I didn’t realize I was approaching the end (read it on my Kindle) and was sorely dissappointed when I found I had reached it. I would have loved for this adventure to continue.”


Thanks to all you wonderful readers for the kind words about my novel.