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Non-Fiction Books

Settler's Year Book cover

A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life Through The Seasons

A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life Through The Seasons provides a rare glimpse into the lives of early immigrants to the Midwest. Evocative photographs taken at Old World Wisconsin, the country’s largest outdoor museum of rural life, lushly illustrate stories woven by historian, novelist, and poet Kathleen Ernst and compelling firsthand accounts left by the settlers.

Kathleen Ernst standing Infront of a cabin window

Author's Note

There are few topics I feel as passionate about as the lives of early immigrants.


For three decades I've been researching and interpreting them, creating museum events and television programs about them, and writing articles, poems, and books about them.

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Too Afraid to Cry Book Cover

Too Afraid To Cry: Maryland Civilians in The Antietam Campaign

Historians identify the battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), which unfolded on September 17, 1862, as “the bloodiest day in American History.” By best counts, more than 23,000 men were dead, wounded, or missing by nightfall. And left in the smoldering aftermath were the children, women, and men who made their homes in the village of Sharpsburg and on surrounding farms.

Kathleen Ernst standing in front of a cabin window

Author's Note

I grew up in the border state of Maryland, surrounded by Civil War battlefields. At that time most programs and books focused on the soldiers’ experiences, but I couldn't help wondering what had happened to the people living in the old homes still gracing the area.

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