Meet the Author of The Women Will Howl

Deborah Petite

Mary Deborah Petite

Thank you for your interest in my new book, The Women Will Howl, released in December 2007. I couldn't have done it without the help of many wonderful people. Thanks to all of you who had a hand in making this possible, and a special thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write. Your letters and e-mails have meant so much.

Brief Biographical Sketch

I've been a long-time student of of 19th century American military history with a special interest in the Civil War and the Texas Revolution. An avid Longstreet enthusiast, I served as the California state representative for the Longstreet Memorial Fund, and I was a charter member of the Longstreet Society.  I’ve been a member of the South Bay Civil War Round Table since 1992 and served two terms as president. I’ve lectured before various groups and conferences on a number of historical topics and presented talks on the Roswell Women at the Conference for Women in the Civil War and Virginia Tech's Civil War Institute.  A presentation on the Alamo was featured on Cspan’s Book notes.  My last book, 1836 Facts About the Alamo and the Texas War for Independence, published by Savas Publishing and released in 1999, is in its second printing.  I also compiled and edited May I Quote You General Longstreet?  I am currently serving as a historical consultant for an upcoming documentary on the story of the mill workers.

The Women Will Howl

I started work on the Women Will Howl in 1998, after a brief visit to Roswell where I first learned about the arrest and deportation of the mill workers.  I was intrigued by the story of these innocent victims from the very beginning. Very little was known about the actual events, and there were few published accounts. Frustrated by the difficulties of long-distance research, I left California in June of 2000 and headed for Georgia.  I spent eight months in Roswell researching local history and visiting historic buildings and mill ruins, with side trips to Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.  The journey into the heart and history of Roswell and New Manchester provided me with invaluable insight and perspective. These are memories I will always treasure. I moved to Northern Virginia the next year in order to finish my research at the National Archives and Library of Congress in Washington DC, and at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.  I worked as a historical researcher and consultant for the next six years while finishing the manuscript. I moved back to California in late 2006 to be closer to my family and currently live in Santa Clara.

Seeking Information

I am still searching for information on the mill workers from Roswell and New Manchester. If you have any information, stories or photographs relating to the the people or the events that you would like to share, I would be delighted to hear from you. Click here to contact me.


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