Beautiful, vivacious, fearless, Agnes Leclerq Joy was 21 years old when she met Prince Felix zn Salm-Salm, a Prussian officer in the Union Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War. Their marriage took Agnes from small-town Vermont and a shortlived career as a circus artist to the royal palaces of Europe. She accompanied Felix on his Civil War campaigns, schemed with the powerful in Washington for his advancement and secured the young officer's promotion to the rank of General in the US army when he could barely speak English. She then followed him to Mexico to fight for the ill-fated Emperor Maxmilian, then returned home to the Salm ancestral castle in Germany after his defeat. Agnes was a remarkable woman. Kings, presidents, senators, governors and generals all succumbed to her charms. She pleaded with the implacable Benito Juarez for Maximilian's life and the German Emperor honoured her for her hospital work during the Franco-Prussian War. Felix's life was cut short in 1870 when he was killed in that war. Although she toyed with the idea of joining a convent, the indefatigable American country-girl lived out her life in fin de siecle Europe as a grand if impoverished continental aristocrat. This is a tale of heroism and love in a thoroughly unlikely partnership, which is full of colour, human interest and historical detail.
Prince and the Yankee, The
The Tale of a Country Girl Who Became a Princess