Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
Nurse Mercy Lynch is recently widowed, but the war has further unpleasant surprises in store. While working in a Confederate hospital, she receives word that her estranged father is dying and wants to see her. But reaching the far side of the country will be a harrowing adventure though war-torn border states.
When her dirigible is shot out of the sky, Mercy is forced to join the mighty Union-operated steam engine known as the Dreadnought. But the journey turns deadly when they are beset by bandits, then attacked by Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from the battle front, so Mercy can't imagine why they're so interested. Unless the train's mysterious cargo is responsible?
Mercy just wants to see her father before he dies. But she'll have to survive Union intrigue and Confederate opposition to make it off the Dreadnought alive.
`Pure genius ... I'm not exaggerating the potential of Priest's Clockwork Century' Paul Goat Allen, `Exceptional ... the real draw is Priest's latest no-nonsense heroine' Publishers Weekly, `The historical setting is finely detailed, the action is nonstop' Booklist