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Women in the Civil War
Transcript of Women in the Civil War
it was speculated that hundreds of women served as spies
gathered information by flirting with the enemy, or simply slipping passed sentries into enemy encampments and strongholds
those with social connections hosted parties and invited enemy soldiers who often let slip vital information
often smuggled supplies, ammunition, and medicine across enemy lines by hiding the necessities under large hoop skirts
many were passionate housewives with no experience
field operatives reported back to their handlers, or officers responsible for that agent
lead more than 300 people to freedom as conductor of the underground railroad
completed about thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends
planned a night raid to free slaves on a rice plantation
Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy
first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war
women were not allowed to serve in the war because they were not seen as equals and didn't have the same "mind set" and "strength"
400-750 women served in the armies
when looking through dead bodies, it became apparent that women had discovered a way to get around the laws
there was a low chance of being discovered because soldiers slept fully clothed and bathed separately
in most cases, physical exams checked only for healthy teeth
a discovered woman was normally sent home without receiving punishment
a few of the unlucky ones faced imprisonment or institutionalization
Jennie Hodgers (Albert Cashier)
a soldier in the 95th Illinois Infantry
kept to mostly to herself, but was considered a good soldier
participated in more than 40 military arrangements
she continued to live as a man even after the war so she could vote in elections, and receive the equality she believed she deserved
her true gender was discovered when she was injured in a car accident just a few years before her death
Sarah Rosetta Wakeman (Lyons Wakeman)
the women organized ladies' aid societies to support and distribute crucial supplies to the soldiers
sent out foods such as fruits and vegetables
donated their unneeded clothing and sewed uniforms, socks, gloves, blankets, and quilts, etc.
sold door-to-door and fund-raised to collect money for the armies and to also buy the needed supplies
with the men gone, the women were left to uphold and maintain their farms, plantations, and businesses so the men have a home to come back to
2,000-5,000 women served in the Civil War.
most women came from comfortable, middle class, "old stock" American families who were mostly educated.
besides medical care, the nurses had 3 other distinct purposes- 1) regulate, prep, and serve meals to the patients. 2) manage physical needs such as washing and distributing linens and clothing, and passing out supplies. 3) emotional and spiritual care- daily conversations with patients, writing letters or praying for them, reading or singing to their wards, or decorating the hospital, etc-what the nurses do depends on their personality.
the presence of females lightened the soldiers hearts, many not seeing any for months at a time. They took on roles as mothers, sisters, or daughters.
African American nurses were either confined to trivial labor jobs or ordered to care for the most dangerously ill or treat African American soldiers.
Chosen as first superintendent of U.S. Army Nurses in June 1861 when the Union leadership realized there weren't enough medical staff
Insisted there be guidelines for nurses- 1) age 35-50. 2) good health and high moral standards. 3) not too attractive- might distract the soldiers or herself. 4) willing to dress plainly
led the prison and mental hospital reform movement
her age range requirement wasn't always followed, especially at the end of the war when medical help was needed the greatest. By then the age range was 20-40
most of the women in the U.S. had heard about her before the war even started, though none aspired to become nurses because a working women was pitied and scorned.
during the war when women began working as nurses, she was an inspiration to all
she trained America's 1st nurse, Linda Richards
she opposed the contagion theory (diseases can be transmitted by touch)
born and grew up in poverty
a soldier in the 153rd New York Infantry
she enlisted in the army to help pay for her father's debts
she was admitted into a regiment hospital because she suffered from chronic diarrhea in May 1864, and died about a month later
no written record her true gender was ever discovered
The U.S. Sanitary Commission (USSC)
was a private relief agency brought to existence by the Federal Legislation on June 18, 1861
was created to provide medical care for sick and wounded soldiers and to promote clean and healthy environments for the injured
staffed field hospitals, raised money, provided supplies, and worked to educate the public on health and sanitation
The USSC was modeled on the British Sanitary Commission which formed during the Crimean War
War Aid societies were formed because of this relief energy because they needed money to provide support to soldiers
Women who worked as volunteers collected donations, made uniforms, worked as nurses, ran kitchens, and looked after sick/injured soldiers
Confederate spy from North Carolina
gathered information by entertaining Union soldiers who let slip military plans at dinner parties in her home
several instances she entertained Yankee soldiers at her parents' farm to distract them long enough for her brother-in-law, Rufus Bell, to carry food for the Confederates hiding in nearby woods
passed information to the Confederate army by leaving messages in secret hiding spots or by crossing enemy lines and hand delivering the notes
quickly caught by the Union and sent to jail
The bravery shown from the women in the Civil War paved the road to women's rights. Equality wouldn't have been achieved without their determination first displayed on the battle field. The women were able to demonstrate that their intelligence and abilities were just as capable as their male counterparts. The numbers of female nurses in the medical field soared up and changed the way women were seen. The women fought for their rights hard and that eventually paid off. On August 18, 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified allowing women to vote. Today, women are not only allowed but encouraged to join the army, and although men and women aren't completely equal, they are pretty darn close.
"Women In The Civil War." History Net: Where History Comes Alive. Weider History Group, 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. http://www.historynet.com/women-in-the-civil-war
Moore, Frank. "Civil War Women." Civil War Women. USAHEC, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. http://www.carlisle.army.mil/AHEC/AHM/civilwarimagery/Civil_War_Women.cfm
Smith, Sam. "Female Soldiers in the Civil War." Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014. http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/untold-stories/female-soldiers-in-the-civil.html
one of the first to volunteer at the beginning of the civil war
throughout the war, she traveled the Union and the Southern towns they controlled delivering much needed supplies and aid
one of the only female nurses to perform surgeries- either because the other nurses were too squeamish or they were forbidden to
President Lincoln appointed her General Correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners--look for missing soldiers for friends and relatives by finding them in prison and parole rolls, or casualty lists
to help with this enormous task, she established the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States and published Rolls of Missing Men to post in the U.S.
after the war, in 1880, she established the American Red Cross after a decades work after helping the International Red Cross in Switzerland.
Brooks, Rebecca B. "The Roles of Women in the Civil War." Civil War Saga. WordPress, 06 July 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. http://civilwarsaga.com/the-roles-of-women-in-the-civil-war/
"Women in the Civil War." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. http://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/women-in-the-civil-war
Moore, Frank. "Civil War Women." Civil War Women. USAHEC. 30 Apr. 2014 <http://www.carlisle.army.mil/AHEC/AHM/civilwarimagery/Civil_War_Women.cfm>.
Eggleston, Larry G. Women in the Civil War: Extraordinary stories of soldiers, spies, nurses, doctors, crusaders, and others. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003.