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Women of the Civil War
Transcript of Women of the Civil War
Private in Second Michigan Infantry
Served as regimental nurse along with carrying mail and dispatches Both sides of the Civil War forbade women to enlist, but that didn't stop them! Some women took on masquline names and completely believable disguises and enrolled anyway. There were an estimated 250 women on the just Confederate side. Francis Clayton Served on Confederate side
Worked in Missouri artillery and cavalry units
Was wounded 3 times and once held as a captive While women weren't allowed to pick up weapons and fight with their men, they found other ways to support their side. Some women became nurses, laundresses, spies, vivandieres, Sanitary and Christian Commision workers or writers for newspapers. What to do??? http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/hearts/hard.html The prices of many every products increased in many towns, making it harder for women to buy what they needed. bacon=$ .45/lb.
brandy=$4 to 5/gallon
copperas(sulfate used to make ink)=$1.25
However, the high prices brought about innovations for some women at home. One woman wrote about how she used rye as a substitute for coffee, since such luxuries were in short supply. With the terrible economic conditions, many families had difficulty keeping their children in school. Many girls attending college were forced to drop out because of the high boarding fees. Men who fought traveled hundreds of miles away from home, farther away from their families and communities than they'd ever imagined. When men became sick or wounded, women who were of no relation to them would be called upon to nurse them back to health. In this way, women formed a sort of network in which they could trust that their husbands, fathers and brothers would be taken care of, even if they weren't there to care for them. Some women sewed uniforms for the men, while others donated chickens and vegetables for pickling to local depositories. One confederate woman working in a hospital as a nurse wrote about how horrid and ill kept the whole place was in a letter to her brother. She claimed, "... it is impossible to keep the place clean and there is a bad smell everywhere." even though her hospital was one of the better ones. If women became spies, they had a better protection than men did because if they were ever caught, they wouldn't be executed due to their gender. Belle Boyd, a spy for the Confederacy, carried important letters and papers across enemy lines. At one time during her the war, Belle was thrown in a Union prison for her espionage activities. After her adventurous experiences, she wrote a an autobiography called Belle Boyd, In Camp and Prison.