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Women during the Civil War
Quiz
Answer ONE of the following:
•Based on reading Louisa May Alcott’s
Hospital Sketches, how would describe the
role of ...
Women soldiers
• About 400 documented cases of
women who served disguised as men
– Many only detected when injured or kill...
Boy soldier…or woman?
Case of Albert J. Cashier
• Born Jennie Irene Hodgers
• Irish immigrant
• Enlisted in 95th
Illinois Infantry;
participated...
Frances Clalin aka Jack Williams
• Married, mother of
three children
• Enlisted and served
with husband with a
Missouri re...
Philadelphia women, 1861
Cover of Harper’s
Weekly, June 29, 1861
“The War--Making
Havelocks for the
Volunteers”
Domesticating the War
• Military mobilization threatened to
undermine Northern gender ideals
– Removed young men from the ...
“Just before battle, Mother, I
am thinking most of you
While upon the field we’re
watching,
With the enemy in view….
Farew...
“Who will care for Mother now?” sheet music,
Charles Sawyer, 1864
“Soon with angels I’ll be marching,
With bright laurels ...
Women’s war work
• Well-established tradition of female reform
• But CW led to an unprecedented level of
benevolent activi...
Sanitary Commission
- Largest voluntary organization; quasi-
governmental organization
- Commissioned by Congress in June ...
Official seal
of the
Sanitary
Commission
Brooklyn Sanitary Fair, 1864
Sanitary Commission, cont.
- Huge operation
- Ran its own hospital railroad cars
- Had its own hospitals
- Whenever a batt...
Thomas Nast, “Our Heroines,” Harper’s Weekly,
April 9, 1864
Nurses and hospital workers
• Some 20,000 – more in N. than S.
• In N., Dorothea Dix was named Superintendent
of Army Nurs...
Dorothea Dix (1802-1887)
“No young ladies should be
sent at all, but some who are
sober, earnest, self-sacrificing,
and se...
Mary Edwards Walker
• Born in “burned over district” in NY
• Graduated from Syracuse Medical
College in 1855
• In 1861, we...
Patients in Ward K of Armory Square Hospital, DC
Clara Barton (1821-1912)
• Claimed the war advanced
the status of women by 50
years
• Working as a copyist in the
US Paten...
War’s impact on woman’s rights
movement
• Woman’s rights advocates put their own
movement on hold during the war
– Chose t...
Drummer boys
• Served critical communication function
before and sometimes during battle
– Different rolls for attack, ret...
Charley King, age 13, killed at
Antietam
“We should be glad, if we were
able, to write his epitaph. He
was a remarkable bo...
“Drummer Boy,”
William Morris Hunt,
c. 1862
Photographic print of
Hunt’s painting on a
carte de visite mount
Image accompanying
“The Little Drummer,”
F.O.C. Darley, War
Pictures: A Selection
of War Lyrics (New
York: James G.
Gregor...
“Wounded Drummer” by
Eastman Johnson, 1871
(Preparatory studies first
released in 1863).
“Wounded Drummer Boy,” William Morris Hunt, 1862.
“After the Battle,” Harper’s Weekly, October 25, 1862
Detail, depicting the death of a drummer boy
Declared age of enlistment; note the suspiciously high peak at age 18.
Note the much smaller bump at 44-45, the upper limi...
“The Little Soldier” by
Eastman Johnston 1864
Johnny Clem (1851-37)
• Tried to enlist at age 9 or 10 in 22nd
Michigan,
tagged along when they refused; allowed to
enlist...
“A Young Hero,” Harper’s
Weekly, Nov 8, 1862, describing
how 13 year old John W.
Packham sustained injuries on
the battlef...
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War
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Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War

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Lecture 11

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Lecture 11: Women during the Civil War

  1. 1. Women during the Civil War
  2. 2. Quiz Answer ONE of the following: •Based on reading Louisa May Alcott’s Hospital Sketches, how would describe the role of a Civil War nurse – what did they actually do? How did Alcott characterize her relationships with her patients? •What does Chandra Manning mean when she discusses the “reinvention of citizenship” in contraband camps?
  3. 3. Women soldiers • About 400 documented cases of women who served disguised as men – Many only detected when injured or killed – No doubt many more went undetected • Fact that so many boys served made it easier for women to “pass” • Also prevailing standards of modesty
  4. 4. Boy soldier…or woman?
  5. 5. Case of Albert J. Cashier • Born Jennie Irene Hodgers • Irish immigrant • Enlisted in 95th Illinois Infantry; participated in numerous battles • Continued to pass as a man after the war, even voted • Eventually discovered in 1910 after breaking hip in a car crash • Sent to Soldiers and Sailors Home to recuperate • Soldier who gave deposition said s/he was “the shortest man” in the company but “a brave little soldier nonetheless” • Later sent to insane asylum due to dementia; forced to wear a skirt • Buried in uniform at death
  6. 6. Frances Clalin aka Jack Williams • Married, mother of three children • Enlisted and served with husband with a Missouri regiment • Continued serving after his death • Unclear if she was exposed after being wounded or chose to reveal identity
  7. 7. Philadelphia women, 1861
  8. 8. Cover of Harper’s Weekly, June 29, 1861 “The War--Making Havelocks for the Volunteers”
  9. 9. Domesticating the War • Military mobilization threatened to undermine Northern gender ideals – Removed young men from the uplifting realm of feminine influence • Fear that men would become hardened – Popular culture and volunteer efforts constantly emphasized the emotional bonds between soldiers and civilians • Women performed many tasks the government would assume in later wars
  10. 10. “Just before battle, Mother, I am thinking most of you While upon the field we’re watching, With the enemy in view…. Farewell, Mother, you may never Press me to your heart again, But, oh, you’ll not forget me, mother, If I’m numbered with the slain.” “Just before Battle, Mother,” sheet music, George F. Root, 1864
  11. 11. “Who will care for Mother now?” sheet music, Charles Sawyer, 1864 “Soon with angels I’ll be marching, With bright laurels on my brow; I have for my country fallen; Who will care for mother now? Who will comfort her in sorrow? Who will dry the falling tear, Gently smooth her wrinkled forehead? Who will whisper words of cheer? Even now I think I see her Kneeling, praying for me! how Can I leave her in anguish? Who will care for mother now?”
  12. 12. Women’s war work • Well-established tradition of female reform • But CW led to an unprecedented level of benevolent activity in the North • Soldiers’ aid societies (“bonnet brigades”) – Made uniforms, clothes, foodstuffs, etc. • Personalized their donations • Emphasis on “sanitary” measures – Woman’s Central Association of Relief (1860) • Inspired by Florence Nightingale’s efforts to reduce disease during the Crimean War • Revealed growing concerns with efficiency, organization • Became part of the U.S. Sanitary Commission (1861)
  13. 13. Sanitary Commission - Largest voluntary organization; quasi- governmental organization - Commissioned by Congress in June 1861 - Umbrella group that had 7,000 to 10,000 ladies’ aid societies attached to it - Produced food and clothing and raised money for men in hospitals, which the national organization distributed - Worked to police/improve sanitary conditions in hospitals and camps - Raised over $25 million in money & goods
  14. 14. Official seal of the Sanitary Commission
  15. 15. Brooklyn Sanitary Fair, 1864
  16. 16. Sanitary Commission, cont. - Huge operation - Ran its own hospital railroad cars - Had its own hospitals - Whenever a battle was fought, the USSC was there to hand out goods and supplies - Would have a tent that provided supplies directly to military commanders - Even had offices in Europe during the last 2 years of the war - Important lasting legacies: efficiecy, coordination
  17. 17. Thomas Nast, “Our Heroines,” Harper’s Weekly, April 9, 1864
  18. 18. Nurses and hospital workers • Some 20,000 – more in N. than S. • In N., Dorothea Dix was named Superintendent of Army Nurses – Only woman to hold a federal appointment – Intended to personally approve all nurses – But in the end, nursing occurred on an ad-hoc basis • Women usually were not on the battlefield – But nursing was still hazardous • Cases of amputations for blood poisoning; dying from infectious diseases, etc • 1892 Army Nurse Pension Act – First time the US recognized a group of women recognized as military veterans
  19. 19. Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) “No young ladies should be sent at all, but some who are sober, earnest, self-sacrificing, and self-sustained; who can bear the presence of suffering and exercise self-control of speech and manner; who can be calm, gentle, quiet, active and steadfast in duty. All nurses are required to be plain looking women. Their dress much be brown or black, with no bows, no curls, no jewelry, and no hoop skirts.”
  20. 20. Mary Edwards Walker • Born in “burned over district” in NY • Graduated from Syracuse Medical College in 1855 • In 1861, went to Washington, DC to volunteer services – Refused official appointment as a nurse • Finally appointed surgeon for an Ohio Regt. • Prisoner of war for several months • Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor – But taken away in 1917!
  21. 21. Patients in Ward K of Armory Square Hospital, DC
  22. 22. Clara Barton (1821-1912) • Claimed the war advanced the status of women by 50 years • Working as a copyist in the US Patent Office In 1861, began collecting and distributing supplies to wounded soldiers • Received permission to traveled to battlefields in Virginia in 1862 • After the war, directed the effort to identify unknown Union dead
  23. 23. War’s impact on woman’s rights movement • Woman’s rights advocates put their own movement on hold during the war – Chose to focus on supporting the Union; suspended their annual meetings • Only Susan B. Anthony protested • Result: Immediate setbacks – 1862: NY legislature rescinded much of its 1860 Married Woman’s Property Law • Women ultimately not included in 14th and 15th Amendments
  24. 24. Drummer boys • Served critical communication function before and sometimes during battle – Different rolls for attack, retreat, “meet here” • Once fighting started, many served as stretcher bearers; assisted with amputations – Or took up arms • Symbolically important figures
  25. 25. Charley King, age 13, killed at Antietam “We should be glad, if we were able, to write his epitaph. He was a remarkable boy, and truly may it be said of him that he was not as other boys. Very young, quite small, yet manly. Kind, affectionate, quiet, trusting, yet proud and ambitious—and a superior musician.”
  26. 26. “Drummer Boy,” William Morris Hunt, c. 1862
  27. 27. Photographic print of Hunt’s painting on a carte de visite mount
  28. 28. Image accompanying “The Little Drummer,” F.O.C. Darley, War Pictures: A Selection of War Lyrics (New York: James G. Gregory, 1864).
  29. 29. “Wounded Drummer” by Eastman Johnson, 1871 (Preparatory studies first released in 1863).
  30. 30. “Wounded Drummer Boy,” William Morris Hunt, 1862.
  31. 31. “After the Battle,” Harper’s Weekly, October 25, 1862
  32. 32. Detail, depicting the death of a drummer boy
  33. 33. Declared age of enlistment; note the suspiciously high peak at age 18. Note the much smaller bump at 44-45, the upper limit; some men above the age limit also lied to enlist. Source: American Civil War Research Database, Historical Data Systems, Inc.
  34. 34. “The Little Soldier” by Eastman Johnston 1864
  35. 35. Johnny Clem (1851-37) • Tried to enlist at age 9 or 10 in 22nd Michigan, tagged along when they refused; allowed to enlist officially in 1863 at age 12; wounded twice in battle; discharged in 1864 at age 13 • Became a national celebrity for heroism at Chickamauga; youngest soldier to become a non-commissioned officer • While Clem became famous because of his extreme youth and bravado, but many other boys and youth, only slightly older, also enlisted
  36. 36. “A Young Hero,” Harper’s Weekly, Nov 8, 1862, describing how 13 year old John W. Packham sustained injuries on the battlefield. “Our Youngest soldier,” Harper’s Weekly, February 6, 1864, explaining how 12 year old Clem was promoted to corporal after wounding and capturing a confederate officer.

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