Women in the Civil War Facts

Women in the Civil War Facts
Women served in many different important capacities during the U.S. Civil War, including as nurses, spies, and sometimes even in battle. Perhaps one of the most important roles women played during the Civil War was in holding down the home front. With so many of the young, healthy men on both sides away fighting, women were forced to become the head of their households, manage the family finances, take care of their children, and work their farms. Women in the Confederate states were hit especially hard because nearly every fighting age man was away fighting and contrary to common opinion, which has been promoted by fictional portrayals such as Gone with the Wind, most southern women did not have vast numbers of slaves to help them.
Interesting Women in the Civil War Facts:
"Ladies' aid societies" were formed by women across the northern states to donate food, clothing, and other necessities to Union soldiers on the front lines.
Nearly 20,000 women worked for the Union army as cooks and laundresses, while another 3,000 served as nurses.
The United States Sanitary Commission was formed in 1861, which gave women the ability to serve as nurses in the Union army.
Dorthea Dix (1802-1881), who was later known as an activist on behalf of the mentally ill, served as the Superintendent of Army Nurses for the Union army during the Civil War.
It is estimated that at least 400 and as many as 750 women disguised themselves as men in order to engage in combat during the war in both armies.
Rose O'Neal Greenhow (1814-1864) was a Washington socialite who led an important pro-Confederate spy ring during the war. She died when a boat she was in capsized as she was attempting to smuggle $2,000 worth of gold from Europe to the Confederate states.
Many female slaves fled to the north during the war, but unlike male slaves, they were not given freedom by the government until 1865.
Prostitutes were common around several army camps and although the slang "hooker" was known before the Civil War, the popularization of the term has been attributed to Union Major General Joseph Hooker, who was known to frequent prostitutes and allowed several to follow his camp.
Employment opportunities for women greatly expanded in the urban areas during the war and women, both in the north and south, became school teachers in great numbers for the first time during the Civil War.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), best known as the author of Little Women, served as a nurse in Georgetown, District of Columbia for six weeks during the war.
The idea of the demure, passive, and weak Southern Belle was largely displaced with a new type of white southern woman after the war who was more independent and assertive.
Many scholars attribute the contribution of women to both sides during the Civil War and their increased responsibilities to the rise of the Women's Suffrage movement.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) formed in 1894 in Nashville, Tennessee to fund Confederate memorials and honor Confederate veterans of the Civil War.


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