Friday, September 2, 2011

Women and the Civil War

The Confederate and Union Army’s forbade women to serve during the Civil War. Most images of women during the conflict showed them as nurses, romantic spies, or heroines protecting their home front while the men were gone. However, men were not the only ones to live in germ-ridden camps suffer in prisons and die for their causes. Women too took up arms and charged into battle. The women soldiers took on male names and wore disguises to hide their gender. It is difficult to know how many women soldiers served in the Civil War.

Some of the women soldiers were discovered while serving or came forward to admit their ruse. The U.S. Army did not advertise the fact that women made their way into the ranks. However, it was well known during the Civil War and on throughout the rest of the nineteenth century of the existence of women in military service.

It is important to recognize the importance of the women who fought in the Civil War. It was not that women significantly altered history, but that they fought. They were uncommon and revolutionary. They went against the views of the time for women. The not only faced death, but the sexual prejudices of their society. They were trailblazers.

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