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Women in Civil War

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Women, Slaves, and Free Blacks in the Civil War
What roles did the Northern women play in the war effort on the Union side during the Civil War? What roles did the Southern women play in the war effort on the Confederate side during the Civil War? How did the war affect each group?

“There were just shy of 400 documented cases of women who served as soldiers during the Civil War, according to the records of the Sanitary Commission.” (Brown, 2012)

Women during the 19th century, according to Historian Barbara Welters were “hostage of the home”. (Brown, 2012) Women were considered what we know now as home wives, without really the option of doing anything outside of the home. When the Civil War began, that meant that men left home behind to go join the ranks. Therefore, the duty lie heavily on the women. The war, in a sense, gave women independence. Instead of just taking care of the home and children, women had to fulfill the duties their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons once fulfilled due to the economic hardships. (“Over the course of the war, inflation in the South caused prices to rise by 9000%.”) (U.S. History Online Textbook, 2015) The women in the South held fundraisers to raise money for army supplies and also provided soldiers with necessary supplies of everyday life. In the South, many women had to become school teachers (for the first time) and eventually were granted permission to work in the hospitals due to the lack of nurses due to all the casualties. Because of this both, women in the North and South, went into the nursing profession. Clara Barton, who later came to find The American Red Cross, was the most famous nurse of the Civil War. Women in the North served in the United States Sanitary Commission, giving donations to not only the men but also to the families throughout the North. As stated above, there is nearly 400 cases of...

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