Women, Slaves, and Free Blacks in the Civil War
October 23, 2014
What roles did Northern women play in the war effort on the Union side during the Civil War? What roles did Southern women play in the war effort on the Confederate side during the Civil War? How did the war affect each group? (350 words total) Northern and Southern women played an intricate role on side of the Union and Confederate during the civil war. Women served as nurses, disguised soldiers, spies and front line supporters of officers and soldiers. Although some men served as nurses, women primarily filled this role as nurses, caring for the wounded, serving in clinics and hospitals. Many women recognized the need for their services and volunteered to ensure that their fighting men remained in good health conditions. They worked far into the war zones where supplies and medicines were not sometimes readily available. The women washed and feed the soldiers. The women also served as spies for both sides of the war, as women could easily travel between the north and south without being spotted as spies. They would gather intelligence by listening on military conversations and gathering newspapers from the other sides to share with their true allegiance. Sometimes, these women spies were discovered; minimal harm would come to them while sometimes, they were simply released without incident. Women that accompanied officers to the front lines would provide support by making conditions stable through the selling of tobacco, coffee, oil lamps and other items desired by the soldiers in the time of war. They also provided assistance with laundry, sewing and cooking. Some women felt a stronger desire to serve as they disguised themselves as men to serve as soldiers. The war made many women widowers from the untimely deaths of their husbands caused by the civil war. Also because of the civil war, women formed associations such as the Lint and Bandage...
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