Women’s Contribution to the American Revolution
Not only did the men have to fight and contribute to the American Revolution, but so did the women. Avoiding the fact women did not have the same rights as men. Thousands of women contributed to many wars including the American Revolution. Even though women were not considered part of the army, their actions and participation helped soldiers in the militia fight their enemy accurately. Women’s performance was simply amazing and very supportive. Women’s contributions to the American Revolution varied, their peculiar duties ranged from cooks, maids, childcare, nurses up to spies and soldiers. Women had to travel with their husbands to war because of economic necessity or because they had been driven from their homes by the enemy (Brinkley, 149). Women had no other choice than to work to survive and get money for their daily needs; but at the same time, women did not only help themselves but they supported the American Revolution as well. Denneen Volo, and M. Volo argue that women who had followed their husbands to the battlefield were known as camp followers; they traveled with the army, providing supplies, services, and emotional support (241). Camp followers had to do their best and serve their male relatives in whatever they needed. The most common duties women had to perform in the camps consisted of being cooks, maids and childcare; their main responsibilities were to cook, clean, do the laundry, sew and many more domestic tasks (Denneen Volo and M. Volo 243). The men's point of view has never changed, neither on the past nor on the present days; according to most men all women have to perform domestic tasks because it was and will always be their obligations. The type of work camp followers did, were not men’s tasks. Although women were used to do those types of duties in their household every day, it seemed to be a suitable job for them. Some women were not satisfied but they did the work because they had no other choice. “Women had to take care of their husbands needs during the battlefields. Many women even carried water to relieve the thirst of soldiers while they were fighting” (Denneen Volo and M. Volo 244). The camp follower’s actions embodied loyalty to their husbands and their entire family. They were just trying to do anything possible to help the army and their husbands to resist the war and defeat the enemy. Sarah Osborne is an example of one of the camp followers who participated in the American Revolution. According to Danyluk, Sarah Osborne had followed her husband to the American Revolution and used to cook for the entire camp just a few miles away from the battlefield at the American Line (Danyluk, n.p.). Sarah’s efforts reflect that she was equally important in supporting the Revolutionary War as any other man and that she worked hard to support the army and its cause. One crucial role women played in the American Revolution was the role of being nurses; they cared for the fallen soldiers and the sick. Since women’s husbands were out in the battlefield, women also wanted to contribute in a way or another to the American Revolution. That is why they did not take into consideration the hardship and sacrifices they had to go through while serving. Women in the Revolutionary War were just the same as women today; all they wanted was to work on their own and be independent; all women do not want to depend on any man at any time. Nurses were really crucial in the battlefield and they demonstrated to be capable of handling hard situations. Despite the risks women had to confront they always provided invaluable contributions in helping those who were injured and saving their lives. A good example of a nurse who is very well-known is Margaret Cochran Corbin. According to Lieberman, Margaret refused to let her husband go alone. Since her nursing skills would be valuable, she was allowed to accompany his unit as a camp follower (Lieberman, 2). Margaret not only...
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Lieberman, Joe. Margaret Corbin emerged as America’s First Wartime Heroine. Military History 15.6 (1999): n.pag. Ebsco Host. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Metz, Elizabeth Ryan. I Was a Teenager in the American Revolution. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006. Print.
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