It was extraordinary to use the material that I had researched for a novel and write it as a "straight" history. I also wrote the foreword to this collection of three historical essays about the women that have come to fascinate me: Henry VI takes the throne in and begins his long reign of England through some of its most turbulent times including Joan of Arc's mission and beginning of The Wars of the Roses - though at the time it was known as The Cousins' War as the feuding families of York and Lancaster fought for power and position. There was a chapter in a PhD thesis, and one essay.
Due to the fact that women were not allowed to serve in the military at the time, these women disguised themselves as men, cut off their hair and adopted male aliases in order to join the military.
According to the American Battlefield Trust, between to women fought as soldiers in the Civil War. The authors of the book They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War give a different number though, stating that they found a total of documented cases of women serving as soldiers in the war women writing about war they suspected there were many more than that.
In May ofa year before the war finally ended, the Nashville Dispatch reported that, according to official records at Washington, over female soldiers had been discovered since the war began: It is supposed that nearly all of these were in collusion with men who were examined and accepted, after which the fair ones managed to substitute themselves and be mustered into the service.
Over seventy of these martial ladies, when their sex was discovered, were acting as officers servants. In one regiment there were seventeen of them in this capacity. The only reason we know of these women at all is because their real identities were discovered and documented at some point.
Some of these women were discovered while in service either because they were wounded, captured or died and, as a result, they were physically examined by doctors. The discovery of their true identity usually resulted in some kind of paperwork, either through discharge papers, letters between military officials, death certificates and etc, which would have left a paper trail of documented evidence.
Other women confessed to their actions, either through letters to friends and families, or by writing memoirs about their experiences and even by applying for Civil War pensions which required them to provide proof of service and reveal their aliases. Other times, their military service was made public for the first time when they passed away, years after the war, and their military service was revealed in their obituary.
For the women who were never discovered, and historians suspect there were many, their stories remain lost forever. Women soldiers fought in some of the biggest and most famous Civil War battles. It was often when these women soldiers were wounded that their real identities were discovered.
The actions of these women soldiers have been forgotten over time but the public was well aware of the women soldiers at the time of the Civil War because their stories were routinely reported in newspapers across the country.
These reasons include money, patriotism, adventure and a chance to travel. A few women soldiers actually published memoirs, wrote letters during their time in service or gave interviews with reporters and explained their personal reasons why they decided to fight in the war. Frances Clayton, photographed by Samuel Masbury, circa Loretta Janeta Velazquez, a southern woman who joined the Confederate army and later wrote a memoir about her experience, titled The Woman In Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, explained that she had always had fantasies about going off to war like her hero, Joan of Arc, and the Civil War was her opportunity to act on those fantasies.
Although she was married and had children, when her children died of an illness and her husband left for war, she decided it was finally her moment: I was dreadfully afraid that there would be no war, and my spirits rose and sank as the prospects of a conflict brightened or faded…As for me, I was perfectly wild on the subject of war; and although I did not tell my husband so, I was resolved to forsake him if he raised his sword against the South.
I felt that now the great opportunity of my life had arrived, and my mind was busy night and day in planning schemes for making my name famous above that of any of the great heroines of history, not even excepting my favorite, Joan of Arc.
While dying of a mortal wound received in battle she dictated a letter to her parents that read: I have but a few moments to live. I expected to deliver my country, but the fates would not have it so. I am content to die.For much of the twentieth century, a deep ignorance was displayed towards British women’s literature of World War I.
Scholars reasoned that women had not fought combatively, thus, did not play as significant a role as men. Social Climate of Women's Writing.
World War I challenged Britain’s entrenched societal hierarchy. Women's literary expressions of war have long been neglected and at times forgotten in Irish scholarship.
In Women Writing War: Ireland many of these forgotten women are revealed through their writings as culturally active and deeply invested in the political and military struggles of their turbulent times.
|Established historian & writer. International No 1 best seller.||Development history[ edit ] InThomas Niles, the publisher of Louisa May Alcott, recommended that she write a book about girls that would have widespread appeal.|
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Announcing the Consequence Magazine Women Writing War Fiction Award Winner. Siobhan Fallon selected the winning story: “Hill ” by Ruth Edgett. About the selected story Siobhan Fallon wrote. A non-fiction companion to The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Lady of the ashio-midori.compa Gregory and two historians, leading experts in their field, tell the extraordinary 'true' stories of the lives of these women who until now have been largely forgotten by history, their background and times, highlighting questions which are raised in the fiction and illuminating the novels.
2 thoughts on “ Women Soldiers in the Civil War ” John Braden November 18, at pm. The best estimate of female combatants in the Civil War has been provided in John A. Braden, “Mothers of Invention: Phony Reports of Female Civil War Combatants.” in the January/February, Camp Chase Gazette (Vol.
XLII, NO. 1). World War I: But even before the end of the war, many women refused to accept lower pay for what in most cases was the same work as had been done previously by men. The women workers on London buses and trams went on strike in to demand the same increase in pay.