THE ROLE WOMEN PLAYED DURING THE CIVIL WAR
Brendan Kyek HIS223X2297: Modern War & Society Final Narrative Paper December 10, 2014
Throughout the centuries the role of women have been primarily the same. Most were homemakers or housewives and kept up the house, cleaned, cooked, gave birth to and raised children and did things like sowing. During the American Civil War, however, we can look back and see that women stepped out of this traditional role and put themselves in harms way to support either the Union or the Confederacy. Many ...view middle of the document...
Women of both sides proved to be very adept at the second oldest profession. Due, in part, to the double standard of the time it made sense to employ women as spies. Men caught engaging in any kind of espionage were often shot or hanged1.
Samuelson, Nancy B. "Employment of Female Spies in the American Civil War." Minerva 7, no. 3 (Dec 31, 1989): 57, http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/222837441?accountid=3783 (accessed
Harriet Tubman, born Araminta Ross 2, who was more notably known for her work with the underground railroad, served as a nurse, scout, commander, and resettlement agent during the Civil War.3 Not only was she one of a small number of women to serve in the war, she was also one of an even smaller number of African American women to serve in the Civil War. Her role as a spy was to create a network of African American spies throughout the South Carolina slave population to report back to Union forces. But this wasn’t her most notable accomplishment during the war. In June 1863, Harriet Tubman became the first woman to command and lead an armed military raid. This raid was well executed and liberated more than 750 slaves4. Despite all the accomplishments Harriet Tubman made before and during the war, she was still an African American women. This is evident by the following quote::
As she traveled home to Auburn, New York, by train with a military government pass, a White conductor, assisted by two or three others, dragged her off the train. She resisted and was severely injured by both the physical force and the racial insults. The war had ended, yet her dignity was still being challenged5
Another notable women spy of the Civil War was Rose O’Neal Greenhow. Before the war started she had developed strong friendships and connections with powerful people in Washington and the North. She had personally known nine presidents and her close friendship with president James Buchanan had on occasion raised Washington eyebrows6. Just before the war started it was no secret that her allegiance rests with the South but this did not end her friendships or disconnect from those in the North like most other Southern sympathizers. Instead
Crewe, Sandra E. "Harriet Tubman: Peacemaker and Stateswomen." Affilia 21, no. 2 (Apr 12, 2006): 229 ,http://aff.sagepub.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/content/21/2/228.full.pdf+html (accessed 11/21/2013). 3 Ibid 230. 4 Crewe, "Harriet Tubman: Peacemaker and Stateswomen." 231 5 Ibid 6 Samualson, “Employment of Female Spies in the American Civil War”
she openly consorted with Northerners and deliberately began collecting valuable intelligence7. ...