American Women In The Civil War Essay

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Hundreds of thousands of men risked their lives in the Civil War, but history tends to leave out all the women who went against what society believed and courageously contributed their efforts to the fight. American women witnessed their fathers, husbands, and brothers go off to fight in the Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865. These women held the choice to watch the battles and all the action from their homes or to stand up for their beliefs and find a way to help. Their contribution, whether it be on the battlefront or along the sidelines, forced American society to rethink the stereotypical submissiveness of the traditional housewife and served as a push in the ongoing struggle for gender equality. As a whole, women found many ways to contribute a great deal…show more content…
Up to 750 women were estimated to be enlisted and fought in every major battle of the war. These brave women were motivated by adventure, promising pay, and loyalty to their cause. This, combined with that fact that they knew they had the power to help, drove many American women to conceal their gender and participate in the military (Smith 3 - 4). “I could only thank God that I was free and could go forward and work, and I was not obliged to stay at home and weep" (Smith 4). Although this seems like it would be difficult to do, meager training requirements, sanitary customs, and bulky uniforms at the time made it much simpler to keep these women 's identities a secret. More specifically, most people were citizen soldiers who had no prior experience, which meant that the women would get the same amount of training as their male counterparts. Also, it was culturally practiced to sleep in your clothes and bathe separately, which happened to benefit the many female soldiers in this time period (Smith 6). In conclusion, these women were notably intelligent and played a key part in the Civil War

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