Women In The Civil War

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During the Civil War the whole country was changing. Many able men were being sent off to fight a war that no one knew would last as long as it did, and fighting in neighboring states against fellow U.S. citizens, friends, and even relatives. Relations between the North and the South were as hostile as ever and divided, but the lives of the men and soldiers were not the only thing changing. The Civil War greatly affected the roles and duties of women and children. Women and children in the North and South had to take on the roles, responsibilities, and jobs of the men who were away fighting. Those roles and responsibilities being: taking over the family, farms, and plantations, getting jobs to support the family at home, becoming nurses and…show more content…
Edwards- nurse, spy, and soldier- who claimed to have served in the Army of the Potomac in a Michigan regiment under the name of Pvt. Franklin Thompson.” (Waugh). Not much is known on how many women actually fought in battles. Many female soldiers left little to no records of their reasons for enlisting, but what information there is gives people the idea of what it was…show more content…
“Women’s clothing made it easy to hide information… The many yards of fabric were perfect for hiding messages and papers, small packages and medical supplies easily attached to the frame of the hoop skirts…” (Harper). Again, because of the understanding of men not touching women, they easily transported information that way because no one thought to search women. Another trick used by Elizabeth Van Lew, and other spies, was using “an invisible ink to write their messages between the lines of “ordinary” letters” (Harper). Then to make the invisible ink visible, the receiver of the letter had to add milk to the letter. Van Lew also created codes to encrypt messages, and further their protection.
One of the most famous spies today from during the Civil War was Harriet Tubman. Born into and escaped out of slavery, Tubman was a conductor of the Underground Railroad. “During the Civil War, though, she nursed the Union soldiers, helped freed slaves, and spied for the Union” (Harper). During her life, Tubman made several trips back to the South and freed hundreds of slaves.
Another famous spy during this time was Mary Elizabeth Bowser, she was a free African-American servant who worked in the White House of the Confederacy where Jefferson Davis lived with his family. Bowser was able to listen in on conversations Davis had with his officials, read documents,
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