Essay On The Role Of Women In The Civil War

Superior Essays
When the Civil War commenced on April 12th, 1861, more than 3 million Union and Confederate soldiers geared up for battle. Men from all over America were appointed to go support their side in the war. While their battles are often historically analyzed, well known, and greatly documented, there is one aspect that rarely gets attention: the role of women in the American Civil War. The lives of women were drastically affected by the Civil War. Several disguised themselves as men to be able to join the battlefield. From remaining at home to take care of their children to serving as nurses and spies, women contributed a lot to the war. In comparison to previous generations, women of America have established additional legal rights, advanced their …show more content…
Initially, both North and South military administrations discouraged women from taking care of the wounded. Nursing was tough and usually grisly, therefore women had to demonstrate that they could do the job. In addition, they had to validate that they could perform within a dangerous and disorderly environment filled with male strangers. Plenty of northern women who worked as nurses did so below the guidance of a civilian establishment organized to care for the union wounded, the United States Sanitary commission. From changing bandages to dispensing medicine, the nurses of the civil war had a lot to offer. They distributed supplies, cooked and served meals, worked the laundry, and wrote letters to the soldiers. The founder of American Red Cross achieved eminence when she declined to wait until wounded soldiers had been taken to the end of the battlefield but instead nursed them where they had collapsed. Missing bullets at the battles Antietam and Fort Wagner, she was recognized as the “Angel of the Battlefield” and was selected superintendent of the nurses in the Army of the James in June 1864, despite her disapproval of the military’s strategy of the

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Immigrant women worked low paying and hard labor jobs as seamstresses, maids and laundresses(Majerol 1). The war between the South and North required women to take on the roles of men and do their best to help the military. Women on the home-front took on different jobs while still being held accountable for their children. Women on home-front contributed resources to the war…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    They each explained their own opinions about the differences between Southern nurses and Union nurses. “Women at the Front” discusses how Southern nurses weren’t always able to be given the credit they had earned because they had not actually gone to an actual hospitals to give wounded soldiers the aid that they needed. “Southern women due to the circumstances of war had to relieve the suffering of soldiers in their own homes.” This would mean that these women who nursed these wounded men wouldn’t be on any hospital record of actually performing the aid they had given. This book also notes that the geography of where these battle took place also played a role in the differences between Southern and Union nurses. “Few Southern nurses left home to serve, however, because the war usually went to them.…

    • 1476 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Civil War affected many of American women lives during the years of 1861-1865. Women disguised themselves as men just to be able to do things men did. They played important roles at home and on the battlefield and it wasn't easy. Women were always told they couldn't do some of the things that men did. Women did not always have to stay in the house.…

    • 523 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The book describes the experiences that the women had to go through in order to become a nurse during the Civil War. Although nurses were desperately needed, many hospitals did not want female nurses because doctors believed that women were not strong enough…

    • 1294 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Civil War Women

    • 1228 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Wives were left to take care of all domestic responsibilities while their men were at war, and many had to force themselves into independence in order to keep their lives afloat. However, many did this quite willingly, as suggested in the poem “The Volunteer’s Wife to her Husband,” “Take your gun and go, for Ruth can drive the oxen, John, and I can use the hoe.” (Unknown) Women took a large step toward independence when their husbands went to war and they were left to run a large majority of industrial and domestic life. This role differed largely from the traditional domestic duties of women which were accepted in the early 19th century. As the article “The Domestic Ideal” suggests, “…the Civil War both profoundly changed women 's lives and, ironically, further entrenched the ideals of the preexisting Southern social order.” (The Domestic Ideal) Without the hard work of the wives left at home during the Civil War, America could have completely crumbled in the domestic sense, yet these wives are often forgotten when discussing the Civil…

    • 1228 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many of the women were greatly affected by the conflict of the Civil War as they began to try new jobs as nurses and other medical personnel. In 1861, one group of women began to search for a way “to work on the front lines, caring for sick and injured soldiers and keeping the rest of the Union troops healthy and safe” (Women in The Civil War). And as a result, by June of 1861, the federal government had agreed to establish the United States Sanitary Commission. The Sanitary Commission’s attempted to fight against “preventable diseases and infections by improving conditions…and relief to sick and wounded soldiers” (Women in The Civil War). Many women funded money and made clothes for soldiers, this became their way of life.…

    • 1064 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women In War

    • 1792 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Women In War The coming of the Civil War challenged women to take a step out of their comfort zone in their homes to the outside world. The war pushed women to take over men 's jobs when they had to leave for war. Women were a huge part of history in war even though they were restricted from combat; some disguised themselves as men. They no longer need to disguise themselves in order to fight because of the 1994 DOD Combat Exclusion Policy was lifted. Women 's roles changed dramatically throughout history and have made many contributions to various wars.…

    • 1792 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Many worked in field hospitals just behind the front-line trenches.”8 Back in Canada the woman had to pick up the jobs that were considered unsuitable for them before the war they began working at banks, police forces, farms and in civil service jobs. The woman played a huge role in keeping up the Homefront as well as helping out the war they began working at munition factories and other war factories that produce the weapons the soldiers were using. These women often worked in dangerous conditions in order to help out the war. Woman were thought of as less than men at the time so having the right to any political decisions were left to the men however with the woman being left to run the country, they thought they should have a say. Before the war even started woman began organizations to gain the right to vote these women were called suffragists.…

    • 2711 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women were not always equal; they proved themselves worthy of being a true citizen of the United States in World War I. After countless months of helping the country and saving lives, a new respect was found for women and their abilities. Originally, the United States was neutral during World War I, but after German U-boats attacked American ships and Germany tried to ally itself with Mexico, President Wilson and the Congress declared war on Germany. Starting in 1917, the United States was a part of World War I and women were there to help shape the outcome of the war for the United States. At home, women conserved and produced food for the family and soldiers abroad.…

    • 1306 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Today, people all around notably remember women during the Civil War as nurses. The most renowned nurse at the time was Clara Barton, who later was the founder of the American Red Cross. Ironically, the Northern and Southern unions surgeons demoralized the female nurses to work in official military hospitals. Schultz noted “Throughout the nineteenth century, women were excluded from medical networks on the basis of biological determinism that cast them as unfit to endure the intellectual and physical rigors of doctoring.” Female nurses were doomed to encounter the military surgeons temper and by civilian bureaucrats who placed these policies. Being a nurse during war time was difficult due to the barbaric environment they had to work in.…

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays