Women of the Blue and Gray: True Civil War Stories of Mothers, Medics, Soldiers, and Spies

Women of the Blue and Gray: True Civil War Stories of Mothers, Medics, Soldiers, and Spies

by Marianne Monson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629724157
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 167,711
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Marianne Monson is a writer and professor of English with a strong interest in the relationship between literature and history. She teaches Creative Writing at Portland Community College and regularly speaks at writing conferences.

Read an Excerpt

The stories we tell are powerful. And they matter.

Walk with me through any Civil War museum of this country, and you'll find army uniforms, photographs of soldiers, cannons, personal effects, artillery, percussion rifles, Colt revolvers, and war medals. Here and there, tucked into corners, you may find pieces showing the experience of women. You would never guess from looking at such museums that the vast majority of the people whose lives were impacted by the Civil War were not white, powerful males, but their perspectives are no less a part of what this country went through.

If you take the time to dig deeper in a Civil War museum, behind nearly every item you will find a woman's story waiting to speak. You realize the straw hat a man wore to his death was handcrafted by his sister; the "housewife" pouch one man carried was sewn by the hands of his sweetheart, made from the fabric of her dress; women designed and created battle flags, crafted gold epaulets for uniforms, picked cotton to clothe the nation. When soldiers fell on battlefields, they were often cared for by female hands; their locks of hair and personal items were sent by females to relatives; the same items were cherished by females for decades, and finally donated by females in their loved one's memories.

If you look beyond the tales you've heard most often, you'll realize that women fought in the war disguised, authored journals that recorded the central events, counseled Lincoln on strategy, organized, fundraised, and financed the war, then created Memorial Associations to commemorate the very history that typically devalued their own contributions, held ceremonies to keep the memories alive, cooked food, coordinated events, and cleaned them all up. They erected monuments, persuaded legislatures to declare holidays, financed churches, comforted veterans when they returned home broken, and listened to them talk for decades about their service. If they'd had the right to do so, they would have deemed themselves business consultants, philanthropists, medical personnel, event coordinators, and psychologists, and they would have been properly compensated.

During the Victorian era, when photography exposures were painfully long, it was a common practice to take photographs of children by placing them on the lap of their mother, while she was completely draped in veils. These "Hidden Woman" photos seem a bit strange to modern viewers--the shadowy figure of a person, or a pair of disembodied hands lurking like shadows behind the child. Metaphorically, these photos are an apt representation of history's presentation of women: an obscured figure whose purpose was to support others and remain unseen. Modern historians are beginning to remove that veil, allowing her to step forward, and begin to speak of her own experience in her own words, turning his-story into their-story, presenting a truer, fuller, richer version of what really happened in this country.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Rebels, Inciters, Revolutionaries
Mary Cary (Supported the Union)
She was an active abolitionist and the first female African American newspaper editor in North America.
The Grimke sisters (Supported the Union)
First American female advocates of abolition and women's rights as writers, orators, educators.
Lydia Maria Child (Supported the Union)
Abolitionist, women's and Native American rights activist, novelist, journalist, opponent of American expansionism. Writer of "Over the River and Through the Woods" poem.
Harriet A. Jacobs (Supported the Union)
Escaped slave who helped other newly-freed slaves in aftercare. Advocate and reformer.
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (Supported the Union)
Orator and advocate for abolition and women's rights. First woman to speak before the US Congress.

Arms to Save: Nurses, Medics, and Battlefield Relief
Mary Ann Bickerdyke (Supported the Union)
Established 300 field hospitals during the war and was a lifelong advocate for veterans.
Ellen Orbison Harris (Supported the Union)
Secretary of the Philadelphia Ladies Aid Society devoted to soldiers
Phoebe Pember (Supported the Confederacy)
Nurse and hospital administrator to the largest military hospital in the US in SC.
Sally Tompkins (Supported the Confederacy)
Nurse and philanthropist, privately sponsoring hospitals in VA, known as the "Angel of the Confederacy".
Clara Barton (Supported the Union)
Pioneering nurse who founded the American Red Cross.

Voices from Slavery
Harriet Ann Jacobs
Rachel Ann Moore
Suzie King Taylor

The Beardless Brigade: Civil War Women Soldiers 
Mary Walker (Supported the Union)
A physician and an outspoken women's rights activist she was captured by the
Confederate army and was the first-and only-woman to receive the Medal of Honor
for her service during the Civil War.

Tales of Smuggling, Espionage, and General Subterfuge
Belle Boyd (Supported the Confederacy)
Raced across an active battlefield to bring Stonewall Jackson news about the Union's
advance which allowed the South to successfully reclaim Fort Royal, VA.
Rebecca Wright (Supported the Union)
Secretly passed information about Confederate forces to Union generals.
Mary Ann Pitman (Supported the Union)
Used her southern roots and accent to gather names of Confederate suppliers and passed them on to the Union.
The Sanchez sisters (Supported the Confederacy)
Listened outside an open window to Union officer talk about a gunboat attack and alerted the Confederate Army who ambushed the battalion.
Nancy Hart (Supported the Confederacy)
Joined a guerilla gang that vandalized railroads, raided families sympathetic to the Union, and passed information to the Confederate army.
Harriet Tubman (Supported the Union)
Escaped slavery and led hundreds to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
Rose Greenhow (Supported the Confederacy)
Supplied information to the South to prepare for the Battle of Bull Run.
Mary Jane Richards Bowser (Supported the Union)
An educated free slave who posed as a house servant in Jefferson Davis's home and
passed critical information about troop moments directly to General Grant.
Pauline Cushman (Supported the Union)
An actress, she disguised herself as numerous characters-including an Army Captain
and a wealthy Southern gentleman-to track guerilla networks and tease information
from key Confederate players.

Individual Biographies
Anna Ella Carroll (Supported the Union)
A politician, pamphleteer, and lobbyist who played a significant role as an advisor to
President Lincoln.
Susie King Taylor (Supported the Union)
Born a slave, she was educated in secret by her grandmother and organized a school
where she would educate black children in secret.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Recruiter, Newspaper Editor, and Abolitionist
First black woman newspaper publisher in North America
Dr. Mary Walker: Civil War Surgeon and Activist
Abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war, war surgeon and the only women ever to receive the Medal of Honor
Anna Ella Carroll: Military Strategist and Political Advisor
A politician, pamphleteer, and lobbyist who played a significant role as an advisor to
President Lincoln.
Cornelia Peake McDonald: Mother and Diarist (Supported the Confederacy)
Her writing recaps the views of the war from the perspective of a woman living in the most occupied towns in the conflict: Winchester, VA. She became known as the "Devil Diarist of Winchester".

The North
Maria Lydig Daly
Emilie Davis

The South
Eliza Frances Andrew
Mary Greenhow Lee

First Nations in a New Nation: Native American women
Hanging Cloud (Supported the Union)
Electa Quinney (Supported the Union)
Sallie Peacheater Manus (Supported the Union)
Sallie Watie (Supported the Union)
Mary Schwandt and Maggie Good Thunder (Supported the Union)
Cornelia Peake McDonald (Supported the Confederacy)
Her writings tell the story of the Civil War from the point of a view of a woman living in
a Southern town occupied by Union troops. She became known as the "Devil Diarist of

Love in the Time of Dysentery
Sarah Bryant and William Pritchett (Supported the Confederacy)
Bettie Smith and John Coker (Supported the Union)
Antonia Ford and Joseph C. Willard (Supported the Confederacy)
Kady and Robert Brownell (Supported the Union)
Ellen and William Craft (Supported the Union)
Rachel and Samuel Cormany (Supported the Union)
Arabella and Francis Barlow (Supported the Union)
Lucy Wood and Waddy Butler (Supported the Confederacy)
Anna Morrison and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Supported the Confederacy)
Sarah Shumway and Sullivan Ballou (Supported the Union)

Pathways to Peace

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