Women During The Civil War

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The bloodiest of wars in American History began in the Battle of Fort Sumter on April 12 of 1861 in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Many Americans faced uncertainty as the first battle of many launched a bloody four year war between the North and South or better known as the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. Most staggered with uncertainty were the women who immediately gripped the reigns of responsibility of their homes and family once compelled with the absence of the men that parted for war.

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Before they participated on the battlefields as soldiers and nurses and discretely worked to retrieve information from the opposing side; they also took over businesses at home that were once operated by their husbands or fathers, including plantations where some women failed not to resort to violence if necessary to show control over slaves. They also raised aid and money for soldiers despite opposition from the soldiers themselves who believed a woman ought not to do a mans work in business affairs.

They even worked as recruiting officers to enlist men in the war and humiliated those who desired not to join the war where their husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers were fighting and at fatal risk of never returning. These women tirelessly served and took on the roles their men left them all while having no political voice or influence. The women who joined the war were no different. They took on the roles of men as soldiers and the roles of women as spies, nurses, and advocators. Women in the Civil War have contributed to the war and paid in sacrifices just as men have whether on the battlefield or at home. The women in the Civil War lack credit for their efforts and remain contoured in the shadows of men who garnered more recognition in their battle glory than the bold and fearless women who took on greater risks and threats than men on the battlefield and in society.

Despite the tenor of gloom and mistrust that any neighbor, friend, or town local could be partial to the opposing side; some citizens were gleeful at the chance of lending a hand in the war. Belle Boyde also known as the fastest girl in Virginia or anywhere else for that matter was one of them. She used a charming and cunningly seductive demeanor to ruse men from either side to reveal information so that she may expose the soldiers from the Union or faithfully retrieve the information for the Confederates. Belle Boyde feared that any man could be a Yankee spy and deemed it her responsibility to sought them out so she became a spy herself for the Confederates. She could not find it in herself to sit and dawdle with domestic responsibilities when she could be out there contributing to the Confederate Government.

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