Women, Slaves, and Free Blacks in the Civil War
What roles did the Northern women play in the war effort on the Union side during the Civil War? What roles did the Southern women play in the war effort on the Confederate side during the Civil War? How did the war affect each group?
“There were just shy of 400 documented cases of women who served as soldiers during the Civil War, according to the records of the Sanitary Commission.” (Brown, 2012)
Women during the 19th century, according to Historian Barbara Welters were “hostage of the home”. (Brown, 2012) Women were considered what we know now as home wives, without really the option of doing anything outside of the home. When the Civil War began, that meant that men left home
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(History, 2015) In the Union more than 179,000 blacks joined forces, many of which were runaway slaves. In the South, they were still slaves and served as laborers. Many of them went to tend to the master’s needs and it is said that very few took place of their master’s (once killed) on the firing line. (History Net, 2015) They had to volunteer their services because of the 1792 law they could not bear arms in the United States until they were able to enlist in 1862. Many of the blacks, did not receive the recognition they deserved. They were only paid half of what the white men were paid. It is also said that only few became officers and only could command the white men when they couldn’t be identified as being black. Both free and slaved blacks were nurses, cooks, and blacksmiths. I believe the war had a huge effect on the Blacks, after the war, the army was forced into the Reorganization Act, that made them set up four permanent black regiments. (American Black Warriors, 1998) I believe, in hind sight, that the blacks whether free or slaves, wanted to fight just as much as the whites for either side.
American Black Warriors (1998). History of Black Warriors [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/portalplaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=43030
Brown, O. (2012). Women Soldiers of the Civil War. Retrieved from http://www.historynet.com/women-in-the-civil-war#