On March 4, the GFWC Chautauqua had their monthly meeting at the home of Sue Deines. Each member brought a brown bag of books to exchange with other members for the enjoyment of reading. Extra books were given to the Clarksville and Louisiana libraries. The program topic was “Ladies of the Civil War”. A film from the Louisiana Library was shown and a discussion followed about the role of women in the Civil War.
Who were the women who volunteered to fight in the Civil War? They came from pioneer and farm families who lived a harsh life. These women could do many of the same thing as men; they could shoot, farm, blacksmith, and work hard. Many new immigrant women, like Albert Cashier, volunteered to fight. And yes, the women took men’s names so they would not be rejected when mustered up into service. The women disguised themselves as men and fought side by side in the ranks with men. Women were also spies, and some were guerrillas fighting behind enemy lines, like Nancy Heart and Maryjean Green. To keep from being discovered as females, many women soldiers switched regiments frequently. The historian narrator of the film stated that women were present in almost all them major battles of the Civil War.
If interested in the role women played in the Civil War, please check out the movie at the Louisiana Library.
If anyone is interested in the General Federation of Women’s Club, check the Clarksville official website or contact Judy Dew, President Chautauqua at 573-242-3794.