Introduction - Civil War WomenThere were many women during the Civil War who played important roles in helping their sides war effort. There were women who were nurses, abolitionists, spies, who helped supply the troops, and even women soldiers. Some of these women are famous and known by every kid who ever picked up a history book where there are others whose names have been lost to history. In this section of American Civil War Facts you will find lists of interesting American Civil War women facts and information.
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American Civil War Women Soldier FactsIt is estimated that as many as four hundred women fought alongside their male counterparts on both the Union and Confederate sides during the Civil War. The exact number will never be known. Neither side legally allowed women to join the army; therefore these women had to disguise themselves as men. The physical exams for being allowed in either army were obviously not very thorough. When on occasion these soldiers were discovered to be women they were usually just sent home although there were a few who were imprisoned for short periods of time. The reasons why these women fought are the same reasons men fought; including dedication to their side, adventure, and for money. Many of these brave women's names have been lost to history; but one that was not is Jennie Hodgers. She enlisted in the 95th Illinois Infantry using the name Albert Cashier. These amazing women fought in over 40 engagements. Even after the war she lived as a man and was not found out to be a woman until a few years before she died. She was buried in her military uniform.
Famous American Civil War Women Facts
- Harriet Tubman - This brave woman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad and a Union spy. She helped hundreds of slaves escape from the south.
- Clara Barton - This amazing woman served as a nurse helping soldiers on both sides often putting herself in danger. She went on to establish the American Red Cross.
- Belle Boyd - This famous Confederate spy was credited by General Stonewall Jackson for helping him win victories in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
- Rose O' Neal Greenhow - Also known as Wild Rose she was a very important Confederate spy. She was a Washington socialite who used her connections in Washington to collect crucial information for the South. She is especially known for helping the South win The First Battle of Bull Run.
- Pauline Cushman - This actress was a Union spy; she collected information about Confederate military operations and identified enemy spies.
- Mary Elizabeth Bowser - Also known as Mary Jane Richards she served as a Union spy. She helped Union prisoners escape from the overcrowded Libby Prison in Richmond Virginia by setting up a network of people to hide and aid them.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe - This famous woman wrote the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin which was one of the best-selling books of the 1800s. This book is considered to have been one of the causes of the American Civil War.
- Antonia Ford - This confederate spy provided crucial information to General J.E.B. Stuart. She obtained this information from Union soldiers who occupied Fairfax Court House where she lived.