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Today We Go Home


Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave ...
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Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

Created: 08/26/19

Replies: 14

Posted Aug. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2204

Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

Were you surprised to learn that so many women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Had you heard about any before reading this book? Do you know of any real-life examples?


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 49

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I had heard of this before, again because I've researched this period.


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 80

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I have heard of women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War. I have a question; what did they do about their monthly periods?


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 54

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

That's a great question annar! One can only guess; I'm sure they figured out a way to conceal it. But it does make you wonder how challenging it must have been to hide your body 24/7 from the men around you. It would be quite exhausting!


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 23

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I had not heard of any women doing this before this book. It would have been tiring to do that.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RRO

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 16

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

Yes, as I've read a lot about this period. I believe that women also disguised themselves in other wars such as the American Revolution too. I agree it would have been very difficult to do that, not sure I could have done that myself.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 113

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

Good question annar! I had the same thought! lol. I had heard of women disguising themselves as men to fight in wars. But as exhausting as it might seem to us for the women, I imagine it might not have been as difficult as we think. Because of the time period, many women were as skilled as men in shooting, and other survival skills necessary to live in the rural areas, and the men in the army were not expecting women to be among their ranks, so it likely may never have even occurred to them that someone might have been a woman.


Posted Sep. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 252

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I didn't know about this, but I'm happy that I do now.


Posted Sep. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Kmfox57

Join Date: 07/21/19

Posts: 7

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I read 'Liar Temptress Soldier Spy' by Karen Abbott, which has accounts of 4 women during the Civil War and claims that “as many as four hundred women, in both North and South, were posing and fighting as men.” One of these was Emma Edmondson, who put on a soldier’s uniform, changed her name to Frank Thompson and enlisted in Company F, Second Michigan Infantry. In that book Abbott writes about confederate women as well.


Posted Sep. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 353

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I had never heard of this but I’ve never been interested in the Civil War. My husband who is a history buff did not know about the women.


Posted Oct. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 422

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I grew up in the little town of La Porte, Texas where Sara Emma Edmonds lived, died and was buried. So, for those interested, here is the rest of her story:

Edmonds's career as Frank Thompson came to an end when she contracted malaria. She abandoned her duty in the military, fearing that if she went to a military hospital she would be discovered. She checked herself into a private hospital, intending to return to military life once she had recuperated. Once she recovered, however, she saw posters listing Frank Thompson as a deserter. Rather than return to the army under another alias or as Frank Thompson, risking execution for desertion, she decided to serve as a female nurse at a Washington, D.C. hospital for wounded soldiers run by the United States Christian Commission. There was speculation that Edmonds may have deserted because of John Reid having been discharged months earlier. There is evidence in his diary that she had mentioned leaving before she had contracted malaria. Her fellow soldiers spoke highly of her military service, and even after her disguise was discovered, considered her a good soldier. She was referred to as a fearless soldier and was active in every battle her regiment faced.

In 1864, Boston publisher DeWolfe, Fiske, & Co. published Edmonds' account of her military experiences as The Female Spy of the Union Army. One year later, her story was picked up by a Hartford, CT publisher who issued it with a new title, Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. It was a huge success, selling in excess of 175,000 copies. Edmonds donated the profits from her memoir to various soldiers' aid organization.

In 1867, she married Linus. H. Seelye, a mechanic and a childhood friend with whom she had three children.[8] All three of their children died in their youth, leading the couple to adopt two sons.

Edmonds became a lecturer after her story became public in 1883. In 1886,she received a government pension of $12 a month for her military service, and after some campaigning, was able to have the charge of desertion dropped, and receive an honorable discharge. In 1897, she became the only woman admitted to the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War Union Army veterans' organization. On September 5, 1898. at the age of 56, Edmonds died in La Porte, Texas, and was buried in the cemetery there. In 1901 she was laid to rest for the second time in the the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) section of Glennwood Cemetery in Houston with full military honors. In 1992, she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.


Posted Oct. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Kmfox57

Join Date: 07/21/19

Posts: 7

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

dianaps, that is very interesting about Sara Emma Edmonds. Thanks for the additional info!


Posted Oct. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 169

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

I have read a number of books about women disguising themselves as men. I find it very interesting, however sad that this had to happen at all. I am sure that there are many more cases of this happening than were ever recorded.


Posted Oct. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 60

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

Several years ago read "I Shall be Near You" by Erin Lindsey McCabe which was about a young woman passing as a man to be near her husband. That first introduced me to the idea of women passing themselves off as men. Thank you for sharing the story of Sara Edmonds. I will be sure to add her "story" to my reading list by reading the book.


Posted Oct. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 85

RE: Had you heard about women disguising themselves as men to fight in the Civil War? Do you know of any real-life examples?

My awareness has has been awakened. Listening to Archie Fisher he started singing Jackaro. A song about a woman who dressed as a man to fight in a war with her beau. Ok maybe that is where the romantic idea shows up. A different question. This is I found in a brief search just a little teaser.

Wikipedia
Jack Monroe (song)
"Jack Monroe" (Roud 268 and Laws N7), also known as "Jack Munro," "Jackie Monroe," "Jacky Robinson", "Jack-A-Roe," "Jackaroe," "Jackaro," "Jackie Frazier," "Jack the Sailor," "Jack Went A-Sailing," "The Love of Polly and Jack Monroe", "The Maid of Chatham", among other titles, is a traditional ballad of uncertain (though presumably British) origin. American broadsides of the song date back to around 1830. The song is a staple of the folk rock repertoire and has been performed by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and more commonly, The Grateful Dead (as "Jack-A-Roe"). In 1931, Florence Reece used this tune for her song "Which Side Are You On?". Also performed by Melora Creager of Rasputina on Ancient Cross-Dressing Songs.


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