A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
Elizabeth Blackwell, returning to this country from England about
the time of the breaking out of the war, fresh from an acquaintance
with Miss Nightingale, and filled with her enthusiasm, at once called
an informal meeting at the New York Infirmary[14] for Women and
Children, where, on April 25th, 1861, the germ of the sanitary, known
as the Ladies' Central Relief,[15] was inaugurated. A public meeting
was held April 26, 1861, at the Cooper Union, its object being to
concentrate scattered efforts by a large and formal organization. The
society then received the name of the "Woman's Central Relief
Association of New York." Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler was chosen its
president. She soon sent out an appeal to women which brought New York
into direct connection with many other portions of the country,
enabling it "to report its monthly disbursements by tens of thousands,
and the sum total of its income by millions." But very soon after its
organization, Miss Schuyler saw the need of more positive connection
with the Government. A united address was sent to the Secretary of War
from the Woman's Central Relief Association, the Advisory Committee of
the Board of Physicians and Surgeons of the hospitals of New York, and
the New York Medical Association for furnishing medical supplies. As
the result of this address, the Sanitary Commission was established
the 9th of June, 1861, under the authority of the Government, and went
into immediate operation. Although acting under Government
authorization, this commission was not sustained at Government
expense, but was supported by the women of the nation. It was
organized under the following general rules:

1. The system of sanitary relief established by army regulations
was to be adopted; the Sanitary Commission was to acquaint itself
fully with those rules, and see that its agents were familiar
with all the plans and methods of the army system.

2. The Commission was to direct its efforts mainly to
strengthening the regular army system, and work to secure the
favor and co-operation of the Medical Bureau.

3. The Commission was to know nothing of religious differences or
State distinctions, distributing without regard to the place
where troops were enlisted, in a purely national spirit.

Under these provisions the Sanitary Commission completed its full
organization. Dr. Blackwell, in the Ladies' Relief Association, acted
as Chairman of the Registration Committee, a position of onerous
duties, requiring accord with the Medical Bureau and War Department,
and visited Washington in behalf of this committee. But the
Association soon lost her services by her own voluntary act of
withdrawal. Professional jealousy of women doctors being offensively
shown by some of those male physicians with whom she was brought in
contact, she chose to resign rather than allow sex-prejudice to
obstruct the carrying on of the great work originated by her. The
Sanitary, with its Auxiliary Aid Societies, at once presented a method
of help to the loyal[16] women of the country, and every city,
village, and hamlet soon poured its resources into the Commission.
Through it $92,000,000 were raised in aid of the sick and wounded of
the army. Nothing connected with the war so astonished foreign nations
as the work of the Sanitary Commission.

Dr. Henry Bellows, its President at the close of the war, declared in
his farewell address, that the army of women at home had been as
patriotic and as self-sacrificing as the army of men in the field, and
had it not been for their aid the war could not have been brought to a
successful termination.[17]

At every important period in the nation's history, woman has stood by
the side of man in duties. Husband, father, son, or brother have not
suffered or sacrificed alone.

"The old Continentals
In their ragged regimentals
Faltered not,"

because back of them stood the patriotic women of the thirteen
Colonies; those of the north-eastern pine-woods, who aided in the
first naval battle of the Revolution; those of Massachusetts,
Daughters of Liberty, who formed anti-tea leagues, proclaimed inherent
rights, and demanded an independency in advance of the men; those of
New York, who tilled the fields, and, removing their hearth-stones,
manufactured saltpetre from the earth beneath, to make powder for the
army; those of New Jersey, who rebuked traitors; those of
Pennsylvania, who saved the army; those of Virginia, who protested
against taxation without representation; those of South Carolina, who
at Charleston established a paper in opposition to the Stamp Act;
those of North Carolina, whose fiery patriotism secured for the
counties of Rowan and Mecklenberg the derisive name of "The Hornet's
Nest of America." The women of the whole thirteen Colonies everywhere
showed their devotion to freedom and their choice of liberty with
privation, rather than oppression with luxury and ease.

The civil war in our own generation was but an added proof of woman's
love for freedom and her worthiness of its possession. The grandest
war poem, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," was the echo of a woman's
voice,[18] while woman's prescience and power were everywhere
manifested. She saw, before President, Cabinet, generals, or Congress,
that slavery must die before peace could be established in the
country.[19] Months previous to the issue by the President of the
Emancipation Proclamation, women in humble homes were petitioning
Congress for the overthrow of slavery, and agonizing in spirit because
of the dilatoriness of those in power. Were proof of woman's love of
freedom, of her right to freedom needed, the history of our civil war
would alone be sufficient to prove that love, to establish that right.


WOMEN AS SOLDIERS.

Many women fought in the ranks during the war, impelled by the same
patriotic motives which led their fathers, husbands, and brothers into
the contest. Not alone from one State, or in one regiment, but from
various parts of the Union, women were found giving their services and
lives to their country among the rank and file of the army.[20]
Although the nation gladly summoned their aid in camp and hospital,
and on the battle-field with the ambulance corps, it gave them no
recognition as soldiers, even denying them the rights of
chaplaincy,[21] and by "army regulations" entirely refusing them
recognition as part of the fighting forces of the country.

Historians have made no mention of woman's services in the war;
scarcely referring to the vast number commissioned in the army, whose
sex was discovered through some terrible wound, or by their dead
bodies on the battle-field. Even the volumes especially devoted to an
account of woman's work in the war, have mostly ignored her as a
common soldier, although the files of the newspapers of that heroic
period, if carefully examined, would be found to contain many accounts
of women who fought on the field of battle.[22]

Gov. Yates, of Illinois, commissioned the wife of Lieut. Reynolds of
the 17th, as Major, for service in the field, the document being made
out with due formality, having attached to it the great seal of State.
President Lincoln, more liberal than the Secretary of War, himself
promoted the wife of another Illinois officer, named Gates, to a
majorship, for service in the hospital and bravery on the field.

One young girl is referred to who served in seven different regiments,
participated in several engagements, was twice severely wounded; had
been discovered and mustered out of service eight times, but as many
times had re-enlisted, although a Canadian by birth, being determined
to fight for the American Union.

Hundreds of women marched steadily up to the mouth of a hundred cannon
pouring out fire and smoke, shot and shell, mowing down the advancing
hosts like grass; men, horses, and colors going down in confusion,
disappearing in clouds of smoke; the only sound, the screaming of
shells, the crackling of musketry, the thunder of artillery, through
all this women were sustained by the enthusiasm born of love of
country and liberty.

Amid "sighing shot and shrieking shell
And the splintered fire of the shattered hell,
And the great white breaths of the cannon smoke
As the growling guns by the battery spoke.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Right up to the guns, black-throated and grim,
Right down on the hedges bordered with steel,"

bravely marched hundreds of women.

Nor was the war without its naval heroines. Among the vessels captured
by the pirate cruiser _Retribution_, was the Union brigantine, _J. P.
Ellicott_, of Bucksport, Maine, the wives of the captain and mate
being on board. Her officers and crew were transferred to the pirate
vessel and ironed, while a crew from the latter was put on the
brigantine; the wife of the mate was left on board the brig with the
pirate crew. Having cause to fear bad treatment at the hands of the
prize-master[23] and his mate, this woman formed the bold plan of
capturing the vessel. She succeeded in getting the officers
intoxicated, handcuffed them and took possession of the vessel,
persuading the crew, who were mostly colored men from St. Thomas, to
aid her. Having studied navigation with her husband on the voyage, she
assumed command of the brig, directing its course to St. Thomas, which
she reached in safety, placing the vessel in the hands of the United
States Consul, who transferred the prize-master, mate, and crew to a
United States steamer, as prisoners of war. Her name was not given,
but had this bold feat been accomplished by a man or boy, the country
would have rung with praises of the daring deed, and history would
have borne the echoes down to future generations.

Not alone on the tented field did the war find its patriotic victims.
Many women showed their love of country by sacrifices still greater
than enlistment in the army. Among these, especially notable for her
surroundings and family, was Annie Carter Lee, daughter of Gen. Robert
E.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | 232 | | 233 | | 234 | | 235 | | 236 | | 237 | | 238 | | 239 | | 240 | | 241 | | 242 | | 243 | | 244 | | 245 | | 246 | | 247 | | 248 | | 249 | | 250 | | 251 | | 252 | | 253 | | 254 | | 255 | | 256 | | 257 | | 258 | | 259 | | 260 | | 261 | | 262 | | 263 | | 264 | | 265 | | 266 | | 267 | | 268 | | 269 | | 270 | | 271 | | 272 | | 273 | | 274 | | 275 | | 276 | | 277 | | 278 | | 279 | | 280 | | 281 | | 282 | | 283 | | 284 | | 285 | | 286 | | 287 | | 288 | | 289 | | 290 | | 291 | | 292 | | 293 | | 294 | | 295 | | 296 | | 297 | | 298 | | 299 | | 300 | | 301 | | 302 | | 303 | | 304 | | 305 | | 306 | | 307 | | 308 | | 309 | | 310 | | 311 | | 312 | | 313 | | 314 | | 315 | | 316 | | 317 | | 318 | | 319 | | 320 | | 321 | | 322 | | 323 | | 324 | | 325 | | 326 | | 327 | | 328 | | 329 | | 330 | | 331 | | 332 | | 333 | | 334 | | 335 | | 336 | | 337 | | 338 | | 339 | | 340 | | 341 | | 342 | | 343 | | 344 | | 345 | | 346 | | 347 | | 348 | | 349 | | 350 | | 351 | | 352 | | 353 | | 354 | | 355 | | 356 | | 357 | | 358 | | 359 | | 360 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.