Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Women's Changing Roles During the Civil War

By Kate Coleman, September 16, 2002

There were 23,110 casualties at the battle of Antietam.

The Civil War - skirmishes, battles and disease - took the lives of more than 610,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.

Beyond the mind-numbing numbers are the personal stories of families and communities affected by the fighting. What effect did the war have on women - the wives, the mothers, the sisters, the friends of those soldiers?

The war's impact on some women of the period is well-known.

Clara Barton was called the "angel of the battlefield" by a surgeon at Antietam.

The Massachusetts native had become a teacher at the age of 18, in an era when most teachers were male. In 1852, she established the first free public school in New Jersey and moved to Washington, D.C., in 1854. She was one of very few women who worked for the federal government, earning $1,400 a year as a clerk - the same salary as the men in her office. Because the Secretary of the Interior was opposed to women working in government offices, her job was reduced to copyist; her pay to 10 cents per 100 words copied, according to information on the Clara Barton National Historic Site Web site at Clara Barton National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)

From: articles.herald-mail.com


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