The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

Southern Diarists

Was this kind of graphic description common?

It was. Southern women may have been delicate and refined, at least in the eyes of those who wrote about them, but they faced the war with unflinching resolve. Of course, not all comments about Southern women were so complimentary. Here is what a Union soldier had to say about female bushwhackers in February 1864:

“The women of the South,” the Union soldier began, “are the goads that prick the men to action. I should have said first that there are female as well as male bushwhackers. When a woman takes one of these filthy creatures to her home or heart, as the case may be, she becomes a partner to his guilt, according to the common law.… She is the receiver, and the receiver is as bad as the thief. All the country [in Tennessee] is infested with these guerillas and bushwhackers; they have certain haunts, where they make their headquarters and store away their plunder.”

This was not the only kind of prejudice, however.


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