Did you know that more than 400 women disguised themselves as men and fought in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War?
Over countless wars, feuds, and battles, women have been just a shadow for these gruesome acts. Over time, women decided that protecting a house isn’t the same as fending off foes from their home turf alongside others that share the same passion. That’s when the light gleamed through the gun powder and opened the eyes of hundreds of women. They told themselves that they could help, but how?
In the Northern states, women organized ladies aid societies to supply the Union troops with everything they needed. From food they baked and canned, planting fruit and vegetable gardens, to mending blankets and embroidered quilts for door-to-door fundraising campaigns. They tried their hardest to raise money for the men.
Many women wanted to take a more active role in the war effort. Inspired by the work of Florence Nightingale and her fellow nurses in the Crimean War, they tried to find a way to work on the front lines, caring for sick and injured soldiers and keeping the rest of the Union troops healthy and safe.
In June 1861, they succeeded. The federal government agreed to create a preventive hygienic and sanitary service for the benefit of the army that eventually was called the ”United States Sanitary Commission.”
It’s purpose was to:
- Fight off mass disease crawling through the ranks due to disgusting living conditions
- Convert bad cooking into a culinary art to help replenish the life and attitude of the soldiers
- Improve hygiene for the soldiers granting them to stay out for longer periods of time to fight
Nearly 20,000 women worked more directly for the Union war effort, proving women would overall run and extrude all the contaminated living conditions to make a more efficient way to fight and eventually win wars.