3 Mar 2018

Celebrate Women's History Month

Celebrate Women's History Month

The upheaval of the American Revolution and the Civil War profoundly altered women’s lives, opening new paths and allowing them to take on roles previously held largely by men. Nursing, which had been a male profession, is the best-known example.

In hospitals across the country thousands of women stepped in to serve as nurses. The treatment they provided to sick and wounded soldiers saved countless lives. During the Civil War, Kate Cumming and Phoebe Pember tended to hundreds of soldiers in the South. In the North, women like Mary Livermore and the indefatigable Clara Barton made their voices heard in the highest halls of power, successfully advocating for reforms based on their experiences as nurses during the war. These reforms had a lasting and positive impact on the quality of medical care in the United States.

It was not just in health care that women took on an increasingly assertive role during America's founding conflicts. During the American Revolution, women like Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren were able to influence politics and policies in meaningful ways.

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, a growing movement for women’s rights developed in the North as an off-shoot of the anti-slavery movement. Courageous activists like Abby Kelley and Sojourner Truth continued to fight for the cause throughout the Civil War, while at the same time advocating for abolition and the Union.

Southern women were no less important or outspoken. Rose O’Neal Greenhow and other female spies provided invaluable intelligence to the Confederacy, making a real difference on the battlefield. Southern diarist Mary Chesnut’s keen insights continue to fascinate readers more than a century-and-half later.

Women, both North and South, also ventured onto the battlefield, many changing their appearance so they could fight incognito for the cause they believed in. African American women like Harriet Tubman often took on especially dangerous roles, operating behind Confederate lines as Union scouts.

While the American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War may be remembered by many as a conflict between men, American women knew that it was their fight too. Peruse our content and learn more about their stories.

Eight Women’s History Month events

Throughout March, people across the country will commemorate Women’s History Month by highlighting women’s vital contributions to our history, culture and society. We’ve compiled a list of eight activities at historic destinations where you can reflect on the accomplishments of women who played a vital role in America’s early conflicts.

Quiz: Women in America’s Defining Wars

Do you know which courageous woman took her wounded husband’s place on a gun crew at the 1778 Battle of Monmouth? Who saved some of our nation’ most precious treasures during the War of 1812. Could you identify Union and Confederate woman spies from the Civil War? Take our quiz to test your knowledge of the key role women played in our defining conflicts.

Women’s History on Social Media

Throughout the month of March, we will be sharing stories of women and their contributions to American history on social media. Learn both the famous and the lesser-known tales, whether they risked their lives on the battlefield, or made strides on the homefront to support the war effort. Like us on Facebook to get a daily dose of history.

Women in the American Civil War: In4

Join historian Deanne Blanton as she discusses the many important contributions made by women from both the North and the South during the American Civil War, highlighting some of their more famous experiences, as well as the role the war played in advancing women’s independence and the cause of women’s rights in the United States.

Photo Contest

Do you have a personal connection to Civil War History? Perhaps you have a female ancestor among one of the many brave individuals who fought, or are related to a civilian who lived through the conflict, maybe you live in a home or on land that was witness to combat. We want you to share these personal connections to Civil War history with us.
Save History, Every Month

Over the years, you have helped to save 48,000 acres of hallowed ground. These acres include battlefields where women served directly in combat, treated the wounded as nurses, or resided in houses that were witness to battle. You can help honor their legacies and preserve their stories and save this irreplaceable hallowed ground with our monthly giving plan.


American Battlefield Trust

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