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Women in the Civil War: how did they contribute? Essay sample

The lifestyle of American women was never the same since the Civil War had begun. It was unimaginable for a Victorian-era woman to work as a nurse, volunteer, or fight on a battlefield, but that was exactly what females did in the Civil War. Colonial America has fully adopted the “Cult of a True Womanhood”. Females were supposed to create a clean and comfortable living and please their husbands as they came home from the workplace. But the feminist revolution had already hung in the air, and the Civil War accelerated this process. After the war started in 1861, women joined in ladies’ aid societies that by all means helped soldiers from the home front. They typically grew and canned vegetables, baked bread, sewed uniforms, and even supplied cash. However, home front was not enough for female activists. The same year, the federal government created the United States Sanitary Commission. Its aim was to combat preventable diseases in the army through women collecting supplies and helping the wounded. During the Civil War, more than 20,000 women worked for the Union, among them middle-class white women as well as those of the working class and African-Americans. The Confederacy did not have that many resources, but free women in the South did the same service to their soldiers. Enslaved women did not get rid of their plantations and family duties, but they also contributed to the Confederate Army. The war-time activity of women not only created better conditions for soldiers in the front line but also gave more room for thoughts. Women reconsidered their place and purpose in society. As the war was over, women kept pushing feminism forwards in the US.