Confederate Heroines: 120 Southern Women Convicted by Union Military Justice

TitleConfederate Heroines: 120 Southern Women Convicted by Union Military Justice
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsLowry, Thomas
Number of Pages212
PublisherLouisiana State University Press
CityBaton Rouge, LA

From 1861 through 1865, southern women fought a war within a war. While most of their efforts involved activities such as rolling bandages and organizing charity fairs, many women in the Confederacy, particularly in border states, challenged Federal authority in more direct ways: smuggling maps, medicine, and munitions; aiding deserters; spying; feeding Confederate bushwhackers; cutting Federal telegraph wires. The author's investigation into some 75,000 Federal courts-martial—uncovered in National Archives files and mostly unexamined since the Civil War—brings to light women caught up in the inexorable Unionist judicial machinery. Their stories, published here for the first time, often in first-person testimony, compose a remarkable picture of courage and resourcefulness in the face of social, military, and legal constraints. The author focuses on 120 women who were convicted of war-related offenses against the U.S. army or government. He aims to give these women their place in the pages of history and shows them striking—and receiving—a blow for the Confederate cause, against the conventions of passive femininity. 

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