Chapter 8: Abstract

History and Memory of Army Women and Female Soldiers, 1770s–1870s

Thomas Cardoza (Truckee Meadows Community College, Department of Humanities) and Karen Hagemann (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)


The chapter addresses the ways women were involved in warfare on both sides of the Atlantic between the American Revolutionary Wars, the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars, the US Civil Wars and the Italian and German Wars of Unification as camp followers, officially recognized auxiliaries and cross-dressed female soldiers, and and how their active war support was perceived and remembered during the nineteenth century. Collective memory of these women represents a complex picture. Camp followers and officially recognized auxiliaries were long forgotten. The small number of cross-dresses female soldiers, too, fell into obscurity, especially if they survived the wars. Yet by the latter half of the nineteenth century, some of these women were rediscovered, and their public image became more positive. Their public portrayal was, however,  one-dimensional: they were girls who rose above the limitations of their sex to defend a “nation in danger.” They now became examples of extraordinary female patriotism.


Army Women; Camp Followers; Female Auxiliaries; Female Soldiers; Gendered War Memories; American Revolutionary Wars; French Revolutionary Wars; Napoleonic Wars; Crimean War, US Civil Wars; Italian and German Wars of Unification; Europe; United States.

In Part I “From the Thirty Years War and Colonial Conquest to the Wars of Revolution and Independence” of the Oxford Handbook of Gender and War since 1600.

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