The Civilian War: Confederate Women and Union Soldiers During Sherman's March

TitleThe Civilian War: Confederate Women and Union Soldiers During Sherman's March
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsFrank, Lisa Tendrich
Number of Pages237
PublisherLouisiana State University Press
CityBaton Rouge, LA

This volume explores home front encounters between elite Confederate women and Union soldiers during Sherman's March, an American Civil War (1861-65) campaign that put women at the center of a Union army operation for the first time. Ordered to crush the morale as well as the military infrastructure of the Confederacy, Sherman and his army increasingly targeted wealthy civilians in their progress through Georgia and the Carolinas. To drive home the full extent of northern domination over the South, Sherman's soldiers besieged the female domain - going into bedrooms and parlors - with the aim of insulting and humiliating upper-class southern women. These efforts blurred the distinction between home front and war front, creating confrontations in the domestic sphere as a part of the war itself. Instead of crushing their morale these intrusions strengthened the resolve of many southern women to continue the fight against the Union and its most despised general. Merging gender studies and military history, this volume illuminates the distinction between the damage inflicted on the battlefield and the offenses that occurred in the domestic realm during the Civil War.

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