Women in the Civil War


The American Civil War was an event in American history that changed the nation we new, and shaped it into the country we live in today. The American Civil War was a fight between the north and the south. While the Civil War was fought by men only, that does not mean that women had no role in the Civil War. In fact, women played a crucial role in the American Civil War. Women worked as nurses in the Civil War, in addition to female laborers, making clothing and other war necessities that were scarce. Among the most famous women who are remembered as legends of the Civil War are Rose O'Neal Greenhow, Alice Williamson, and Sarah E. Thompson.

Rose O'Neal Greenhow - Rose O'Neal Greenhow, often called by her nickname "Wild Rose", was a spy for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Rose was a socialite in Washington during the time of the Civil War. Because of her connections, she was able to send messages to Generals in the Confederacy. Her most notably achievements were helping the Confederacy in the Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Manassas. Rose was imprisoned twice before she was exiled to the South, where she was warmly accepted. Rose became a world renowned activist for the South, traveling internationally to speak and lead propaganda. Upon returning to the United States after a trip in Europe, Rose died from drowning after her boat capsized after being pursued by Union ships.

Alice Williamson - Alice Williamson is most famous for the diary she kept during the Civil War. Alice Williamson, from Gallatin, Tennessee, was just 16 years old at the time of the Civil War. Her 36 page diary holds her memoirs and experiences of life during the Civil War. Most of Alice's diary entries focus around the Union's occupation in Tennessee under General Halbar Eleazer Paine. Alice Williamson made it clear she was not fond of the Union's presence in the South. Alice's diary is a piece of tangible history.

  • Alice Williamson Diary - While it was only 36 pages long, this diary provides some of the most historical information from the Civil War.

  • Alice Williamson - Learn how this one girl provided the world with an eye-witness account of the US Civil War.

Sarah E. Thompson - Sarah E. Thompson was the wife of a private in the Tennessee Calvary. Sarah and her husband were both Union supporters and actively organized and recruited men for the Union army in the turbulent area of Tennessee. During the Civil War, Sarah's husband was killed by a confederate soldier, which drove Sarah to be even more supportive to the Union army. Sarah was created to alerting the Union army of the whereabouts of the Confederates in Greeneville, TN. Sarah eventually moved up north to New York, where she gave lectures in northern states addressing her memoirs of the Civil War.

For more information on important women during the Civil War, visit these resources:

The United States is a country rich in history. These women played a huge part in defining the society we live in today. As history continues to create itself, there will be many more brave women, just like these, who will become legends.