Women lived in germ-ridden camps, languished in appalling prisons, and died miserably, but honorably, for their country and their cause just as men did.
The untold stories of women who dressed and served as men in the Civil War
Even as Texas prepared for war, its fate within the Confederacy sealed, parts of the state still seethed with Union sentiment. And no place was more fervently pro-Union that spring than Bexar County and its largest city, San Antonio, the home of the Alamo, the very cradle of Texas independence.
Lucretia Mott and the Quakers on the eve of the Civil War.
A new generation of scholars has rediscovered the Civil War as a drama in which women, and gender tensions, figure prominently. Thanks to new research into diaries, letters, newspapers and state and local records, we now know that women were on the front lines of the literary and rhetorical war over slavery long before the shooting war began. They were integral to the slave resistance and flight that destabilized the border between North and South. And they were recruited by both secessionists and Unionists to join a partisan army, with each side claiming that the “ladies,” with their reputation for moral purity, had chosen it over its rivals. So what do women have to do with the origins of the war? The answer is: everything.
With the vote approaching, Houston, undeterred, continued to campaign against disunion. “To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war,’’ he warned. “If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you to death. It will take the flower of the country-the young men.’’ Still, the convention voted for secession, 166 to 8, pending ratification by the voters in a general referendum in February.
I don’t recall being taught in Texas History class (yes, we had to take it) that Sam Houston was against secession. That’s certainly a large point in his favor. His quote was fairly prescient, eh?
American Christmases in the mid-19th century do not seem to have had much religious significance – neither for the callithumpians, nor the proto-shopaholics, nor anyone else. Many, if not most, Protestant churches did not even have Christmas services, though some staged holiday parties, pageants, and “entertainments.” The New-York Tribune remarked in 1860 that only gradually was the festival starting to become as widely observed as more important national celebrations like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day.