War, Gender, and Emancipation in the Civil War South

TitleWar, Gender, and Emancipation in the Civil War South
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMcCurry, Stephanie
EditorBlair, William A., and Karen Fisher Younger
Book TitleLincoln’s Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered
PublisherThe University of North Carolina Press
CityChapel Hill

There is an important pattern in the history of slave emancipation in the western hemisphere, one insufficiently specified in the historical literature and of considerable significance for the history of slave and freed women--the intimate association of war and emancipation in the modern period. But where military service emerged as a critical route to emancipation, as it did in the United States, enslaved men's and women's opportunities to lay claim to the status of free people--and the means by which they did so--differed fundamentally, such that we might think of them as taking particular gendered routes to emancipation and to the citizenship that service allegedly secured. This chapter begins to trace out those routes and their gender patterns, focusing on the relation of war and emancipation as it shaped the historical process for enslaved women. 

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