Women and the American Civil War: North-South Counterpoints

TitleWomen and the American Civil War: North-South Counterpoints
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGiesberg, Judith, and Randall M. Miller
Number of Pages358
PublisherThe Kent State University Press
CityKent, OH

The scholarship on women's experiences in the U.S. Civil War is rich and deep, but much of it remains regionally specific or subsumed in more general treatments of Northern and Southern peoples during the war. In a series of eight paired essays, scholars examine women's comparable experiences across the regions, focusing particularly on women's politics, wartime mobilization, emancipation, wartime relief, women and families, religion, reconstruction, and Civil War memory. In each pairing, historians analyze women's lives, interests, and engagement in public issues and private concerns and think critically about what stories and questions still need attention. Among their questions are: What rightly counts as war mobilization, what is relief work, and what was women’s relationship to the state in each case? How did women’s growing suspicions about the wartime state intrude on the state’s ability to prosecute war? How were gender expectations in both regions riven with assumptions about race and class, what of this survived the war, and how was gender recast in the aftermath of emancipation? How did women define and even direct the trajectory of war and its meaning?

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