you read the history of the Civil War, you may get the idea that
women were not involved in the war effort. In fact, women played
major roles and provided crucial support for both sides during
the Civil War. Through military contractors and directly, women
provided food, clothing and housing, as well as ammunition and
weapons. They ran businesses and farms - roles that at the time
were not usually considered suitable for women. They campaigned
for abolition of slavery, women's rights and suffrage, and temperance.
They worked as clerks and commissaries for government agencies.
Through both formal and informal soldiers' aid societies, women
provided the care, materials, and funds to moderate the tremendous
death tolls from wounds and diseases in camps. They followed Florence
Nightingale's example and demanded better sanitation in military
camps and better care in hospitals. Dorothea Dix of Maine organized
the first group of paid women nurses for the military. Mary Edwards
Walker served as a military surgeon, even being awarded a Medal
ladies of the Third Maine portray some of the diverse women's
roles of the Civil War period. Roles vary with the interest of
the individual, but all are chosen to be appropriate for women
from Maine who would be in or near the Third Maine military camp.
These roles include nurse, laundress, Maine Camp Hospital Assoc.
volunteer, U.S. Sanitary Commission representative, hospital diet
kitchen cook, relatives in search of a missing loved one, officer's
family members, wives and children following the army after being
displaced from their home, and others.
only impression of how women appeared at the time may be from
"Gone with the Wind". Ladies in the Third Maine make
every effort to represent correct dress for the period - those
ringlets and that deep décolletage on Scarlet O'Hara are
not true to history. Members research the everyday dress, lives,
and activities of the Mid-1800: What did they eat? What were the
social conventions? How did they celebrate holidays? The Third
Maine Ladies are often in demand for presentations to schools
and historical groups.
like our sisters in the 1860's, the ladies of the Third Maine
take the safety and well-being of the troop very seriously. Part
of our time at any event is spent ensuring that the soldiers get
plenty of fluids and ice on a hot day. Our "cooling station"
for the troops returning from the field after a battle scenario
is now imitated by other units in the United