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Vivandierre, assorted

Discussion in 'The Ladies Tea' started by JPK Huson 1863, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    I wasn't going to get into this subject yet, but brought these women up in another thread so thought I better in case someone started discussing them there.

    When I first bumped into this subject ages ago, the website I was reading had me believe these were not females interested in helping men. Well, maybe help but in other ways than medical and general care. I still do not know whether some were camp followers of a certain type and some were truly women who just, plain needed to serve in some way and had been disallowed enlistment in the front-line units, where they wished to be. Filling a need, they dispensed all manner of care ' braving the battles '.

    With the discovery the the Kearny Cross had been awarded to 2 of these women, of course the previous image was pretty darn insulting- they did not hand those out to mere cuties. Annie Etheridge received one for her actions during the War, a Vivandierre with the 2nd Michigan.

    Wiki's definition ( for what they can be worth- I'm not enough of an expert to judge ) does not seem to match their function during the American Civil War, although the name was certainly striking enough I suppose, for both sexes to wish to use:

    " Vivandière or Cantinière is a French name for women attached to military regiments as sutlers or canteen keepers. Their actual historic function of selling wine to the troops and working in canteens led to the adoption of the name 'cantinière' which came to supplant the original ‘vivandière' starting in 1793, but the use of both terms was common in French until the mid-19th century, and 'vivandière' remained the term of choice in non-French-speaking countries like the USA/CSA, Spain, Italy, and Great Britain.[1] Vivandières served in the French army up until the beginning of World War I, but the custom (and the name) spread to many other armies. Vivandières also served on both sides in the American Civil War, and in the armies of Spain, Italy, the German States, Switzerland, and various armies in South America, though little is known about the details in most of those cases as historians have not done extensive research on them. "

    It does sound to me as if sometimes women made the job uniquely their own. This definition doesn't sound much like the woman who risked so much she earned the Kearny Cross. Anyone interested in this subject has their own favorite, or favorites. It's funny, some who received little publicity performed amazing acts, others seem to have been just, plain cute so received MUCH attention on the account. The thing is, just being there on the front lines was extraordinarily helpful, not to mention heroic. No pay, just a desire to be there.


    It does sound as if the roles may have varied slightly, but some functions were held in common.
    " Though non-essential to fighting regiments, vivandieres performed some important functions. The most important was as a nurse. With her cask of spirits or a canteen of water, a vivandiere gave a wounded or sick soldier immediate attention, comparable to a modern triage situation. Some vivandieres were well-armed for self-defense, such as Sarah Taylor, who carried a sword, rifle and pistols. Annie Etheridge carried two pistols, and Marie Tepe was also armed with a pistol. Among the deeds of valor performed by vivandieres were Kady Brownell's actions at the battle of New Bern, where, carrying the colors into battle, Kady ran with the flag to the center of the field to show the Union troops that the 5th Rhode Island was not the enemy. " ( this is from edu/osu, Daughters of the Regiment )

    Since this was a non-official funcition, ' uniforms ' varied hugely, also. Generally there was a skirt worn over trousers, the rest of the clothing being whatever occured to the woman as functional and/or their idea of what should be worn to fit in with their sefl- appointed positions. There is frequently a kind of hysterical difference between reality and what was publicized for the public.

    One is a sketched/painted image, showing a sprightly female kind of chirppily offering aid to wounded man, starched skirt swinging, the next perhaps the same female in the flesh- note the curld hair, which would have taken heated tongs, and the light colored skirt. The third would have of neccesity been closer to the truth, just in my opinion, unless there were women who could have afforded the luxury of taking ' help ' with them on their travels. I am not conversant enough to know whether ot not this was the case, just would have to doubt it?





    cw vivandierre sketch.jpg cw vivandierre questionable.jpg cw vivandierre real.jpg
     

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  3. Bonny Blue Flag

    Bonny Blue Flag 2nd Lieutenant Member of the Month

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    I have found this subject fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing.

    --BBF
     
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  4. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    You're welcome, but I don't think I've researched it nearly enough! It's another one of those Civil War subjects that looks so simple from the outside, then you start digging a little and BOOM! There's a ton, ton of information, 100 different perspectives, 1000's or so different women involved and all of their reasons for joining their armies. I promise to keep digging, but it sure seems like all I'll do is keep getting into trouble. :smile: For everything I think I know, I'll come across something else, realize nope, didn't know THAT.
     
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  5. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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  6. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    In " Webb Garrison's Civil War Dictionary", he states:

    Vivandiere is patterned after European practice, these women , usually soldier's wives or officers' daughters, were unofficially attached to a Regiment in the field to perform various camp and nursing duties. They were also known as daughters of a regiment and were found in both Confederate and Federal units. Typically, they served with regiments of immigrant soldiers and wore a stylized uniform patterned after that of the regiment, particularly Zouave units. Some were armed with swords, rifles, and revolvers, but very few followed their regiments into combat."

    Federal vandieres included Susie Baker (33rd USCT), Sarah Beasley (1st Rhode Island), Kady Brownell (1st Rhode Island), Molly Divver (7th New York), Bridget Divers (1st Michigan Cavalry), Anna Etheridge (2nd, 3rd, and 5th Michigan), Hannah Ewbank (7th Wisconsin), Elizabeth Cain Finnan (81st Ohio), Augusta Foster (2nd Maine), Martha Francis(1st Rhode Island), Ella Gibson (49th Ohio), Virginia Hall (72nd Pennsylvania), Lizzie Clawson Jones (6th Massachusetts), Sarah Taylor (1st Tennessee U.S.), Mary Tepe (27thth and 114th Pennsylvania) and Eliz Wilson (5th Wisconsin).

    The Southern ranks included Eliza "Lide" Carico (10th Kentucky Partisan Rangers), Lucy Ann Cox (13th Virginia), Lucina Horne (14th South Carolina), Jane Claudia Johnson (1st Maryland C.S.), Leona Neville (5th Louisiana), Mary Ann Perkins (Gardes Lafayette, Mobile, Alabama), Rose Rooney (15th Louisiana), Betsy Sullivan (1st Tennessee C.S.A.), and Lavinia Williams (1st Louisiana).

    From: "Webb Garrison's Civil War Dictionary" by Webb Garrison, Sr. and Cheryl Garrison, Cumberland House, Nashville, Tennessee,2008, pages332-333.
     
  7. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    Garrison goes on to write: " Vivandieres, although somewhat rare to begin with, were a non uncommon sight before 1863, when the armies spent a great deal of time in camp and the fighting was infrequent. As the war progressed and armies campaigned, there is less evidence of vivandieres. In September 1864, Ulysses S. Grant ordered all women out of the military camps in the east, so the remaining vivandieres either turned to nursing in the front line hospitals or returned home."

    From "Webb Garrison's Civil War Dictionary", page 333.
     
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  8. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    I just did a google search on Kady Brownell. The third image in the OP appears to be her.
     
  9. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    Marie Tepe, what a peanut of a woman, a giant out there, good grief! Now that I'm reading about her again, I remember having besome interested in her some time ago, being truly sad about her later years. Awful- not being officially members of our armed forces, no pension- destitute, she was in terrible, terrible pain ( Rheumatoid arthritis is nothing to play with in 2013- can't imagine what it was like 150 years ago ), seemed hopeless enough to take her own life.

    "Marie Tepe’s patriotism and dedication as a woman soldier in the Union Army never wavered—even when her husband and fellow soldiers broke into her tent and stole $1,600 or when the Paymaster’s Department canceled her soldier’s salary because she was a woman.
    Born in France in 1834, Marie Brose moved to Philadelphia as a teen where she later married Bernhard Tepe, a local tailor. When the Civil War broke out, Bernhard enlisted in Company I, 27th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Despite urging Marie to stay home and tend to the tailor shop, Bernhard’s determined and stubborn wife decided to join him and follow his regiment as a “vivandiere.”
    Vivandieres, a French term from the Napoleonic Wars, described women who accompanied their husbands’ regiments in action, ministering to thirsty or wounded troops. Marie fully embraced this role, putting herself within range of the enemy’s fire to tend to her wounded comrades, until one evening in 1861 when Marie quit the 27th Pennsylvania after Bernhard and some soldiers broke into her tent and stole her money. She immediately left her husband and his regiment, a bold move for a woman of her time.
    In 1862, she joined the 114th Pennsylvania at the request of Colonel Collis where she became known as “French Mary” and adopted a Zouave style vivandiere uniform, sporting a blue jacket, a skirt trimmed with red braid, red trousers over a pair of boots and a man’s sailor hat turned down.

    Marie supported herself by selling non-government issued goods to the soldiers such as tobacco, cigars, hams and contraband whiskey. She carried the whiskey in a small oval keg strapped to her shoulder, which became an iconic mark of “French Mary.” Marie earned the salary of a soldier plus 25 cents extra per day for hospital and headquarters services, bringing in a handsome sum of $21.45 per month for two years until the Paymaster’s Department ceased her pay because of animosity toward enlisted women. This didn’t deter Marie, and she continued selling goods to the soldiers of 114th Pennsylvania and joining them in combat.
    A bullet to her ankle at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862 didn’t stop her either. Marie became a decorated soldier of the war, receiving gratitude and recognition for her service through personal expressions of thanks from military leaders, awards and high honors. She received the Kearny Cross after the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863 for helping organize one of the field hospitals. She was also awarded a silver cup by Lt. Col. Cavada that was inscribed “To Marie, for noble conduct on the field of battle.”
    After the war, Marie moved to the Pittsburgh area and married Richard Leonard, a veteran of Company K, 1st Maryland Cavalry. In 1893, she traveled to Philadelphia for a reunion of the 114th Pennsylvania where she carried the same iconic whiskey keg strapped around her shoulder.

    Sadly, the last years of her life were less glorious as she suffered from rheumatism and the lingering pain of the bullet she still carried in her left ankle. Marie took her own life in May 1901 by drinking “Paris green,” a pesticide and paint pigment. She was laid to rest in a forgotten, unmarked grave.
    Only recently did members of Davis Camp, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Pittsburgh find Marie’s final resting place at St. Paul’s Cemetery on Lafferty Hill in Carrick, Pennsylvania. They marked her gravesite with a military stone and dedicated it in a proper ceremony. Marie’s gravesite can be visited today. "

    - Courtesy US Army, information furnished by Andy Waskie, Pennsylvania in the Civil War

    Thanks for the Find A Grave link- always, always happy to see those. Hmm- I smell a thread.
     
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  10. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    Lorinda Anna " Annie " Blair Eheridge

    Find A Grave Link:

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=72258564

    Lorinda Anna "Annie" Blair Etheridge (May 3, 1839– January 23, 1913) was a Union nurse and vivandière who served during the American Civil War. She was one of only two women to receive the Kearny Cross.

    Anna Etheridge was born Lorinda Anna Blair in 1839 in Wayne County, Michigan. In 1860, Anna married James Etheridge. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Etheridge enlisted in 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, serving as a nurse and Vivandiere (Daughter of the Regiment). She had wanted to nurse, having cared for her father before his death. Before the war, Etheridge worked in a hospital with a poor reputation for patient care, which she had attempted to improve.

    Etheridge was famous for her courageous work under fire. She was noted for removing wounded men from combat. Ethridge embodied the idea daughter of the union. She was "brave, constant, tender possessed nerves of steel, and willing to join the fight as necessary, encouraged the men to greater valor, or remained in the rear treating wounds" In 1862 all women were ordered out of camp by General George B. McClellan temporarily. "Gentle Annie" then worked for the Hospital Transport Service, a subcommittee of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. Assigned to the Knickerbocker, under Amy M. Bradley, she aided in the transportation of wounded men from the ports of Alexandria, VA to Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington. By early 1863, she had returned to Vivandiere duties in the Army of the Potomac. For her work and courage, she received the Kearny Cross.

    After the war she married and worked in the United States Treasury Department, eventually receiving a monthly pension of $25 for her unpaid military service. She died in 1913 and was buried with veteran's honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

    Gentle Annie: The True Story of a Civil War Nurse, written by Mary Francis Shura, is a “fictionalized biography” of Anna Etheridge.



    cw annie etheridge.jpg
    cw annie etheridge engraving.jpg
     
  11. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    Susie King Taylor, born Susan Ann Baker. Freed slave, educator, founder of a branch of the GAR Women's Relief Corps, author, buried in an unmarked grave in Massachusetts.

    Susie King Taylor was born enslaved on a plantation in Liberty County, Georgia on August 6, 1848, as Susan Ann Baker. When she was about seven years old, her owner allowed her to go to Savannah to live with her grandmother. Despite Georgia's harsh laws against the formal education of African Americans, she attended two secret schools taught by black women. From them she gained the rudiments of literacy, then extended her education with the help of two white youths, both of whom knowingly violated law and custom.
    8255625_1073751685.jpg

    While at the school on St. Simons Island, Baker married Edward King, a black noncommissioned officer in the 33rd United States Colored Infantry Regiment. For three years she moved with her husband's and brothers' regiment, serving as nurse and laundress, and teaching many of the black soldiers to read and write during their off-duty hours.

    In 1886, Susan helped to organize Corps 67 Women’s Relief Corps, auxiliary to the G.A.R. She later served as secretary/treasurer and then as president in 1893. “All this time my interest in the boys in blue had not abated. I was still loyal and true, whether they were black or white. My hands have never left undone…"

    http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articles/ArticleView.cfm?AID=42
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susie_Taylor
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8255625
     
  12. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    Lucy Ann Cox, 30th Virginia

    With the outbreak of the Civil War, James volunteered for the militia, was assigned to Company A of the 30th Virginia Regiment and was sent several miles north to the Aquia Creek area of Virginia. Lucy, believing that her place was with her husband no matter what, followed him and set up a small tent on the outskirts of the camp. Naturally, the officers demanded she leave. She refused. Her husband was ordered to demand she return home. She said not without him. The soldiers started treating her like the camp mascot. She did their sewing. There was just no getting rid of this woman, so eventually she became accepted as part of the camp, to the point where she was furnished rations. She became one of them;

    She encouraged those around her, brought the thirsty water and tended to the injured, earning the nickname Pawnee by other regiments. She was involved in both of General Lee's northern invasions and her name was known through the camps for her loyalty and devotion to her husband and her regiment.
    5900409_1073234307.jpg

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5900409
     
  13. James N.

    James N. Sergeant Major Forum Host

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    Marie's "uniform" is almost exactly regulation for the vivandieres that were an official part of French regiments of the time. As noted, a part of their duties were as sutlers for their regiments, selling small items like tobacco, candy, etc. in addition to the alcoholic contents of their ever-present slung kegs that became their "trademark". They had served with French forces from at least the French Revolution of the 1790's through the wars of Napoleon and his successors. Their fame as a result of the recent Franco-Austrian and Crimean Wars of the 1850's and subsequent Zouave craze were the chief causes of their popularity and adoption by Union and Confederate forces. The usual colors for their costume were the red and blue of French infantry uniforms.
     
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  14. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Thanks for the thread, Annie.

    The Vivandierre deserves study. Not a nurse, not a sutler, not a camp-follower. A what?

    Chuck and I had the good fortune to once meet a lady reenacting as a Vivianeirre. That lady knew what she was talking about. She had the wagon and a uniform of sorts.

    Unfortunately, she fell short of inspiring me to research her activities, but I've been aware that there were a few ladies out there, then, that provided (almost said "gave") comforts to the soldiers.

    So they are, at the very least, deserving of your attention, and for bringing them to ours.
     
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  15. major bill

    major bill First Sergeant

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    I have posted this on the forum before, but thought it might add something to this discussion. It shows that some militia companies were mimicking the French probably because of the Crimean War. Based on the description and the normal uniforms worn by the Cleveland Greys, it shows that the canteeners were likely wearing a female version of the company uniform.

    Some prewar militia companies used canteeners for example the Cleveland Greys ca. 1855. Canteeners, Grand Rapids (Michigan) Enquirer Aug, 29 1855, page 3 column 2 “The Greys of Cleveland during a recent parade, were accompanied by two “canteeners” – girls thirteen or fourteen years old. Their uniform was a grey cap, and bodice skirts of genuine American Stripes, and grey pants.”
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
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  16. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    What exactly were American stripes. Is that the red and white striped skirt in the photo in the OP?
     
  17. major bill

    major bill First Sergeant

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    Good question ErnieMac and although the newspaper article did not say exactly what they meant by "American Stripes" I surmise you are right. The drawing and newspaper article are several years apart and one could theorize that red and white stripes were somewhat common, but not nearly universal for canteeners.
     
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  18. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    Yes, I kept seeing pictures of the red striped skirts, but none in photos, which of course doesn't mean they did not exist- just means there were no photos of someone wearing one. I keep bumping into a photo of a French Vivandierre, on the internet- pretty different from our Civil War version . The French woman's ' uniform ' is extremely form-fitting, gee whiz, and she's coifed and made-up, looks awfully ' cute '. Given the duties I'm reading about, which women like Marie Tepe undertook, there's no way in heck a female could wear that get-up and also crawl around a battlefield, helping wounded men. You couldn't breathe, for one thing, although you might stop the shooting.

    I keep coming across stories of these women, hope to keep posting them since wow- it does sound as if they served pretty much everywhere, on both sides throughout the war. I purposefully entered words in the newspaper search engine, looking for African American women filling the function, but they must have served with black regiments and the press at the time wouldn't report on them, the swine.There's not a ton on these women, actually, so you wonder if their role may have been misunderstood by society sometimes? Not that they cared- looks like all they wished to do was serve.

    Funny, since it was an unofficial role, there were no guidelines, not group HQ, no oganization, but the women seem to have individually filled a need very similarly. Amazing.

    Thanks for the info- I know almost zero on these or the female soldiers, am picking up astonishing amounts.
     
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  19. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    Vivandieres really captured the public imagination, which interest followed them post-war. I forgot to note the date of the paper this came from, but seem to remember it was the mid 1880's, a New York City newspaper. These papers seem to me to be a little on the hard bittne, hard-nosed side, you do not many heart-tuggin articles, which makes this a little singular in my opinion.

    " GRAVE OF THE VIVANDIERE '

    "In soldiers' section B, row 27, near the big pine in the southwestern part of the Soldiers' cemetery, a plain granite monument stands, inscribed: ' Catherine Hodges. Company K, Fifth Louisiana, 1863." The grave is never overlooked. Every Memorial day flowers are to be found upon it.

    The deceased is well remembered bymany of our citizens. She came to Virginia as the vivandiere of her company. It was her intention to nurse the sick and care for the wounded.
    Her life was devoted to the Confederate cause. In some of the holiday parades that marked the presence of Southern soldiers here in the early days of the war, with gay red cap and
    zouave-like dress, she marched at the head of the command to which she was attached. Her mission was to nurse others, but she herself soon required nursing. She fell sick and died
    and was buried with the soldiers—one poor, lone woman among 12,000 men.
    —Richmond ( Va.) Dispatch. "


    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/f...Sst=48&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=93881987&df=all&

    If this is she, well, it certainly IS forgotten now! It's not been sponsered, or marked in any way, as anyone special or remarkable. If I can manage to find it is she, I'll ask for management of the memorial, see to it she is certainly remembered.
     
  20. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    The cemetery description is different, given what it was 150 years ago, for this person, if it is the correct Catherine, but of course so MUCH may have changed in all thises years.

    Correct name, correct city, correct dod- still hate to assume, have to poke around a little.
     
  21. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Hodges&GSiman=1&GScid=50668&GRid=19000928&

    NOPE! Here she is, please excuse! Catherine Hodges, General Pickett's widow was only the second woman to be buried here, the first was Catherine Hodges, in the soldier's section of Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.

    I think possibly the 2 graves are the same, one person not realizing it's the same person? Or, possibly, they did not receive a reply when notifying the manager of the grave that this woman really should have some bio attached, and decided to create their own. I've had that occur, and it's a little frustrating.
     
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