Finally, A Reason To Faint! News Story 1862

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
Two things, first being females of the era and fainting? Just no. It may have been a popular, romantic notion but gee whiz- if ever women were required to remain on their feet dealing with life for both sexes it was during this war. ' Swooning ', especially in the South, seems to have been a 'thing' expected of females, too delicate to withstand strong breezes. Ha! In extremes, like this article, perhaps, otherwise have a feeling swooning women were stepped over while their sisters rolled up sleeves. There was a war on.

Second, dueling and females was a ' thing ', a very bizarre thing. Swords. There the resemblance between sexes ended. Why? Men fought sword duels as expected, men plus swords- duel. Females incomprehensively fought each other, with swords..... after dropping the top portion of their dress. Off. So yes, ahem. Pretty sure the young women in this article knew nothing of a fairly outrageous form of feminine dueling when engaging in this nearly fatal horseplay.

ladies 1863.JPG

ladies 1863 2.JPG
 

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Two things, first being females of the era and fainting? Just no. It may have been a popular, romantic notion but gee whiz- if ever women were required to remain on their feet dealing with life for both sexes it was during this war. ' Swooning ', especially in the South, seems to have been a 'thing' expected of females, too delicate to withstand strong breezes. Ha! In extremes, like this article, perhaps, otherwise have a feeling swooning women were stepped over while their sisters rolled up sleeves. There was a war on.

Second, dueling and females was a ' thing ', a very bizarre thing. Swords. There the resemblance between sexes ended. Why? Men fought sword duels as expected, men plus swords- duel. Females incomprehensively fought each other, with swords..... after dropping the top portion of their dress. Off. So yes, ahem. Pretty sure the young women in this article knew nothing of a fairly outrageous form of feminine dueling when engaging in this nearly fatal horseplay.

View attachment 111330
View attachment 111329
That is amusing in a weird sense.
 
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#4
Re all that 19th C female fainting -- two reasons for it: 1) the corset-cinched waistlines and 2) they were all pregnant every other year, both conditions that can reduce blood circulation to the brain temporarily, causing it to "reboot". Women fainting more frequently then than today might have been a real phenomenon, due to biological rather than character issues.

And fainting can be caused by dehydration, excessive heat and genetic conditions that make some people more likely to faint -- we have this in my family. Larger than usual blood vessels (weird, I know) can result in reduced blood to the brain if the person is not fully hydrated. I don't have that condition, but I've fainted in extreme heat anyhow and once while pregnant.

In the case of this marvelous clipping, I think it was shock they were suffering from.

The lesson, if anyone missed it (unlikely in this group), is ALWAYS assume a gun is loaded. That according to my Dad, a sniper instructor in WWII;-)
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Re all that 19th C female fainting -- two reasons for it: 1) the corset-cinched waistlines and 2) they were all pregnant every other year, both conditions that can reduce blood circulation to the brain temporarily, causing it to "reboot". Women fainting more frequently then than today might have been a real phenomenon, due to biological rather than character issues.

And fainting can be caused by dehydration, excessive heat and genetic conditions that make some people more likely to faint -- we have this in my family. Larger than usual blood vessels (weird, I know) can result in reduced blood to the brain if the person is not fully hydrated. I don't have that condition, but I've fainted in extreme heat anyhow and once while pregnant.

In the case of this marvelous clipping, I think it was shock they were suffering from.

The lesson, if anyone missed it (unlikely in this group), is ALWAYS assume a gun is loaded. That according to my Dad, a sniper instructor in WWII;-)

WAS he? Oh my goodness, how incredibly fascinating! Wish this were also a forum for that war, I cannot imagine how many hours we could spend reading about your Dad. Gosh! Well, guessing also the lesson is unlikely in this group but we all know it can't be stated too frequently plus these sound more like ' girls ', don't they? Coming from a sniper instructor even 2nd hand, who knows what young person may remember it.

Ah HA. Shock. Did not occur to me. Yes, somewhere one of our members ( If it was you, please excuse me not remembering ) got into the whole corset- unhealthy-fainting, also I think public disapproval thing? Poor things. Suffering for fashion cannot have been a new concept and it sure did not end there through History. There's a thread for fashion experts- torture thinly disguised as fashion through the centuries!
 
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#6
Thanks for the kind words, JPK. Unfortunately, that information about my father's WWII service comes from my mother, he received a bronze star and never said a thing about the War in my hearing. I never asked, and after he was gone, I tried to get his service records from the National Archives only to learn that a catastrophic fire burned all WWII service records in their St. Louis location in the 1970's.

There is a lot out there you can read about WWII. CindyB, a member here, honors her father's service as an airman and prisoner of war as a volunteer and unit historian and works with veterans from his unit to preserve their memory. See her blog here:

https://thearrowheadclub.com/

Don't miss her video with original music.

 

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A few years ago, we were invited to do some historical skits in a town an hour or two away over a July 4th weekend. We were in Civil War era kinds of costumes with long dresses, although not actual hoop skirts. Because it kept raining, we were walking through ankle deep water, holding up these dresses in the summer heat and humidity a block from the Gulf of Mexico, and waiting for the rain to let up long enough to perform. We'd have to go in the hotel, go out to this little stage, go back in the hotel, find a place with some food.

We could all see how it was easy to faint by the end of that day in the heat and humidity.
 
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#8
I did a quick search. That Lincoln was involved in a duel was an interesting surprise for me.

"Since Lincoln was challenged by Shields he had the privilege of choosing the weapon of the duel. He chose cavalry broadswords "of the largest size." "I didn't want the d—-d fellow to kill me, which I think he would have done if we had selected pistols," he later explained. For his own part, he did not want to kill Shields, but "felt sure [he] could disarm him" with a blade. At six feet, four inches tall, Lincoln planned to use his height to his advantage against Shields, who stood at a mere five feet, nine inches tall.

The day of the duel, September 22, arrived and the combatants met at Bloody Island, Missouri to face death or victory. As the two men faced each other, with a plank between them that neither was allowed to cross, Lincoln swung his sword high above Shields to cut through a nearby tree branch. This act demonstrated the immensity of Lincoln’s reach and strength and was enough to show Shields that he was at a fatal disadvantage. With the encouragement of bystanders, the two men called a truce."

Source

Yikes.
 
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#9
After reading this thread
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/ph...nd-a-confederate-veteran.155745/#post-2007217

I decided to search the site on swooning and found this thread.

I can’t believe 2 women were in a duel - I think I would have “swooned” just to get out of it. It’s easy to see how wearing all the clothes they did in the middle of a hot, humid summer day would have women dropping like flies. Add the tight corsets, for their 16” waists, it’s amazing all they did was faint.

I enjoyed reading about the duel. I'm glad I found it.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#10
After reading this thread
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/ph...nd-a-confederate-veteran.155745/#post-2007217

I decided to search the site on swooning and found this thread.

I can’t believe 2 women were in a duel - I think I would have “swooned” just to get out of it. It’s easy to see how wearing all the clothes they did in the middle of a hot, humid summer day would have women dropping like flies. Add the tight corsets, for their 16” waists, it’s amazing all they did was faint.

I enjoyed reading about the duel. I'm glad I found it.

I'm guessing anyone with serious medical conditions didn't last long- anyone left had to have been as tough as old shoe leather. This country was on the way to building some kickin' generations! Gee whiz. Between wildly disparate countries of origin, an amazingly healthy diet, ( if they but knew how healthy ), collective immunities in anyone not killed by epidemics, the physical lives they led and as-yet un-tampered with food sources, we should all be 7 feet tall, lungs like bellows and hearts the size of our heads. We were bright enough to keep adding new gifts to future generations too. Anyway, ( and sorry to go off on a small tangent ) it's frequently occurred to me that despite trying to convince women how fragile we were, it was apparent nope, a little hard to kill.

Before anyone out there objects on the grounds of how many died of disease ' in the old days ', yes I know. Still a little convinced we were tougher than frequently depicted.
 

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