Our Women Of The War, Dispersing The Wolf Pack

JPK Huson 1863

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There isn't one, perfect image illustrating ' Women ' and ' The Civil War '. Winslow Homer's sketch of Union families fortunate enough to reunite symbolizes the end- to an awful war for women. All of us.


That will make sense in a moment. Hang on. Using forum time today to pull a thread, like a drawstring, around Ladies Tea. Back to threads tomorrow, swear.

Nurse's graves create a connect-the dot, outlining a map of the Civil War. Wives whose husbands never came home, soldier graves far away, more dots. Women displaced by war, refugees scattered like leaves whose names we'll never know, some died homeless, some found niches.

LADY spirit og 61.jpg

This was somehow associated with ' us ', ' our ' spirit, Columbia ( in the North ), already separated by yet another wall, the South was riddled with female images bursting with patriotic fervor, be sure.


Famous names; female soldiers, Vivandiere, generals' wives, spies, socialites, belles, freedom seekers, abolitionists, teachers and those two lonely women who married presidents.

All of us, mothers, daughters, wives, grandmothers and mostly, sisters- suffered an awful war. Been turning myself inside-out, intention being to present this war, and women's experiences in a way highlighting how very, very much we had in common. And how this commonality is a wonderful thing, drawing us together. All those dots are now graves creating a map of our country.

Books written on various women have been crazy. Mary Lincoln is typical although hardly singular- merely the most glaring example of how easily we turn on each other, frequently at some guy's behest. William Herndon, an embittered ex-law partner of Lincoln, savagely attacked Mary Lincoln. Today he'd be known as a stalker. She lost 3 children, had her murdered husband's brains in her lap, was rejected by the socialite wolf pack she grew up with, had Washington's female wolf pack snapping at her heels- and we're happy to see her go down like a wounded elk, too.

wedding.jpg

Using this because History has permitted this couple to be separated. Craziness, just because one is viewed a hero, the other turned into a fictional character. You just know somewhere was a photo of the two together ( not the photo shopped, Pinterest image ).

Mary Randolph Custis Lee, as revered as her husband? Hardly. Discovered 2 books on her, both slamming her housekeeping, child rearing, general slovenliness and one actually bemoans her unequal looks, compared to R.E. . Nice. Written by women. Nicer. Held the family together, lost a child, had sons captured, wounded, in harm's way, suffered a crippling illness ( my money is on R.A. or Lupus ) and was in fact as educated an elite belle as anyone could dream up.

lee mary custis lee.jpg

She had already nearly died, pre-wedding, from a flare of the mysterious illness which eventually crippled her, and again, after this child was born. We just never hear of it. Only how unworthy she was, if anything. Mary Custis was a hugely interesting, talented, bright and tough woman.

Varina Davis? Is disallowed a real love story, hence marriage. Despite also being an accomplished, bright, capable woman of her era, her husband's former life strips hers of validity. Like so many, mourned a child, lost so much but remains a mere character, cold and witchy and gosh, with African American DNA toboot, like it was a taint?

harriet jacobs1.JPG

Harriet Jacob's incredible, awful and unspeakable story is one everyone smitten by History should read, much less each woman. Passing down that level of strength to the next generation is a gift so valuable it is flatly incalculable, beyond what it tells us of where we were all those years ago.

How many trips did Harriet Tubman make, really? Of all women to quibble over, we pick our Harriet? Of all women to venerate, pick Harriet.

Had an entire thread shatter once over Sojourner Truth's ' story '. A man picked at her in a way we just, plain should not tolerate, as females. He pretty well called her a liar and fraud and did so nearly with impunity.

" Wolf Pack " because we do that. Men do not although benefit from our tendency to do so. Kate Chase Spaulding, poor thing, later went down herself. She was among the Washington elite, super socialite daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln's Treasury Sec. ( and a huge abolitionist- you'd have thunk Kate would have gotten some compassion somewhere in her makeup ) one of the group of women who turned a cold shoulder to Mary Todd Lincoln, snapping socialite teeth at her heels. But we do that. Don't we? When Kate's rotter of a husband ejected her from their social circle, anyone reach out? Goodness no.

Through this awful war, women had more in common that they had not. When ' push came to shove ', we shoved beautifully. We lost too many to count and sure cannot because names have vanished into Time. But. We owe all of them, to heck with dividers because we're common gender, for Heaven's sake, recognition. Nature's wolf packs are rooted in survival, ours in.... well, never have been clear on that point. Baffled by it albeit uninterested.

What has endless scope is our women's abilities to withstand events like this tsunami called war, in myriad ways. How marvelous of us to honor them, from positive perspectives, together.
 

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#4
View attachment 176210
There isn't one, perfect image illustrating ' Women ' and ' The Civil War '. Winslow Homer's sketch of Union families fortunate enough to reunite symbolizes the end- to an awful war for women. All of us.


That will make sense in a moment. Hang on. Using forum time today to pull a thread, like a drawstring, around Ladies Tea. Back to threads tomorrow, swear.

Nurse's graves create a connect-the dot, outlining a map of the Civil War. Wives whose husbands never came home, soldier graves far away, more dots. Women displaced by war, refugees scattered like leaves whose names we'll never know, some died homeless, some found niches.

View attachment 176214
This was somehow associated with ' us ', ' our ' spirit, Columbia ( in the North ), already separated by yet another wall, the South was riddled with female images bursting with patriotic fervor, be sure.


Famous names; female soldiers, Vivandiere, generals' wives, spies, socialites, belles, freedom seekers, abolitionists, teachers and those two lonely women who married presidents.

All of us, mothers, daughters, wives, grandmothers and mostly, sisters- suffered an awful war. Been turning myself inside-out, intention being to present this war, and women's experiences in a way highlighting how very, very much we had in common. And how this commonality is a wonderful thing, drawing us together. All those dots are now graves creating a map of our country.

Books written on various women have been crazy. Mary Lincoln is typical although hardly singular- merely the most glaring example of how easily we turn on each other, frequently at some guy's behest. William Herndon, an embittered ex-law partner of Lincoln, savagely attacked Mary Lincoln. Today he'd be known as a stalker. She lost 3 children, had her murdered husband's brains in her lap, was rejected by the socialite wolf pack she grew up with, had Washington's female wolf pack snapping at her heels- and we're happy to see her go down like a wounded elk, too.

View attachment 176209
Using this because History has permitted this couple to be separated. Craziness, just because one is viewed a hero, the other turned into a fictional character. You just know somewhere was a photo of the two together ( not the photo shopped, Pinterest image ).

Mary Randolph Custis Lee, as revered as her husband? Hardly. Discovered 2 books on her, both slamming her housekeeping, child rearing, general slovenliness and one actually bemoans her unequal looks, compared to R.E. . Nice. Written by women. Nicer. Held the family together, lost a child, had sons captured, wounded, in harm's way, suffered a crippling illness ( my money is on R.A. or Lupus ) and was in fact as educated an elite belle as anyone could dream up.

View attachment 176208
She had already nearly died, pre-wedding, from a flare of the mysterious illness which eventually crippled her, and again, after this child was born. We just never hear of it. Only how unworthy she was, if anything. Mary Custis was a hugely interesting, talented, bright and tough woman.

Varina Davis? Is disallowed a real love story, hence marriage. Despite also being an accomplished, bright, capable woman of her era, her husband's former life strips hers of validity. Like so many, mourned a child, lost so much but remains a mere character, cold and witchy and gosh, with African American DNA toboot, like it was a taint?

View attachment 176212
Harriet Jacob's incredible, awful and unspeakable story is one everyone smitten by History should read, much less each woman. Passing down that level of strength to the next generation is a gift so valuable it is flatly incalculable, beyond what it tells us of where we were all those years ago.

How many trips did Harriet Tubman make, really? Of all women to quibble over, we pick our Harriet? Of all women to venerate, pick Harriet.

Had an entire thread shatter once over Sojourner Truth's ' story '. A man picked at her in a way we just, plain should not tolerate, as females. He pretty well called her a liar and fraud and did so nearly with impunity.

" Wolf Pack " because we do that. Men do not although benefit from our tendency to do so. Kate Chase Spaulding, poor thing, later went down herself. She was among the Washington elite, super socialite daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln's Treasury Sec. ( and a huge abolitionist- you'd have thunk Kate would have gotten some compassion somewhere in her makeup ) one of the group of women who turned a cold shoulder to Mary Todd Lincoln, snapping socialite teeth at her heels. But we do that. Don't we? When Kate's rotter of a husband ejected her from their social circle, anyone reach out? Goodness no.

Through this awful war, women had more in common that they had not. When ' push came to shove ', we shoved beautifully. We lost too many to count and sure cannot because names have vanished into Time. But. We owe all of them, to heck with dividers because we're common gender, for Heaven's sake, recognition. Nature's wolf packs are rooted in survival, ours in.... well, never have been clear on that point. Baffled by it albeit uninterested.

What has endless scope is our women's abilities to withstand events like this tsunami called war, in myriad ways. How marvelous of us to honor them, from positive perspectives, together.
You always write what is in your heart @JPK Huson 1863 . What a beautiful tribute to women in the war. May we never forget their trials and sufferings which were just as great as the men who fought...
 

Belle Montgomery

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#7
Not to mention how Mary Custis Lee could not get compensated for HER family's home and property at Arlington from the government and their games preying on her illness (SHE was required to pay the taxes in person) but eventually her son could after successfully suing! Imagine THAT ladies...only a male heir rates!
Her last and first visit after the war to see her beloved heirloom Arlington she supposedly could not get out of her carriage because of her RA and only recognized one old tree on the property.
Thank you @JPK Huson 1863 for these wonderful but very sad truths how these women (and many more) were treated after all they went through personally and helped the men support the cause THEY believed in too! But the shock is the other women who helped to destroy their characters then and NOW! They say "hell hath no fury..." but how are their contemporaries scorned to belittle them so?
PS: Mary Todd would literally have a heart attack if she knew about Hillary... LOL
 

AnnaLee

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#8
Thanks for the article, Annie. Mary Randolph Custis Lee indeed had a debilitating disease. I have heard it was Rheumatoid Arthritis but it may also have been Lupus. I have R.A. and I can attest to the excruciating pain and debilitation it left me before I began taking the meds prescribed. Thank God for the medications we have today. Poor Mrs. Lee. There wasn't much to help her.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#11
Not to mention how Mary Custis Lee could not get compensated for HER family's home and property at Arlington from the government and their games preying on her illness (SHE was required to pay the taxes in person) but eventually her son could after successfully suing! Imagine THAT ladies...only a male heir rates!
Her last and first visit after the war to see her beloved heirloom Arlington she supposedly could not get out of her carriage because of her RA and only recognized one old tree on the property.
Thank you @JPK Huson 1863 for these wonderful but very sad truths how these women (and many more) were treated after all they went through personally and helped the men support the cause THEY believed in too! But the shock is the other women who helped to destroy their characters then and NOW! They say "hell hath no fury..." but how are their contemporaries scorned to belittle them so?
PS: Mary Todd would literally have a heart attack if she knew about Hillary... LOL

Yes, and to this day ( and please, no one turn this into a siege ), even on government sites, Arlington is the ' R.E. Lee ' mansion- and it just, plain wasn't. It is not. It was Mary Randolph Custis's childhood home because her father built it as a memorial to this country's founding. Problematic, with an enslaved past who built it and whose pasts become also entangled in yet another ' Lee ' argument, it leads us astray again from Mary's past as anti-war and anti-slavery. ( I can source that ) As such it is a splendid setting for what it is today, certainly. It became that accidentally. We're lucky to have it- perhaps George Washington Custis would be pleased, who knows?

The thing is, that is not even arguable. Nor is it arguable Meigs, in his vindictive act of having soldiers buried there, waged war on a woman, Mary Randolph Custis Lee, not her husband. Meigs knew the property would be not be recoverable, with war dead buried there. Furious with Lee for leaving the Union army, he never forgave him- it was personal. Between men.

Well, accounts differ? Yes, pretty well hampered by her disease, Mary Randolph Custis seemed overtaken by emotion when seeing the changes at Arlington. Those names- ' Randolph' and ' Custis ' rocket down our deepest history, not all of it pretty but it's our history, as was Arlington's intent. It was her father's legacy to this country and his daughter- just too much loss. Without setting foot on her old home, she left for the last time, sad, as you say.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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You always give us something worthwhile to ponder on JPK, and often a gentle reminder, too.

I believe Julia Dent Grant and Varina Davis became friends after Grant passed away, and socialized on a number of occasions.

Hopefully gentle! We girls can be awfully tough on each other. You see things which occurred just between 1861 and 1865- Clara Barton's Sanitary Commission and all the countless organizations women formed, North and South. Boy, do we all do well when working together.

Were they? Love to know more. All you hear of poor Varina is this nonsense all about how this lovely, educated, sought after woman had a loveless marriage because her husband's first wife died- and he only married her because...... why? First wife remained his true love, blah blah blah, and other fairy tales. I'm sure it was an awful loss, his first wife quite wonderful. But. Varina as a second-ran, fill-in? No.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Thanks for the article, Annie. Mary Randolph Custis Lee indeed had a debilitating disease. I have heard it was Rheumatoid Arthritis but it may also have been Lupus. I have R.A. and I can attest to the excruciating pain and debilitation it left me before I began taking the meds prescribed. Thank God for the medications we have today. Poor Mrs. Lee. There wasn't much to help her.

To the choir, Anna Lee.... been swearing at this stupid thing for 20 years. Sorry to know you are, too- although you do not seem the swearing type. I only guessed Lupus because her flares before her wedding and post natal were so severe she nearly died. Yes, we're really, really lucky with meds, in 2018. And elastic! Wraps-R-Us! If I couldn't tie this collection of badgered joints together with elastic and still bang around the mountain, would swear a lot more.

Someone mentioned she took ' blue pills '? Read somewhere mercury was a popular medicine, could have been that, can you imagine? Husband is a chemist- read that to him and he said the effects would have been horrendous. Mercury! Well, as you say we sure are fortunate. Without wishing to be intrusive, wonder if her grgrgrandchildren have it? Genetic, so that would answer the puzzle.
 

Belle Montgomery

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#14
Yes, and to this day ( and please, no one turn this into a siege ), even on government sites, Arlington is the ' R.E. Lee ' mansion- and it just, plain wasn't. It is not. It was Mary Randolph Custis's childhood home because her father built it as a memorial to this country's founding. Problematic, with an enslaved past who built it and whose pasts become also entangled in yet another ' Lee ' argument, it leads us astray again from Mary's past as anti-war and anti-slavery. ( I can source that ) As such it is a splendid setting for what it is today, certainly. It became that accidentally. We're lucky to have it- perhaps George Washington Custis would be pleased, who knows?

The thing is, that is not even arguable. Nor is it arguable Meigs, in his vindictive act of having soldiers buried there, waged war on a woman, Mary Randolph Custis Lee, not her husband. Meigs knew the property would be not be recoverable, with war dead buried there. Furious with Lee for leaving the Union army, he never forgave him- it was personal. Between men.

Well, accounts differ? Yes, pretty well hampered by her disease, Mary Randolph Custis seemed overtaken by emotion when seeing the changes at Arlington. Those names- ' Randolph' and ' Custis ' rocket down our deepest history, not all of it pretty but it's our history, as was Arlington's intent. It was her father's legacy to this country and his daughter- just too much loss. Without setting foot on her old home, she left for the last time, sad, as you say.
Well said!!!!
 

AnnaLee

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#15
Someone mentioned she took ' blue pills '? Read somewhere mercury was a popular medicine, could have been that, can you imagine? Husband is a chemist- read that to him and he said the effects would have been horrendous. Mercury! Well, as you say we sure are fortunate. Without wishing to be intrusive, wonder if her grgrgrandchildren have it? Genetic, so that would answer the puzzle.
I was diagnosed with R.A. in 2009 (age 60). I had to wait three months before I saw the Rheumatologist and by the time I saw him every joint in my body hurt (enough to make you swear.) Within hours of taking the methotrexate the pain was gone. Had a flare-up in 2013 and the doc added Plaqunil. So far so good. I rarely have any joint pain.
Yes, I've read about people who took Mercury and you're right--so many side effects and sometimes death. It would be interesting to know if her g-g-grandchildren inherited this disease. I've discussed the possible etiology with my rheumatologist and he thinks it is genetic. Something weird in my situation is that my husband also has R.A. I told my doc that I wondered in some cases if it was contagious? He said he didn't know for sure. I worked in the neurosurgery dept. at UVA in neurological research. I would have loved to be included as a research nurse in the study of R.A.
 

Cavalry Charger

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Nor is it arguable Meigs, in his vindictive act of having soldiers buried there, waged war on a woman, Mary Randolph Custis Lee, not her husband. Meigs knew the property would be not be recoverable, with war dead buried there. Furious with Lee for leaving the Union army, he never forgave him- it was personal. Between men.
This.
Were they? Love to know more.
I'll have a look-see over the weekend and post what I can find.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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I was diagnosed with R.A. in 2009 (age 60). I had to wait three months before I saw the Rheumatologist and by the time I saw him every joint in my body hurt (enough to make you swear.) Within hours of taking the methotrexate the pain was gone. Had a flare-up in 2013 and the doc added Plaqunil. So far so good. I rarely have any joint pain.
Yes, I've read about people who took Mercury and you're right--so many side effects and sometimes death. It would be interesting to know if her g-g-grandchildren inherited this disease. I've discussed the possible etiology with my rheumatologist and he thinks it is genetic. Something weird in my situation is that my husband also has R.A. I told my doc that I wondered in some cases if it was contagious? He said he didn't know for sure. I worked in the neurosurgery dept. at UVA in neurological research. I would have loved to be included as a research nurse in the study of R.A.

It's amazing how quickly the meds squish it, right? Like a soft ended mallet. There's a small upside- since it's an auto immune disorder, you can walk through epidemics like Superman. Never get sick, sniffles, flu- never have. This hyped-up immune system eventually turns on itself and kinda eats it, so we're yep, feel like someone beat you with a sock full of pennies but also avoided every plague arriving to smite mankind since day 1. Weird, crazy stuff. It is an odd disorder- you nearly never find the same course in 2 people, or what's helpful. Find bouncing around a must or turn into the Tin Man- for someone else, it wouldn't be helpful. Mary Lee just could not but well, maybe mercury had something to do with that!

Husband, too? Amazing, and gee whiz! Little unfair! That is indeed crazy- if you do succeed in being included in a study, that would be fascinating to hear about.
 

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#19
except the laundry. If someone could find a way to make that a little more absorbing, feel free to post.
:giggle: Not me!

Why is everything interesting?
It is, isn't it?? And things you don't expect to be interesting until another detail is added which you weren't aware of ...
That's why I love it here. I learn something new every day, and every day I am AMAZED for some reason or another.
 

Cavalry Charger

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I believe Julia Dent Grant and Varina Davis became friends after Grant passed away, and socialized on a number of occasions.
I'll have a look-see over the weekend and post what I can find.
'The years immediately following the Civil War brought further trials as Varina Davis coped with her husband’s imprisonment at Fort Monroe, Virginia, from 1865–1867 and the deaths of three more of her children. Following Jefferson Davis’s death in 1889, she moved permanently to New York City. To the consternation of many in the South, among her close friends was Julia Dent Grant, the widow of Union General Ulysses S. Grant.'

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/civil-war-in-america/biographies/varina-davis.html
 



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