Post-Civil War war marriages in the South

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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Maybe wrong but I don’t think many single women were migrating across country alone to marry immediately post-war. Maybe as children in family groups, then yes.
That could be. Quite a few Southern families did go West so it's certainly conceivable an unmarried sister or cousin was recruited has a nanny/ maid and then could find a better job and or boyfriend or husband.
Leftyhunter
 
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Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Location
central NC
Is there a chance this article was written because it was a distinct possibility? I seriously don't get it, but if you link the article or further information, I'm sure it would be interesting.
I haven't had any luck linking the article Deb, but I haven't given up yet. It was a study of how white southerners rallied against polygamy from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the twentieth century. It was not written because polygamy was a distinct possibility. I came across it when I was researching a similar thread on this topic.

This link makes for an interesting read.
https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/civil-war-saints/civil-war-s-aftermath-reconstruction-abolition-and-polygamy
 
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impala

Cadet
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Jun 29, 2018
If you look at censuses during the period after the CW you will find many families with boarders which seemed to be a common way of doing things back then. I often imagine quite large homes to fit them all in, but sleeping arrangementments were different then,too.

BTW, I'm a bit lost on all this talk of polygamy. To me that means a woman being married to multiple men. If it happens it's usually the other way round in some organized fashion as part of a culture or religion. I have trouble imagining Southern women being married to multiple men, especially when pregnancy is a very likely outcome of their relationships. And then she would have the children to care for as well. This may be one of the strangest things I've ever come across here :confused:
Polygamy means the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, especially wife, at one time. I just suggested the possibility of it happening of Southern women sharing a man because of the shortage of white men who died during the Civil War. Women desperate for companionship would probably resort to it; I don't know if it happened or not but it probably did happen.

After World War II in Germany, women were faced with the same situation where millions of German men died and women faced the possibility of never marrying. Same thing happened in Britain and France after World War I.
 

Cavalry Charger

Captain
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
I just suggested the possibility of it happening of Southern women sharing a man because of the shortage of white men who died during the Civil War. Women desperate for companionship would probably resort to it;
I can't remember who suggested it, but it the most unlikely happening that I can possibly imagine. If a woman is sharing a man she is sharing him with another woman. That is polygamy. And in that circumstance it is the man who is the author of the relationships.

So, my take on what was said by others was that women were seeking 'companionship' with more than one man and this was described as polygamy. It appears there is a mix up which @John Hartwell has tried to clarify. For a woman to have multiple male partners is polyandry and this is not practical for women of that era (or any era probably!) due to the issue of pregnancy and childbirth.

Ultimately, I think what people are trying to say is that women accepted men to have more than one partner in order to have partners themselves. One example I can think of is the case of Newt Knight, and his wife who returned to him at the end of the war after he had taken up with his black mistress. She had nowhere else to go. Whether they had marital relations after this I don't know.
 

Karen Lips

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Location
Waxahachie,Texas
Maybe not in the same volume but we sure talk a lot about the Irish and Germans in the war. I’m no expert but I guess the waves of southern and eastern European immigration came in the period you speak of.

German colonization of central Texas began in the 1840s and as you know the majority were Unionist. You may not know of the Czech colonies established here about the same time. Not as big an influence as the Germans but their Kolaches are much loved in this part of the country. The little town of West, TX, just north of Waco, has a well advertised gas/food business called the “Czech Stop” that sells these wonderful pastries. I always thought that pretty clever.
Ennis, Texas has a big Czech population and there is a place in town that sells those delicious Kolaches!
 
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