Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
Different country, same camp. As long as there have been men shooting each other in war, there have been women hanging around camps. It may be more interesting ( because for some reason salacious always is ) to think symbiotic commerce was the reason. And no.
I've been chipping away at the topic " Women In Camp " for a lot of years. Conversations turn again and again to prostitution. Guessing it plain, old sounds more interesting to think they were alllll prostitutes. I mean, look at all those men, how could any female in their midst NOT have a cash agenda? Dismissing various roles filled by women misses a LOT. Nurses and officer's wives tend to get a pass- anyone else showing up? Of course they were the same, old, tired soiled doves.
It'd be good to listen to some of the men. Found an account by a soldier who insisted replacing 5 men per regiment with 5 women would humanize the whole war. His take on it was we girls weren't just decorative, men swore and drank less, bathed once in awhile and stood up straight when we were around.
Here's another- and yes, I post far too many news clippings. The thing is, era accounts by men who were there beats the bejammers out of speculation, conjecture and myth.
Orders were issued women be forbidden camps when the serious business of war loomed ahead. It didn't always work- Yellow Tavern traded hands as frequently as a dollar bill, there was always imminent battle. Proof by way of a series of images taken there over time tells us women weren't always good listeners.
" Yellow Hospital ", Manassas, 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry At The Duncan House 1862 | Period Photos & Examinations
LoC image, part of a series taken by Timothy O'Sullivan in July 1863 has more to offer than it's title " Yellow Hospital ". Officers and troopers of the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry were stationed in ' Bloom's Grove ', also aka ' The Duncan House ' at the time. That some families were also present...
12th Pennsylvania Cavalry stationed at the Duncan House/Yellow Tavern guarding RR, images by Sullivan depict a very feminine presence.
I'm not saying every camp was littered with we girls, I'm pointing out there were reasons other than sordid we " cam down like shoals '. Apparently a lot of us.
Writer finishes his not always tongue in cheek article with
" An angel, wandering from her sphere,
Who sees the bright, effulgent gem.
To dew-eyed Pity brings the tear,
And hangs it on her diadem "
I think that's Thomas Moore? Sounds like him. Anyway, the more accounts we can uncover might eventually get we girls out from beneath the covers and humanize the war a tad. Again. We were there once, history will get us there again.
Lucky for us, Lookout Point featured it's very, own photography studio perched on the mountain above camp. We climbed, too.