In an age when the average life expectancy was some 39 years (1860), I think they had different ideas about when to get started. 12-13 is pretty young though, even then I would think.My bad the age of consent in many states in the Nineteenth Century was 10. Many state legislatiors defend that and we have a past thread or so that discusses that.
So definitely a different mindset back in the day .Today it's between 16 to 18 although South Carolina has one exception for teenagers at 14. If I had daughters even granddaughters not digging South Carolina's law.