Women Headed South on a Wagon, 1865


2nd Lieutenant
Mar 6, 2010
Charlotte, NC
There must be an interesting story behind this brief letter from a Quartermaster in South Carolina to the Quartermaster General (from Georgia) in Richmond. Who were the women? Where headed? Escaping the coming fall of Richmond?

Blackstock{, S. C.} March 16, 1865
General A. R. Lawton {QM General}
I recd yours of the 9th yesterday at Chester. My wagons have not arrived but Capt. Strong kindly furnished the Ladies with a wagon from Chester to Newberry {both in S. C., a distance of about 45 miles south-west by road}. I thought that route best under all circumstances just now.
Yours Respt.
R. Ward A. Q. M.


1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Nov 27, 2018
Chattanooga, Tennessee
I am sure of it. Mary Chestnut is a good reminder that the social elite were involved in the affairs of Government, and had to be removed for safety. Maybe a look into her diary could offer a possible theme.


2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Apr 18, 2019
A lot of anecdotes pop up in diaries and letters of officers extending courtesies to "ladies" during the War. It was part of the code of gentlemanly conduct that well educated men followed. It's important to note though that this code only extended to those whom the men identified as "ladies" - women of the upper class whose dress and manners and speech, among other signifiers, proclaimed them to be "gently bred." Similar courtesies were not extended to all women. Less educated or less notably cultured women often got harsher treatment. That included enslaved or formerly enslaved women.