Women played a very important role during the Civil War. Ladies held a wide variety of positions including nurses, teachers, cooks, nuns, vivandieres, and laundresses. Several women worked for the military as telegraphers and with industry such as manufacturing clothing, goods, and equipment. Many women had to take care of their families while the men were off to war while some women disguised themselves as men and fought in the war as well. Some of the ladies, however, were prostitutes and spies.
History of the OVCWA’s Civil War Ladies
The Civil War Ladies, of the Ohio Valley Civil War Association, are a group of dedicated women that conduct Living History programs to teach and educate the public at history related events and Civil War battlefields. They take on first-person personas of actual women who lived during the era of the Civil War and are devoted to expressing their knowledge and passion in an area of our American history that is not as emphasized as it should be. Their impressions are thouroughly researched and masterfully detailed including their period dress and accoutrements.
Women joined when the association was formed in the late 1990’s. Some of the impressions portrayed by the Civil War Ladies are Annie Etheridge, Isabella Fogg, Sister Anthony O’Connell, Belle Parker, Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke, and others.