Susie King Taylor's memoirs , only known published recollection of the experiences of an African American nurse during the Civil War. In a letter to Taylor, reproduced in her book, Lt. Colonel Trowbridge, commander of the regiment, praises her "unselfish devotion and service through more than three long years of war in which the 33d Regiment bore a conspicuous part in the great conflict for human liberty and the restoration of the Union."
Ann Stokes, formerly enlaved. ' Adopted ' by the Sisters of the Holy Cross on the U.S.S. Red Rover, hospital ship. Stokes was first black nurse ( I think- am taking much of these short bios on faith, hope the subjects are done justice to )
Lizzie Hoffman, enlisted in the 45th U.S. Colored Infantry, single black regiment from western Virginia Lizzie was arrested along with her entire company while aboard a steamer. She was sent finally to the Central Guard House in Washington, found out to be a woman.
Martha Lewis disguised as a white man and served for eight months in the 8th New York Cavalry.
She is reported to have ridden and fought alongside her male counterparts.
In April, 1865 ( was post-Appomattox ) read she worked continuing to free enslaved, not sure the story.
Four black nurses Red Rover
Mary Elizabeth Bowser famously, spy, Confederate White House in Richmond. She was able to pass herself off as an illiterate enslaved woman while using her photographic memory to gain access to important information.
Marie Touvestre was a free black woman who worked for a Confederate engineer near the harbor in Norfolk, Virginia. She overheard plans being made for the building of the iron side C.S.S. Virginia and risked her life to take that information to the Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles in Washington.
Cathay Williams enlisted and served in the 38th U.S. Infantry . She may have been the first black woman to serve in the U.S. Regular Army and as a Buffalo Soldier.
Charlotte Forten (1837-1914)
Charlotte Forten - teachers were needed to teach, and now, the black population too long denied an education. woman, she brought intense As a black woman, she hoped to find kinship with the freedmen, though her own education set her apart from the formerly enslaved. She stayed on St. Helena Island for two years, succumbed to ill health and had to return north. In 1864, she published "Life on the Sea Islands" in The Atlantic Monthly, which brought the work of the Port Royal Experiment to the attention of Northern
Sojourner Truth , abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Born enslaved in New York State, she suffered the loss of three children ‘ sold away ‘ . Freeing herself, Truth embraced religion and became involved in reform and abolitionist work. She collected supplies for black regiments during the Civil War and immersed herself in advocating for freedpeople during the Reconstruction period. Truth was a powerful and impassioned speaker whose legacy of feminism and racial equality still resonates today. “Ain’t I a Woman?”, from the Ohio, 1851 convention continues to be her best known, most loved speech and a gift to the ages.
Elizabeth Keckleyborn enslaved in Dinwiddie, Virginia, February 1818. Purchasing her freedom from a down-at-the heels family who made her buy herself, her mother and her son at great expense, she became a dressmaker for Washington’s elite. Keckley was a confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln- their friendship shattered after Keckely included Mary in her 1868. A brilliant designer, Keckley was intensely private herself. She died in 1907 in Washington, D.C.
Harriet Tubman became famous as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad during the turbulent 1850s. Born a slave on Maryland’s eastern shore, she endured the harsh existence of a field hand, including brutal beatings. In 1849 she fled slavery, leaving her husband and family behind in order to escape. Despite a bounty on her head, she returned to the South at least 19 times to lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy and nurse during the Civil War.
I'm sorry, one of my favorite photographs. Have always felt the dogs became so bored waiting for the photo to be taken they went to sleep!
Boy, tough to encompass all the roles if we wish to commemorate contributions made by black women during the Civil War. The thing is, single threads tend to be little bios- most here have threads but so what? This is a comprehensive celebration, If white women had extreme lengths to go, achieving their purposes black women not only had those same extremes but first ran the equivalent of 5 marathons just to catch up to ' Go '.
No apologies, they did it then showed up in places like Beaufort, South Carolina, for instance. I'm using it as an example. Displaced by war, taking their futures into their own hands these women and their families found Union lines there. Their own freedoms. What's very cool about Beaufort? When told to once again toil for free? The answer was no, thank you. Er, just came from there, happy to help. Here's the deal. You Northerners are clueless about running plantations. We know an awful lot. If you would like to pay us, we will run these places, work the fields, everyone will be benefit. "
Some insisted on pushing beyond into teaching, nursing, fighting ( for Heaven's sake ), earning what was possible as laundresses with the army, cooks and seamstresses. They went ' pop '. Some starved. When men enlisted with the USCT no provisions were made for wives and children. I can't find where they would have found a roof- possibly the Freedmen's villages so quickly constructed. Still, a huge contribution for a woman, her husband.
Hopefully this will not be a scant thread, apologize if it is inadequate. Obviously will miss so, so many!