Which woman was most valuable to the CSA/USA Army?

Which woman was most valuable to the CSA/USA Army?

  • Nurse

    Votes: 23 92.0%
  • Soldier

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Spy

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • Vivandiere

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    25
  • Poll closed .

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JPK Huson 1863

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#2
I couldn't vote, Mike, sorry! It isn't possible plus, some choices vital to the army are not on the ballet- civilian women, teachers, the ground swell of support from home- wives.

I mean, asking this question is a little like asking which finger you'd lop off and still have a hand function, you know?

Tough in comparisons, too. With so few Vivandier, how do we gauge value? But our most famous, Tepe, was so valuable by way of aid where she was ( not to an entire army ), we'll never know the lives saved. Our female soldiers? No more or less than the men; you'd have to calculate how valuable was each private to a company, company to regiment, regiment to.... like the King's horse and a careless blacksmith, every soldier was vital.

Famous examples but few spies in comparison to say, nurses. Valuable as events transpired, each was different, too. We do know Grant told Elizabeth Van Lew Richmond would not have been taken without her. I'm a little lopsided on the topic of Van Lew, her hugest fan because she scooped up JPK's brother, a Federal prisoner in Richmond, and took him home to nurse his Typhoid. Not very objective!

To witness from this distance, various unhelpful attitudes towards nurses, you'd think ' Not Very '- plus Dix was only permitted a mere 10% of the whole, Union at least, ' Civil War Nurses '. She'd have recruited battalions, given the choice. The rest pushed their way in- Sanitary Commission, Christian Commission, countless state civic groups, on the spot nurses of necessity like we see at Gettysburg and women who felt impelled by God himself to heal war's savagery- the Sisters.

Tough question, probably unanswerable?
 
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#4
I couldn't vote, Mike, sorry! It isn't possible plus, some choices vital to the army are not on the ballet- civilian women, teachers, the ground swell of support from home- wives.

I mean, asking this question is a little like asking which finger you'd lop off and still have a hand function, you know?

Tough in comparisons, too. With so few Vivandier, how do we gauge value? But our most famous, Tepe, was so valuable by way of aid where she was ( not to an entire army ), we'll never know the lives saved. Our female soldiers? No more or less than the men; you'd have to calculate how valuable was each private to a company, company to regiment, regiment to.... like the King's horse and a careless blacksmith, every soldier was vital.

Famous examples but few spies in comparison to say, nurses. Valuable as events transpired, each was different, too. We do know Grant told Elizabeth Van Lew Richmond would not have been taken without her. I'm a little lopsided on the topic of Van Lew, her hugest fan because she scooped up JPK's brother, a Federal prisoner in Richmond, and took him home to nurse his Typhoid. Not very objective!

To witness from this distance, various unhelpful attitudes towards nurses, you'd think ' Not Very '- plus Dix was only permitted a mere 10% of the whole, Union at least, ' Civil War Nurses '. She'd have recruited battalions, given the choice. The rest pushed their way in- Sanitary Commission, Christian Commission, countless state civic groups, on the spot nurses of necessity like we see at Gettysburg and women who felt impelled by God himself to heal war's savagery- the Sisters.

Tough question, probably unanswerable?
Thanks for you insight. Neat story about JPK's brother. My answer was nurse.
 
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#5
My answer was nurse, too.

I have answered on a pure personal level. Maybe a female spy or a female soldier or a vivandiere was more essential to the war effort. But how much misery was made more endurable through the gentle hand of a nurse (and let's not forget, in the beginning, nurses were men!).
You simply cannot overrate nurses in my eyes. Never.
 

CSA Today

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#6
My answer was nurse, too.

I have answered on a pure personal level. Maybe a female spy or a female soldier or a vivandiere was more essential to the war effort. But how much misery was made more endurable through the gentle hand of a nurse (and let's not forget, in the beginning, nurses were men!).
You simply cannot overrate nurses in my eyes. Never.
Wounded soldiers in Robertson Hospital would have voted nurse.

“The Robertson Hospital officially opened on August 1 in 1861. The government assigned six surgeons and supplied only food, medicine, and supplies to the hospital, with Tompkins covering the remaining expenses with her inheritance.

Tompkins was strict about cleanliness in her hospital, which resulted in a 94 percent survival rate among her patients. Of the 1,300 wounded soldiers sent to her hospital, only 73 died.”
http://civilwarsaga.com/captain-sally-louisa-tompkins-nurse-and-officer-in-the-confederate-army/
 

Cavalry Charger

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#8
I'd say if we're talking armies, the women who kept them in the field. Those would be the woman at home, who were writing regularly, willing them on, wishing for their safety and wanting for their victorious return. These women would include mothers, wives, sweethearts, sisters, daughters. They want their men home, but at the same time they want to encourage and inspire them where they are, so that they don't lose hope. If that had been an option, I would have chosen these women.
 
Last edited:
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#11
I couldn't vote, Mike, sorry! It isn't possible plus, some choices vital to the army are not on the ballet- civilian women, teachers, the ground swell of support from home- wives.

I mean, asking this question is a little like asking which finger you'd lop off and still have a hand function, you know?

Tough in comparisons, too. With so few Vivandier, how do we gauge value? But our most famous, Tepe, was so valuable by way of aid where she was ( not to an entire army ), we'll never know the lives saved. Our female soldiers? No more or less than the men; you'd have to calculate how valuable was each private to a company, company to regiment, regiment to.... like the King's horse and a careless blacksmith, every soldier was vital.

Famous examples but few spies in comparison to say, nurses. Valuable as events transpired, each was different, too. We do know Grant told Elizabeth Van Lew Richmond would not have been taken without her. I'm a little lopsided on the topic of Van Lew, her hugest fan because she scooped up JPK's brother, a Federal prisoner in Richmond, and took him home to nurse his Typhoid. Not very objective!

To witness from this distance, various unhelpful attitudes towards nurses, you'd think ' Not Very '- plus Dix was only permitted a mere 10% of the whole, Union at least, ' Civil War Nurses '. She'd have recruited battalions, given the choice. The rest pushed their way in- Sanitary Commission, Christian Commission, countless state civic groups, on the spot nurses of necessity like we see at Gettysburg and women who felt impelled by God himself to heal war's savagery- the Sisters.

Tough question, probably unanswerable?
I wish I could like this response several dozen times. :smile:

I'd say if we're talking armies, the women who kept them in the field. Those would be the woman at home, who were writing regularly, willing them on, wishing for their safety and wanting for their victorious return. These women would include mothers, wives, sweethearts, sisters, daughters. They want their men home, but at the same time they want to encourage and inspire them where they are, so that they don't lose hope. If that had have been an option, I would have chosen these women.
And this as well!

I agree that women in any number of roles made important inroads for all women and for equality, simply by stepping out of socially determined roles. We know about some of these women, like Dorothea Dix, Harriet Tubman, Mary Edwards Walker, Pauline Cushman, Rose O'Neal Greenhow, and others, but there are so many we don't know about. I'd love to learn their stories.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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#13
Wounded soldiers in Robertson Hospital would have voted nurse.

“The Robertson Hospital officially opened on August 1 in 1861. The government assigned six surgeons and supplied only food, medicine, and supplies to the hospital, with Tompkins covering the remaining expenses with her inheritance.

Tompkins was strict about cleanliness in her hospital, which resulted in a 94 percent survival rate among her patients. Of the 1,300 wounded soldiers sent to her hospital, only 73 died.”
http://civilwarsaga.com/captain-sally-louisa-tompkins-nurse-and-officer-in-the-confederate-army/
Thank you for posting this. I read about this several years ago but could not remember who it was. She must have some how intuited, more than most, about cleanliness and health. I would have loved to talk with her.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#19
*sigh* . Not that' nurse' isn't valid- the sigh is over women's value being sexual. Isn't anyone else going to go up in smoke? Mike Serpa, if you add ' prostitute ' to the poll I'll tell your great great grandmother, 1st grade teacher, and Sunday School teacher from 1st grade ( and no, will not get into this decade- am kidding too much to be personal ). Prostitute. Goodness.
You know, quite a few women who tried to contribute to the war as soldiers were thrown in jail as prostitutes. When no one could figure out what else to do, heck, must be sex.

There were an awful lot of poor women ( and young girls ) following armies, in the role. Displaced by war, they had to eat, mostly. Would have taken them home and fed them.

It's a good thread, no one hopefully will fly to the defense of one group since there's no ' better ' you know? We sure needed more nurses than anyone else- would like to point out no female nurses were permitted for awhile. They were all men. Men said so.
 

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