Posted By Norman Gasbarro on November 14, 2016
“Women and the Civil War” is an exhibit of photographs and stories of women who had family connections with soldiers of that war. It was first displayed at the Gratz Fair in September 2013, where it received “first place” in a non-profit division. Afterward, it was displayed in 2014 at the Williamtown-Williams Township Historical Society; in 2015 at the Pillow Historical Society; and in 2016 at the Elizabethville Area Historical Society. With the “retiring” of the actual exhibit, the photographs and stories are now presented here on The Civil War Blog in a thirteen part series, beginning today.
For each of the thirteen series parts, one woman is featured first along with a brief description of her connection to a Civil War soldier. For the other women who are pictured in each part, a brief story is not provided, but blog readers are invited to add their own stories as comments to the blog post. In some cases, the women or the soldiers have been previously featured on this blog and links are provided to those posts.
Portraits and Stories. This portrait gallery is of women from the Lykens Valley and beyond who were influenced by or had an influence on the Civil War. It includes mothers, wives and daughters of men of the Civil War generation. A few of their stories have been briefly told here [in the exhibit]. As part of the Civil War Research Project, photographs and stories of these remarkable women are being collected and preserved for future generations. Over time, much of this history has been lost because it has not been recorded and saved. For the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, it has been a priority to collect, record and preserve this valuable part of our heritage.
As the wife of the president, she was expected to be a model for women throughout the nation. But her family was split in loyalty between North and South and her extravagant spending during the war resulted in much criticism of her and her habits. She lost one young son to illness during the war and she worked to prevent her oldest son from enlisting as a Union soldier. Two of her brothers died while fighting for the Confederacy. When a brother-in-law. a Confederate General, was killed at Chickamauga, Tennessee, in 1863, she invited his widow, her sister Emilie, to live in the White House – because she had nowhere else to go. But the greatest tragedy of all was the witnessing of the assassination of her husband at Ford’s Theatre in April 1865.
Susannah [Fetterhoff] Enders
All currently posted parts of this series may be accessed by clicking on Women&CivilWar. Photographs are scaled for printing on 4 x 6 photo paper without further adjustment.