Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

Diego deserves more credit for helping me finish this book than he knows. “Are you done your book yet?” he asked when I met him and his brother, Pablo, after school each day. (In the Philadelphia suburbs, no self-respecting eleven-year-old—or nine-year-old, for that matter—says “done with.”) And each morning, “Mom, finish your book today.” The time between the morning directive and the afternoon...

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PROLOGUE. A True-Hearted Union Woman: Lydia Bixby’s Civil War

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pp. 1-7

If you go searching for Lydia Bixby, you will find very little. She left no diary, memoirs, or photographs. She filed a pension application once, and she sometimes appeared in city directories and in the census. Bixby died as a free patient at the Massachusetts General Hospital in October 1878 and was buried in a largely...

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Introduction

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pp. 8-16

In July 1862, facing a string of military setbacks, President Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 three-year volunteers to fill the depleted ranks of the Union army. The call inspired Quaker abolitionist James S. Gibbons to write “We are Coming Father Abraham,” which became a popular recruiting song.1 On the eve of...

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ONE. From Harvest Field to Battlefield: Rural Women and the War

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pp. 17-44

Despite the withdrawal of a significant part of the agricultural labor force in the northern states during the Civil War, agricultural output remained high and employment in agriculture constant, suggesting that with men gone, women assumed more of the responsibility of running farms.1 Isaac Newton, Lincoln’s commissioner...

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TWO. Rumors of Relief, Stories of Displacement

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pp. 45-67

In July 1862, Susan Hinckley of Greenfield, Maine, penned a letter to Massachusetts governor John Andrew seeking information about relief money promised to the families of soldiers. Hinckley’s husband, John, had enlisted with the 9th Massachusetts Regiment the previous year. “I have a husbon whitch inlisted in that...

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THREE. Bodies out of Place: Women War Workers

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pp. 68-91

On September 17, 1862, a series of powerful explosions ripped through the U.S. Army Arsenal at Allegheny, Pennsylvania. At around two o’clock in the afternoon, residents of Allegheny and nearby Pittsburgh were jolted by the noise and the vibrations. Some who had been following the progress of the fighting at Antietam Creek in Maryland braced for what they believed was a Confederate...

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FOUR. Right to Ride: Women’s Streetcar Battles and the Theaters of War

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pp. 92-118

On the evening of April 17, 1863, Charlotte Brown entered a streetcar one block from her home on Filbert Street in San Francisco and took a seat inside with the other passengers, fully aware of car company policies prohibiting African Americans from riding in the cars. A few blocks into her trip, the conductor made...

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FIVE. Martha Goes to Washington: Women’s Divided Loyalties

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pp. 119-142

In 1864, as Charlotte Brown was battling San Francisco streetcar conductors, President Lincoln was fighting to secure his reelection. Having faced down challenges from Peace Democrats and criticism from fellow Republicans, Lincoln remained anxious about his prospects for a second term in office.1 As always, Lincoln was willing to try new approaches, such as ensuring soldiers...

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SIX. Platforms of Grief: Widows on the Battlefield

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pp. 143-162

When Maurice O’Connell arrived at the home of Mrs. McCormack on Hanover Street in Boston’s North End in May 1863, McCormack showed O’Connell the coffin containing the remains of her dead son, a soldier in the 9th Massachusetts Regiment. Having no means to bury him, McCormack had written to Governor John Andrew asking for money to give her son a proper burial...

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Conclusion

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pp. 163-178

Women were, as W. H. Hardy described them during the Civil War, the “army at home.” In the South, women’s willingness to sacrifice, to go without, was essential to sending more men to the battlefield and keeping them there despite considerable hardship — and, near the end — despite declining prospects for military victory. When growing numbers of southern women withdrew...

Notes

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pp. 179-212

Bibliography

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pp. 213-226

Index

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pp. 227-232