Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Army at home : women and the Civil War on the northern home front / Judith Giesberg.

By: Giesberg, Judith Ann, 1966-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Civil War America: Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2009Description: xi, 232 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780807833070 (cloth : alk. paper); 080783307X (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Women | United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Social aspects | Working class women -- Northeastern States -- History -- 19th century | Working class women -- Northeastern States -- Social conditions -- 19th centuryDDC classification: 973.7082
Contents:
Prologue : a true-hearted Union woman : Lydia Bixby's civil war -- From harvest field to battlefield : rural women and the war -- Rumors of relief, stories of displacement -- Bodies out of place : women war workers -- Right to ride : women's streetcar battles and the theaters of war -- Martha goes to Washington : women's divided loyalties -- Platforms of grief : widows on the battlefield.
Summary: Introducing readers to women whose Civil War experiences have long been ignored, Judith Giesberg examines the lives of working-class women in the North, for whom the home front was a battlefield of its own. Black and white working-class women managed farms that had been left without a male head of household, worked in munitions factories, made uniforms, and located and cared for injured or dead soldiers. As they became more active in their new roles, they became visible as political actors, writing letters, signing petitions, moving (or refusing to move) from their homes, and confronting civilian and military officials. At the heart of the book are stories of women who fought the draft in New York and Pennsylvania, protested segregated streetcars in San Francisco and Philadelphia, and demanded a living wage in the needle trades and safer conditions at the Federal arsenals where they labored. Giesberg challenges readers to think about women and children who were caught up in the military conflict but nonetheless refused to become its collateral damage. She offers a dramatic reinterpretation of how Americas Civil War reshaped the lived experience of race and gender and brought swift and lasting changes to working-class family life.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E628 .G538 2009 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001958867

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Prologue : a true-hearted Union woman : Lydia Bixby's civil war -- From harvest field to battlefield : rural women and the war -- Rumors of relief, stories of displacement -- Bodies out of place : women war workers -- Right to ride : women's streetcar battles and the theaters of war -- Martha goes to Washington : women's divided loyalties -- Platforms of grief : widows on the battlefield.

Introducing readers to women whose Civil War experiences have long been ignored, Judith Giesberg examines the lives of working-class women in the North, for whom the home front was a battlefield of its own. Black and white working-class women managed farms that had been left without a male head of household, worked in munitions factories, made uniforms, and located and cared for injured or dead soldiers. As they became more active in their new roles, they became visible as political actors, writing letters, signing petitions, moving (or refusing to move) from their homes, and confronting civilian and military officials. At the heart of the book are stories of women who fought the draft in New York and Pennsylvania, protested segregated streetcars in San Francisco and Philadelphia, and demanded a living wage in the needle trades and safer conditions at the Federal arsenals where they labored. Giesberg challenges readers to think about women and children who were caught up in the military conflict but nonetheless refused to become its collateral damage. She offers a dramatic reinterpretation of how Americas Civil War reshaped the lived experience of race and gender and brought swift and lasting changes to working-class family life.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

There are many books about women's Civil War contributions; however, none of them focuses on the experiences of Northern rural, black, and working-class women. Giesberg's goal is to use the limited resources available to reconstruct these groups of women and the ways they negotiated the gendered landscape of total warfare. She largely succeeds. Drawing on family correspondence, newspaper accounts, and letters to government officials, Giesberg (Villanova Univ.) argues that the US government needed Northern women of all classes and races to support the ongoing military effort against the Confederates, and that women creatively took advantage of this dependence to demand greater access to resources, including jobs, death benefits, and, in the case of black women, public services like streetcars. Yet they had to be careful to keep within the limited definitions of proper womanhood; for example, struggling mothers could be denied private or public support on the grounds of "immoral" behavior. Giesberg relies heavily on repetitive themes about women's bodies in public spaces and the intrusion of war into the home, but that does not undermine the value of a work that addresses a neglected and very important topic. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. R. A. Standish San Joaquin Delta College

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.