Scarlett O’Hara in scrubs…

Confederate Circular asking Southern women to grow poppies for morphine (National Archives)

The Faust book is a godsend for my students-they just don’t know it yet.

Every year each students pick a Civil War topic to research and every year several students choose women-related topic. Spies. Nurses. Homefront. It ends up that most all of it is from a Northern perspective. Alot of them get stymied by the lack of Confederate information. There are a few online sources but most are at an academic level that my 13 year olds struggle with. This book is a goldmine. I’ve already sent an email to my librarian asking for two copies.

I started reading it from page one but have found myself going to the index over and over again as I remember topics students wanted to search out but our library on online source didn’t have. Many of them are covered by Dr. Faust.

One area my students wrestle with is the sensibility of the day. Chivalry states that women were too delicate physically and emotionally. Seeing men at their worst would change a women. They would get in the way of the doctor and might even start bossing the doctor around. Nursing is such a female dominated occupation today that concerns over “The Florence Nightingale Business” (p. 92) seem trivial.

One gift in this book is the explanation of how the Confederate nursing corp developed. We have so much information about the Union and Dorthea Dix and The Sanitation Commission that I almost automatically send students that direction. To have an accessible explanation on how nurses came to care for Southern soldiers is exciting.

BTW-the document up top is a Confederate Circular asking women to grow poppies to be ground into morphine (source-National Archives).

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Posted in Discussion, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources
One comment on “Scarlett O’Hara in scrubs…
  1. Mike Kleiner says:

    Dude! It is so easy to let my students off the hook with incredibly superficial considerations of women in the war. Lincoln, Lee… it’s easy to work with them. But Mary Lincoln? Finding source material that isn’t locked up in the ivory tower is tough. I echo much of what you said.

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House Divided Project
Contact

Course Professor
Matthew Pinsker: pinskerm@dickinson.edu
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013

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Lance Warren: warren@gilderlehrman.org
Gilder Lehrman Institute
New York, NY 10036