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Discovering the Civil War

A Woman’s War?

Despite conscription, by late 1864, the Confederacy was finding it increasingly difficult to find men for its army. With manpower so short, one solution would be to allow women to serve. These women from Harrisonburg, Virginia, wrote to Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon suggesting just that. The War Department turned them down, replying that it was "not quite ready to call the Ladies to our help in the Field. The Men of the Country it is hoped will suffice." National Archives, War Department Collection of Confederate Records

Woman sharpshooters letter (page 1)

Woman sharpshooters letter (page 2)

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