Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Most Influential Women of the Civil War

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Women played a large role in the Civil War as nurses, spies, and diarists.  Here's my ranking of the most influential ladies of that era.

25. Susie Baker - African-American nurse, laundress, and educator
24. Elizabeth Scott Neblett - Southern diarist
23. Abbey House - "Angel of Mercy" to Confederate soldiers and became first woman to vote
22. Anita Ford Willard - Confederate spy
21. Pauline Cushman - Union spy
20. Phoebe Yates Levy Pember - nurse and administrator of Chimborazo Hospital at Richmond
19. Sarah E. Thompson - Northern diarist from Tennessee
18. Alice Williamson - Southern diarist
17. Mary Chesnut - Southern diarist
16. Mary Todd Lincoln - Lincoln's wife
15. Mary Edwards Walker - Doctor who was assistant surgeon of Army of the Cumberland and winner of Congressional Medal of Honor
14. Elizabeth Cady Stanton - women's rights leader
13. Susan B. Anthony - women's rights leader
12. Sojourner Truth - African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist
11. Lucretia Mott - abolitionist and Political and social reformer
10. Varnia Jefferson Davis - Davis' wife
9. Harriet Tubman - Underground railroad and nurse
8. Sally Tompkins - "Angel of the Confederacy" who founded a hospital in Richmond and was commissioned as a Captain by Davis
7. Belle Boyd - Confederate spy

6. Rose O'Neal Greenhow - Confederate spy

5. Julie Ward Howe - composer of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

4. Clara Barton - nurse and founder of the American Red Cross
3. Dorothea Lynde Dix -  Superintendent of Nurses for the Union Army
2. Mary Ann Bickerdyke - Union nurse and hospital administrator

1. Harriet Beecher Stowe - author of Uncle Tom's Cabin
Lincoln may have said "so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war." Whether true or not, she had a tremendous impact on public opinion. Southern diarist Susan Bradford wrote "Our old friend, Mr. Burgess, says: 'If Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe had died before she wrote 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' this would never have happened.'  He says, 'she has kindled a fire which all the waters of the earth cannot extinguish.'  Isn't it strange how much harm a pack of lies can do?"
To learn more about the contributions of women during the war, please see

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