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The Women's War Memorial

" Inside the memorials, organizers have inscribed quotations by and about military women on glass tablets and have included the names, photographs, service records, and personal statements of almost 250,000 women in the memorial's computer databases. The significance of the women's war memorial is that is allows an opportunity to tell the stories of many military women whose stories have gone unheralded over the centuries. The purpose of this paper is to discuss, in particular, the case of women who served in the military during the Civil War.

Images of women during the American Civil War often depict women as Florence Nightingale-type nurses, spies who used their womanly wiles to navigate between the North and the South, or brave domestics who guarded their homes and reputations while the men were off fighting. On the other hand, accounts of the war often depict men as heroic soldiers, bravely fighting under horrific conditions and either dying with honor or living to fight another day. These depictions, however, ignore the fact that women served as soldiers as early as the Revolutionary War. For example, there is the case of Deborah Samson, who disguised herself as a man and was assigned to spy for the Union Army. Her disguise was not discovered until she acquired a brain fever and had to be


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The Women's War Memorial. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:25, October 23, 2014, from
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