Women in Uniform

Since writing my manuscript has completely eluded me… And I really did give it a good try this weekend… I’ve decided to shift gears and rethink the entire setting of my never-ending WIP (work in progress).

Contemporary settings are what I’ve concentrated on in the past, with fleeting thoughts of one day writing a historical. Yet it’s books set in another time that I’m drawn to. Perhaps that’s what I should be writing. And since I’m not writing, maybe I should start researching.

I’m researching the Civil War, with thoughts to set this novel after the War ends. Already I’ve found an interesting website: Civil War Potpourri.

I had no idea there were women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the War. I guess when I imagine anytime before 1900, I picture Scarlett O’Hara sitting on the steps of Tara, teasing her beaus. (I know, I really need to get out more.)

And I’ve got to say this scene from GWTW is one of my favorite scenes. Mammie wants Scarlett to eat before she goes to the party and Scarlett puts up a fuss. She doesn’t concede until Mammie threatened her, which is why Scarlett’s giving this look. She know’s Mammie’s got her right where she wants her.

These women went into battle with men. Many fought gallantly and weren’t discovered until they were injured or became sick. There was one woman, “Jennie Hodgers, who stowed away on a ship leaving Ireland bound for the United States in 1844, disguised herself as Albert D. J. Cashier and served in the Illinois Volunteer Infantry from 1862 until the end of the war…” She wasn’t discovered until long after the war, “when at the age of 66 she broke her leg in an automobile accident-and the doctor at the veteran’s hospital found her out. The secret was kept, however, and she successfully drew the veteran’s pension she was entitled to for her gallant service.” Go to the Women in Uniform page to learn more.

And if you’ve heard more stories like this, come back to share!