Moonlight Over Cedar Creek and Other Stories of Women during the Civil War in Virginia


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Though often overlooked, women were on the front lines of the American Civil War in Virginia. They served as vivandieres (women attached to regiments), soldiers disguised in men’s garments, laborers in military camps, nurses, spies, and more. The stories in this thesis explore different experiences and perspectives of women in the Civil War through the common threads of survival, sisterhood, historical preservation, family, and devotion. In this collection, preservationists struggle to keep George Washington’s legacy neutral during a fraught time of division; a military wife searches for her wounded husband in enemy territory; women disguised as male soldiers contemplate desertion; plantation owners must learn how to cook for themselves when their enslaved workers flee to freedom; an army medic fights to keep a promise during a bloody battle; and four years of war have harsh repercussions for two young sisters whose city becomes the Confederate capital.