ALBANY – On Tuesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m., Howard Coffin will discuss “Vermont Women and the Civil War” at the Albany Town Hall.
“Vermont women enlisted for the duration.” So said a Vermont historian assessing the war years of 1861-1865.
Vermont’s Civil War battlefield record is well documented: breaking the flank of Pickett’s Charge, the great stand at Wilderness, the climactic assault at Petersburg. But little is known of how Vermont women sustained the home front.
With nearly 35,000 of the state’s able-bodied men at war, the tasks of keeping more than 30,000 farms in operation became very much a female enterprise. And women took the place of men in factories and worked after hours making items needed by the soldiers. A Vermont woman edited anti-slavery newspapers, and others spoke against slavery. Also, Vermont women served as nurses in the state’s military hospitals and in the war zone, and taught newly-freed slaves in the South.
This story is told in their words, from letters and diaries that describe life during the Civil War in the Green Mountain State. And at least one Vermont woman appears to have secretly enlisted and fought in a Vermont regiment.
A seventh-generation Vermonter, Howard Coffin is the author of four books on the Civil War: “Something Abides: Discovering the Civil War in Today’s Vermont;” “Full Duty: Vermonters in the Civil War;” “Nine Months to Gettysburg;” and “The Battered Stars,” as well as “Guns Over the Champlain Valley,” a book on military sites along the Champlain Corridor.
The event is free. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org