At least 400 women served as soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and explored why they joined and how they managed to pass as men. Primary sources from the Library of Congress chronicle the experiences of some of those women, and allow us to examine how they were remembered after their service.
Women filled a variety of roles in the Civil War. In addition to women who served as spies, daughters of regiments, cooks, laundresses, and nurses, approximately 400 posed as male soldiers. So, who were these hundreds of women soldiers? Why did they join? And how did they manage to do it?