Civil War Women


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Winslow Homer Civil War Art:

Civil War Women

After the horrific images of unspeakable terror in Homer's earlier 1862 work of The Cavalry Charge and The Bayonet Charge, this image presents a welcome scene of hope and healing. The image is titled, "Our Women and the War." The illustration presents images of the various ways women gave selflessly of themselves to help, heal, and give hope to those fighting the war.

Civil War Women

September 6, 1862 - Civil War Women (Click on Image for Enlarged View)

The image includes a banner around the top corners reading, "The Influence of Woman". Homer is ahead of his time, as during the 1860's, the important contributions of women was not appreciated by all.  The illustration shows 4 images or important roles that women played in the war.  The upper center image shows women sewing shirts and socks for soldiers.  It is hard to overstate how important this work was.  I would go so far as to say that more battles were lost for want of good footwear and warm clothing than from need of bullets.  Here, we see women giving their time to make clothing for the soldiers.  In the upper right, we see a young woman in an Army camp, washing clothes.  What a treat it must have been for soldiers to actually get a clean change of clothes.  The lower right image shows a badly injured man in bed.  A letter from a loved one is seen in his bed.  He appears to be dictating a response, to weak to write himself, to a young woman.  What a comfort it must have been to the soldier to know that word of his situation would be relayed back to his loved ones. Perhaps most important of all is the image in the lower left, in which we see a woman praying with an injured soldier.

A Note to our Readers

We acquired the images above for the purpose of digitally persevering them on this site for all to enjoy.  With the digital archive complete, we are making the original, 140 year old illustrations available for purchase.  By selling these original illustrations, we are able to acquire more material to archive on this site.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the original Harper's Weekly leafs on this page, contact The leafs are available for a price of $250 a piece, and the proceeds will go to continue to expand the resources on this site.




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