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South Carolina Women in the Confederacy

Carlo Botta, the Italian historian, in his History of the War for Independence, says: “In that fierce struggle, the War of the American Revolution, the women of Carolina presented an example of fortitude more than manly. I know not the history, ancient or modern, which has recorded a story of devotion exceeding or equaling that exhibited by these heroic beings to their American country. Far from considering the epithet a reproach, they gloried and exulted in the name of Rebel women. Their example was inspiring, and it is owing principally to the firmness of these patriotic Carolinians that the name, as well as the love of liberty, was not extinguished in the Southern States.”

In the not distant future, let us hope that some foreign historian, reading this record of facts, and touched by the witchery of the theme, may, like Botta, tell another continent, in another tongue, how the descendants of those Carolina women of the Revolution, in the third and fourth generation, “presented an example of fortitude more than manly.” But he will have to add that, while the heroines of the first Revolution lived to exult with their surviving sons and brothers in a victory glorious and complete, the South Carolina Women of the Confederacy saw their cause go down in gloom and defeat; that cause which, throughout all the horrors of the Reconstruction era, they regarded and still hold in “boundless love and reverence and regret.”

The purpose of this book is to record, in part, the work of South Carolina women during the War for Southern Independence, not only in making banners, “binding her warriors’ sash,” and those offices which the coldblooded materialist classes as “sentimental”; but woman as a potent factor in furnishing food and clothing for the men on the battle line, and for the wounded and dying in the hospital.

 

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