State Library and Archives Showcases Stories from 'Women in the Civil War' Collection

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an abolitionist and author.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an abolitionist and author.

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War offers an extended opportunity to commemorate all aspects of one of the country's most significant historical events. And because March is Women's History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will be highlighting the stories of women from our new digital collection, "Women in the Civil War," on our Facebook page at

Some historians have argued that women's experiences during that time were even more varied than those of the men who served on the front lines. Women of all social classes experienced the war in some way, whether through deprivation, loss of loved ones, disintegration of social norms, or - in at least a few hundred documented cases - actual battlefield experience.

"Women in the Civil War" showcases female participation in the war, revealing that women experienced the crisis just as actively as their sons, husbands, and fathers. Women serving on Civil War battlefields have attracted some attention from historians, and the women featured in the collection all contributed to the Union or Confederacy in their own ways. The war, fought mainly on Southern soil, brought out the ingenuity and resourcefulness as well as the observant eyes of the region's female population.

Included in this collection are records from the Tennessee Hospital Association of Nashville, which provide details about how the organization assisted the war effort through fundraising, sewing clothing and other items, and helping staff area hospitals.

A large portion of the collection contains excerpts from the diaries of three Tennessee women: Rachel Carter Craighead, Nannie Haskins, and Lucy Virginia Smith French. Each of these women's social spheres afforded them leisure and education, which they used to journal extensively on the events of the day.

"Looking through our 'Women in the Civil War' collection is a great way to celebrate Women's History Month," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "Some people may be surprised to learn the extent to which women contributed to both sides during the Civil War. This online collection is one more way we're trying to make the State Library and Archives' resources available to people throughout Tennessee."

Tri-state (TN-GA-AL) Rail Stops - Orme Branch Railroad, Chattanooga Traction Company

ORME BRANCH RAILROAD, 1904   The Orme Branch Railroad (OB) was built by the Campbell Coke and Coal Company in 1904 as the Doran’s Cove Branch Railroad (DCB), primarily to send its coal and coke from its mines at Orme, opened in 1902, to market along a more efficient route than the mountain roads it had been using.   The Battle Creek Coal and Coke Company bought ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers St. Elmo

I am (highly) qualified to make the brash pronouncement that St. Elmo (Chattanooga's first suburb) is as much a state of mind as it is an actual place. It is a place that gets into your mind and into your blood, and sometimes under your skin - indelibly. I have witnessed the same phenomenon in distant cities, but I do not think it is so strong an emotion there as it is here ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 7; Blaze Ruled Accidental

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on Saturday afternoon that displaced a family of seven. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 4:11 p.m. and responded to 3308 Dodson Ave. with five fire companies. Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said heavy fire was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. As additional firefighters ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

Where Is The Speed Control On Our Highways? - And Response (2)

I am teaching my 15-year-old to drive in the North Georgia and Chattanooga area. I have warned her of the dangers of exceeding the speed limit both as a hazard to herself and in terms of receiving a ticket. What a liar I am.  Have you driven on the local freeways and highways recently? I never see any highway patrolmen helping to reduce speeding or pulling over those who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Testerman Forum

I badly misjudged how long it would take me to do my “early voting.” I was in-and-out in no time so I got to the Hamilton County School Board’s agenda meeting well enough beforehand to have an “educational forum” with board member David Testerman. If you haven’t noticed, forums and summits and “community enlightenment” groups are the new rage and, as my friend David laughed, “They ... (click for more)