All the Daring of the Soldier

History Forum: All the Daring of the Soldier: Women in the Civil War

Minnesota History Center

During the Civil War, women worked as spies and sometimes disguised themselves as male soldiers to play an heroic part in the conflict. Join historian Elizabeth Leonard of Colby College to discover the stories of these hidden and forgotten women who risked their lives for the blue and the gray. Hear about Confederate loyalist Belle Boyd, known as "The Cleopatra of Secession," and Sarah Emma Edmonds who disguised herself as a man and joined the Union Army under the name "Franklin Thompson" then fought with the Second Michigan at Fredericksburg. The unconventional choices these women made broke through the barriers of Victorian womanhood and allowed them to fight for their side of "the Holy Cause."

Elizabeth Leonard is the John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Colby College. She is the author of "All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies" and "Men of Color to Arms! Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the Quest for Equality" and the recently published "Lincoln's Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky." Leonard serves on the advisory councils for the Lincoln Prize in Civil War History and the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute of Gettysburg College. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians