Washington Hostess During the Civil War

Kate Chase was the daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Despite her youth, Kate was the reigning social queen of Washington, DC during the Civil War and a strong supporter of her widowed father's presidential ambitions that would have made her First Lady.

Katherine Jane Chase was born August 13, 1840, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of famous Ohio politician Salmon …Read More...

Abolitionist and African American Businesswoman

S. Epatha Merkerson plays Lydia Hamilton Smith in the 2012 film Lincoln, alongside Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens. The movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Merkerson owes much of her fame to her role as Lt. Anita Van Buren on the original Law and Order television series.

Lydia Hamilton Smith had a special relationship with U.S. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens. She became Stevens' housekeeper in 1847, and …Read More...

Civil War Diarist from Louisiana

Kate Stone was twenty years old when the Civil War began. At that time, she was living with her widowed mother, five brothers and younger sister in northeastern Louisiana at her family home Brokenburn, a large cotton plantation of 1,260 acres and 150 slaves.

Kate kept a diary from 1861 through 1868, in which she recorded her daily experiences. She had doubts about what her future might bring, writing that "women grew significantly …Read More...

Civil War Diarist and Refugee

Judith Brockenbrough McGuire, the daughter of a Virginia Supreme Court justice and mother of two Confederate soldiers, was married to John P. McGuire, founder of the Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, where he taught until the beginning of the Civil War. He was elected to the Virginia secession committee and voted to secede from the Union.

Judith McGuire's journal, Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War, by a Lady of Virginia, (University of Nebraska …Read More...

Female Soldier in the Civil War

In 1862, Jennie Hodgers was living in Belvidere, Illinois. As the Civil War escalated, in July of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln sent out a call for an additional 300,000 men to serve in the Union Army. Nineteen-year-old Jennie Hodgers wanted to help her country.

Image: Jennie Hodgers (right) as Albert D.J. Cashier

Jennie Hodgers was born in Clogherhead, Ireland, on Christmas Day, 1844. She sailed to America as a stowaway and settled in Belvidere, …Read More...

Nurse at the Battle of Gettysburg

Erected in 1886, this monument to the First Massachusetts Infantry Regiment is south of Gettysburg on the Emmitsburg Road, where the regiment fought during the battle. It depicts a skirmisher stepping over a rail fence with Seminary Ridge in the background. At that time the Peter Rogers house stood just to the south of this monument.

The Battle of Gettysburg resulted in as many as 40,000 deaths, laid waste to the town's structures, and …Read More...