Black Heroines of the Civil War

Susie King Taylor
Born a slave in Savannah, Georgia in 1848, Susie King Taylor was 14 years old when the Union Army attacked nearby Fort Pulaski (April 1862). Taylor fled with her uncle's family and other blacks to St. Simons Island, Georgia, where slaves were being liberated by the army. Since most blacks were illiterate, it was soon discovered that Taylor could read and write.

Image: Susie King Taylor

Five days after her …Read More...

Abraham Lincoln's First Love

Ann Rutledge was Abraham Lincoln's first love. The two met while he was boarding at her family's inn in New Salem, Illinois, and he fell for her charms. Ann's death at the age of 22 left Lincoln severely depressed, the first of many such incidents in his often difficult life.

Image: Lincoln and Ann Rutledge by Fletcher Ransom

Early Years
On January 7, 1813, Ann Mayes Rutledge was born near Henderson, Kentucky, the third …Read More...

Women in the Border State of Maryland

Many Maryland women made significant contributions to the Union war effort. As a border state having both slaves and free African American women, Maryland was divided in sentiment between the Union and the Confederacy. The most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman was also an escaped slave from Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Harriet Tubman also served as a Union nurse and spy, and she was the first woman to lead an armed …Read More...

Indian Captive in Minnesota

Wakefield was one of over 100 white women and children who were captured along the Minnesota River in the Dakota War in the late summer and early fall of 1862. Wakefield spent six weeks living among the Mdewakanton Dakota, often in danger from those who felt captives should be killed, but a brave named Chaska intervened on her behalf.

The Dakota War
In the years prior to the Civil War, relations between the Dakota people …Read More...

Stepmother of Abraham Lincoln

Sarah Bush Lincoln (December 13, 1788 - April 12, 1869) was the second wife of Thomas Lincoln and stepmother of Abraham Lincoln. While Lincoln's relationship with his father appeared to be strained, he remained close to his stepmother after he left home to make his way in the world. After becoming a successful attorney in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln saved his family's land from forced sale.

Early Years
Sarah Bush was born in Hardin County, …Read More...

Bandit Queen of the American West?

Belle Starr was a Confederate sympathizer and supposedly a notorious outlaw of the American West. She has been credited with a long list of spectacular crimes, but it appears that she might have done little more than traffic in stolen horses, bribe law enforcement officers and provide a haven for her outlaw friends.

Image: Belle Starr Monument
At the Woolaroc Museum
Woolaroc, Oklahoma

Early Years
Belle Starr was born Myra Maybelle …Read More...