Judith Carter Henry


First Civilian Casualty of the Civil War

At first, Americans viewed the Civil War romantically, as a great adventure. To many, it was a crusade of sorts that would be decided quickly, and would return both the North and South to a peaceful way of life, either as one nation or two. But events near the small Virginia community of [Read More ...]

Women and Girls in the Browns Island Explosion


Women and Children Killed in Explosion

The Confederate States Laboratories (CSL) was located on Brown's Island in the James River in Virginia. The brainchild of Confederate ordnance chief Colonel Josiah Gorgas, the CSL made small arms and ammunition for the Confederate Army.

Image: Monument to the Women and Girls in the Browns Island Explosion

This gray granite marker now stands [Read More ...]

Mary Surratt


Accused Conspirator in the Lincoln Assassination

Mary Elizabeth Jenkins was born in May or June of 1823 near Waterloo, Maryland. She had two brothers. Her father died when she was two years old. Mary was then enrolled at a private girl's boarding school, Academy for Young Ladies, in Alexandria Virginia.

She married John Harrison Surratt in 1839, when she was [Read More ...]

Virginia Clay


Southern Belle and Wife of Confederate Senator Clement Clay

Virginia Tunstall was born in 1825 in Nash County, North Carolina, the daughter of a doctor. Her mother died when she was very young, and her father left her upbringing to his wife's family in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Virginia graduated from the Female Academy at Nashville, Tennessee in 1840.

Image: Virginia Clay [Read More ...]

Lucy Pickens


Queen of the Confederacy

Known during and after her lifetime as the Queen of the Confederacy, Lucy Pickens was described as "beautiful, brilliant and captivating" by her male contemporaries, and this perception of her helped shape the stereotype of the Southern belle.

Image: Lucy Holcombe Pickens in her 20s

Lucy Holcombe was born on June 11, 1832, on the Holcombe [Read More ...]

Anna Jarvis


Founder of Mother's Day

Anna Marie Jarvis is the founder of the Mother's Day holiday in the United States. Her birthplace, known as the Anna Jarvis House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was built in 1854 and is a two story, frame dwelling, which is also notable as General George B. McClellan's first [Read More ...]