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Women's History
The Civil War

Women in the Civil War

Women in the Civil War
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.28

     challenging words:    Greenhow, official-looking, peddler, sutler, sutlers, posed, occupation, battlefield, asset, countryside, founded, participate, undercover, wounded, mentally, camps
     content words:    Lottie Moon, Judge Clark, Both Lottie, Civil War, Then Ginnie, Ginnie Moon, Harriet Tubman, Underground Railroad, Belle Boyd, Shenandoah Valley

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Women in the Civil War
By Sharon Fabian

1     Lottie Moon married Judge Clark. Both Lottie and the judge were active supporters of the Confederacy, and when war messages had to be sent in secret, the couriers often stopped by the judge's house. One time they needed a new courier, someone who could slip by without being recognized as a messenger. Lottie volunteered. This is how she began her career as a Civil War spy. After that first trip, she continued to work undercover for the Confederacy. She had official-looking papers that said she was a British citizen; these helped her to travel almost anywhere without suspicion.
2     Lottie's sister Ginnie supported the war effort in another way. She and her mother rolled bandages and nursed the wounded soldiers. Then Ginnie began carrying messages too; now both sisters were spies. They traveled back and forth through Union lines, until both sisters were discovered and arrested.
3     Lottie and Ginnie Moon are just two of the many women who served as spies during the Civil War. At first, women made great spies because no one suspected them of being part of the war. Before too long, however, both sides discovered that women were being used as spies. Then spying became a very dangerous occupation for a woman.
4     In 1849, Harriet Tubman was able to escape from slavery in Maryland. People helped her travel along the Underground Railroad to Philadelphia. The Underground Railroad was a system of safe houses where the owners gave food and shelter to escaped slaves. Not long after she gained her freedom, Harriet returned to Maryland to help some of her family escape from slavery, too. Over the next eleven years, Harriet made more than a dozen trips to the South. She helped lead more than one hundred slaves to freedom. She became known as the Moses of her people. (Moses was a prophet in the Bible who led the Hebrews to freedom from Egypt.)

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