Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience

By L. P. Brockett; Mary C. Vaughan | Go to book overview

MILITARY HEROINES

THE number of women who actually bore arms in the war, or who, though generally attending a regiment as nurses and vivandiéres, at times engaged in the actual conflict was much larger than is generally supposed, and embraces persons of all ranks of society. Those who from whatever cause, whether romance, love or patriotism, and all these had their influence, donned the male attire and concealed their sex, are hardly entitled to a place in our record, since they did not seek to be known as women, but preferred to pass for men; but aside from these there were not a few who, without abandoning the dress or prerogatives of their sex, yet performed skillfully and well the duties of the other.

Among these we may name Madame Turchin, wife of General Turchin, who rendered essential service by her coolness, her thorough knowledge of military science, her undaunted courage, and her skill in command. She is the daughter of a Russian officer, and had been brought up in the camps, where she was the pet and favorite of the regiment up to nearly the time of her marriage to General Turchin, then a subordinate officer in that army. When the war commenced she and her husband had been for a few years residents of Illinois, and when her husband was commissioned colonel of a regiment of volunteers she prepared at once to follow him to the field. During the march into Tennessee in the spring of 1862, Colonel Turchin was taken seriously ill, and for some days was carried in an ambulance on the route.

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