Fort McAllister sharing stories of ‘Women with Muskets’ for Women’s History Month

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 11:19 AM EDT
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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - As part of women’s history month, Fort McAllister is honoring military veterans who served long before it was really allowed.

“Women with Muskets” is a program to explore women’s roles in the military during the Civil War.

“Somewhere around 400 to 1000, we’ll never really know how many women, disguised themselves as men and hid amongst the ranks of the soldiers,” Fort McAllister State Park Interpretive Ranger Autumn Pinault said. “We only really know about the ones that got caught or the ones that revealed themselves in some way whether they were injured or got sick and had to go to the doctor.”

One of the more famous women to serve in the military during the Civil War is Sarah Emma Edmonds. The Canadian-born woman left home as a teenager, escaping from a marriage arranged by her father. She fled to America, disguised herself as a man and got a job as a door-to-door Bible salesman. When the Civil War started, she enlisted as a way to make a little money.

“She joined the army of the Potomac as a battlefield nurse to start with,” Pinault said. “She kind of gets into spy territory a little bit later on and successfully infiltrates two Confederate garrisons.”

Pinault says Edmunds is also one of the only women to receive a military pension after the war is over.

“She writes a memoir and there’s enough detail in the memoir about events that happened and speeches (Gen. George) McClellan gave that she was given the credit that she was due.”

Women with Muskets takes place Saturday, Mar. 26 from 1:30-2 p.m. It is included with regular admission to the Fort.

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