"Ladies Working for the Army"
Drawing circa 1880

While unfeignedly grateful to their Heavenly Father that war has ended and peace dwells again in the land, it is with saddened hearts that the managers recall the thought that they will never again meet as a Soldiers' Aid Society… The great motive for labor, which united them and caused so close a bond, has passed away. The many pleasant and painful associations are things of the past… United in our common Christian work, we can never in after days forget the bond of union that kept us together during the four years of the war.

It is difficult to reconcile the idea that something as destructive and divisive as the Civil War could also be the source of deep emotional bonds. Yet this was surely the case--for the women who worked together, as well as for the men who fought together.


Read on: President Lincoln