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Rose O’neal Greenhow, Clara Barton, And Harriet Tubman: Women Who Made An Impact During The Civil War

3563 words - 14 pages

During the mid-1800s, separation in America between the North and the South became prevalent, especially over the idea of slavery, which eventually led to the Civil War. Women did not have much power during this time period, but under the stress and shortages of the War, they became necessary to help in fighting on and off the battlefields, such as by becoming nurses, spies, soldiers, and abolitionists (Brown). Many women gave so much assistance and guidance, that they made lasting impacts on the War in favor of who they were fighting for. Three inspiring and determined women who made huge impacts on contributing to the American Civil War are Rose O’Neal Greenhow, who worked as a spy for the Confederacy leading to multiple victories, Clara Barton, who worked as a nurse, a soldier, and formed the American Red Cross to continue saving lives, and Harriet Tubman, who conducted the Underground Railroad sending slaves to freedom, which enabled them and their actions to be remembered forever (Brown).

Rose O’Neal Greenhow was born in Port Tobbaco, Maryland in 1817, and existed to be a prominent leading woman figure during the American Civil War. At a very young age, she moved to Washington, D.C. at her Aunt’s boardinghouse along with her sister, leaving behind her family’s farm in Maryland (Faust). There she became a social butterfly, who constantly kept busy by surrounding herself with people, especially those in power (Leonard). At age 26, she married Dr. Robert Greenhow, who was 43 years old at the time, and together they had four children (Faust). As a unit, they traveled west to try and find more financial opportunities. On the journey, Mr. Greenhow died, so Rose O’Neal Greenhow returned to Washington, D.C., along with a determined personality to strive and a known, powerful reputation that she had gained from the crowd of people she surrounded herself with while growing up (Leonard). It was this newly confident personality that led her to become so involved in the Civil War, allowing her to be remembered forever.

Mrs. Greenhow was known for being social and intermingling with the most sophisticated people of the time. This personality enabled her to become very close to John C. Calhoun, who persuaded her to be in favor of the South, which made her a strong supporter of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, as she grew to passionately sympathize with them (Faust). In fact, Greenhow soon became the Confederacy’s most celebrated female spy during the war by using her unique and intelligent characteristics to help her along the way. For example, her sociality allowed her to become closely in contact with people throughout highly powered areas, such as the capital, and her slyness and charm allowed her to gain and pass secret information to the Confederacy about the defenses of Washington and the Union by manipulating people to get them to do what she had wanted. Another important trait that Greenhow portrayed was her braveness...

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