Lucy Talbot: Free African-American Women

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Lucy Talbot: Free African-American Women

•Black women's services included nursing or domestic chores in medical settings, laundering and cooking for the soldiers•Susie King Taylor set up a school for black children and soldiers.•There were many women playing important roles in the Civil War, including nurses, spies, soldiers, abolitionists, civil rights advocates and promoters of women’s suffrage.

African Americans Join the Union

•Over 179,000 African American men served in over 160 units, as well as more serving in the Navy and in support positions for the Union.•Free black men were finally permitted to enlist late in 1862.•Blacks served in relief roles(working as nurses, cooks, and blacksmiths.)

Black Women Spies

•Unlike other spies, Van Lew adopted a distracted, muttering personae, she was dubbed “Crazy Bet.” During the war, Van Lew helped manage a spy system in the Confederate capitol, went regularly to the Libby Prison with food and medicine, and helped escapees of all kinds, hiding them in a secret room in her mansion.•At the Davis’s house, Mary Bowser worked as a servant, cleaning and serving meals. She was trained to act and seem invisible and was able to glean considerable information simply by doing her work. That she was literate, and could thus read the documents she had access to--and, in that way, better interpret the conversations she was hearing --could only have been a bonus.


•"African Americans In The Civil War." N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.•"Women In The Civil War." History Net Where History Comes Alive World US History Online RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.•"Bowser, Mary Elizabeth (1839? - ?), Union Spy during the Civil War..." Hutchins Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.•"Women In Military Service For America Memorial." Women In Military Service For America Memorial. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

African American Women at War

Lucy TalbotFree African-American Women


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