This past weekend I attended a wonderful conference in Richmond VA. This conference is put on by The Society for Women and the Civil War. The conference is about people, the women and their families who lived through the war.
I took the Flags Workshop at the Museum of the Confederacy. WOW! The work that goes into conserving these artifacts is mind staggering!
Karin Timour's The Storeis bhehind the Socks: Women's Handwork as Social and Political Expression 1855-1865. I learned about hose/half hose/and socks and I started on another pair of socks when I got a tiny bit of spare time.
Virginia Meschers Period Correct:19th Century Sanitary Protection was very enlightening....wonder if they started calling it the "curse"...after...they invented some of the "protection" as some looked a tad scary!
I did add some books to my book pile. One is Mrs. Robert E Lee, Lady of Arlington by John Perry. His talk made you see her in a different light, she was a military wife and mother!
Loved Elizabeth Toppings The Horizontal Trade....think "attitude"...and not prancing around in your underpinnings on the company street!!! She also wrote What's a Poor Girl to Do? She also had a very interesting display to say the least!
We heard about Sarah Hart Shumway Ballou, and Mary Samuella Hart "Sam". These were just wives/mothers/ladies living in an extrodinary time!
A talk about how ladies were put on trial for offences raised against them during the war...almost had the war reestarted on that topic, how they raised money through the Sanitary Commission, how soldiers and ladies advertised, in the papers of the time, to get correspondence from others at home or at the war. Some of the ads were just hilarious, some just wanted news, some romance and some possible marriage.
The last part of the evening on Saturday was the U.S. Premier of Pepita Ferrari's The Unsexing of Emma Edmonds. Wonderful! Great story! Very moving! I would like to get her diary to read!
Years ago when I started reenacting this conference had been hightly recommened as one to attend. I saved up and went to the 5th Confernce that was held in Maryland. It was so interesting the information and the people I got to meet. It is about the people of the 1860's..."not" about reenacting, even thought many of the presenters and attendies are reenactors/enactors/living historians. I too would highly recommend going to future confereces and plan on attending the 7th Conference in Blacksburg, VA, June 3-5, 2005.
Susan Armstrong....soon to be living in Mclean, VA!
The Society for Women and the Civil War - SWCW http://womenandthecivilwar.org/