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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Signs, Signs - Sgt. Bob Morgan and a Wrap-Up of the Battle of Buchanan

(click on photos to enlarge)
The boys are getting a lesson about Sgt. Bob Morgan.

"Mary and Molly Bell were two young women from Pulaski County, Virginia who disguised themselves as men in order to fight with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. It seems their uncle had decided to join the Union Army in 1862, so Mary and her cousin Molly decided to make up for his defection by enlisting on the opposing side under the names of Tom Parker (Mary) and Bob Morgan (Molly). They started out in the cavalry, but were captured after just one month. They were soon rescued, and then joined the 36th Virginia Infantry, with whom they served for the next 2 years.

"Tom" and "Bob" were both good soldiers, described by their fellow infantrymen as "gallant, first-class fighting men." During the course of their service, Tom was promoted to corporal, while Bob, who managed to kill 3 Yankee soldiers one night while on picket duty, made sergeant. Bob also showed "his" mettle when severely wounded in the arm. "He" refused to see a doctor, fearing that "his" secret would be discovered, so he laughed the wound off as "just a scratch." Tom tended the wound, and Bob was able to recover and keep on fighting.

The secret came out after the battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864 when Tom's and Bob's commanding officer was taken captive. They had confided the truth of their gender to this captain, so he could help them avoid physical exams or anything else that might expose them as women. In his absence, they decided they had best confide in their new commander, a recently promoted lieutenant. This proved to be a bad move, as this liuetenant promptly turned them over to General Early, who denounced them as "camp followers" and sent them to the notorious Confederate prison Castle Thunder where they were imprisoned for three weeks. Upon their release they were sent back to the family farm in Pulaski County, and were reported by the Richmond Daily Examiner as being "perfectly disconsolate" at being forced to leave their comrades in the 36th." Found HERE




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19 comments:

  1. Interesting story, excellent photos. I hope they don't forget to say that the whole thing was a bit of a butchery...

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  2. What a fascinating story, your boys certainly look interested in the retelling of it!

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  3. That sounds like it would make a good movie if hollywood wasn't so prejudice against anything southern.

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  4. Love the pictures. Interesting story.

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  5. Gutsy women! Interesting story!

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  6. Beautiful photos and this is so interesting! I am currently watching the documentary series on the US civil war featuring Shelby Foote recounting the battles and life during those times. Its heartbreaking. These women were so brave. I am interested in women who disguised as men through history to join armies. There were some on this side too during the War of 1812. Great post and thanks so much for telling their story. :)

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  7. Interesting post. What a wonderful event.

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  8. What a fascinating story! It's amazing that they got away with it for so long.

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  9. That's quite a story. I do remember it from teaching about the Civil War. It's too bad so many people know so little about that horrible event.

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  10. wow! amazing they were able to remain undiscovered for so long! bless them!

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  11. Terrific shots! There were women, including at least one Canadian, who passed themselves off as men and fought in that war.

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  12. Amazing story and wonderful images from the re-enactment!

    ~Lindy

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  13. Well done again. You are keeping us well informed. I love the way your lads are paying good attention!

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  14. An interesting piece of history of two brave girls . Thank you!
    Have a great weekend!
    Wil, ABCW Team.

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  15. Always good to have history lessons!

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  16. Goodness, that was harsh! There were hundreds of women who fought in the Civil War disguised as men.

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  17. It is a fascinating story and your accompanying photos are great!

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  18. Wow-what a story. I've never heard of this before….very interesting and BRAVE of those women!

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