> Southern Aid Societies
There were many societies
formed to aid Southern soldiers during the Civil War years, In his
book, George Roble points out that, "
exaggerated the isolation of antebellum Southern housewives
the war encouraged larger cooperative efforts, outside the home." Roble goes on to state that South Carolina and Alabama each had about
100 soldiers' relief societies. In all the Southern states there may
have been more than 1,000. Still, the formation of the societies was
hampered by geography so that many at them were in cities and / or
grew fromm existing church groups.
Not every society stayed
together until the end of the war. Sometimes they lacked supplies to
continue. As the war years stretched on, morale declined. Many
disbanded as early as 1862. Some notable ones persisted including the
Ladies' Relief Society in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the Ladies
Association in Aid of the Volunteers of the Confederate Army in
Greenville, South Carolina. Many of these organizations tended to
support only soldiers from their own state,
- Fundraising drives
including fairs, tableaus, and outright solicitation of funds.
Ladies Gun-boat Societies formed in Charleston, Savannah, New
Orleans, Mobile and Richmond raised money for war
- Giving out,
supervising, and performing knitting and sewing for the soldiers
- Keeping records of
funds and item donated
- Shipping boxes of
- Meeting trains with
refreshments for the troops and aid for the injured or
- Establishing homes and
- Corresponding with
The names and locations
of some of these groups were:
- Society of Center
- Eutawville Aid
Association of South Carolina
- Charleston Soldiers
- Ladies' Aid
Association of Greenville South Carolina
- Ladies' Relief
Association of Spartanburg
- Mobile Military Aid
- Cressy Pond Soldiers'
Aid Society, South Carolina
- Grace Baptist Church
sewing society, Richmond
- Ladies Relief Society,
- Trials and
Triumphs: The Women of the American Civil War, by Marilyn
- Mothers of
Invention, Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil
War, by Drew Gilpin Faust
- No Idle Hands. The
Social History of American Knitting, by Anne L.
- Civil Wars: Women
and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism, by George C.
- Interview with Jane B.
White, Director, Old City Cemetery