Like countless other women of the Civil War, the wives, sisters and sweethearts of LaGrange, Georgia watched the majority of men in their town march away to military service in 1861. But while other Confederate women on the home front prepared to nurse the wounded and wait out the war, the women of LaGrange prepared to do battle.
Between 1861 and 1865, a group of 40 LaGrange women organized an all-woman militia, the Nancy Harts. Organized in military formations and skilled in marksmanship and battle tactics, the women were prepared to defend their town against a Union incursion—and near the end of the war, they did.
One thousand, three hundred men left LaGrange during the first year of the war, and the town, which was located in a strategically important spot halfway between Atlanta and Montgomery, Alabama, became a vulnerable target due to its location and its rail lines, which continued to operate throughout the war.
The women of LaGrange and their departing husbands worried that, should the town be attacked, the boys and old men who remained wouldn’t be able to hold Union …
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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)