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"Vivandieres: Forgotten Women of the Civil War" Topic

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472 hits since 21 Oct 2017
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Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 12:01 p.m. PST

Of possible interest?


Does anyone used them in your ACW wargames?


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

I have two with a cart for my Union Zouave "Brigade."

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

Forgotten? Having been closely involved, via my "brother" (actually Mrs Carp) with the cross-dressing faction of Civil War reenacting, I learned the vivandieres and cantinieres were only the "public" skin of female participation during the war. They are worthy of their own laurels, however.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 3:39 a.m. PST

My wife does a vivandiere impression in our reenacating activities, so I live with one! :)

tigrifsgt22 Oct 2017 11:45 a.m. PST

I live with one also. Tiger Rifle Vivs are the best. TIG

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 3:36 p.m. PST

Lucky you boys!. (smile)


tigrifsgt22 Oct 2017 3:53 p.m. PST

The article mentions French Mary, she being the most famous Viv of the war. But, the second best known was Lavinia Williams of Wheats Tigers.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

Are there any sources that give the numbers of women who served as vivandieres? And were they regulated to just those zouave regiments who wore French uniforms etc.?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

I doubt that there is any full accounting of the vivandiers. In the early days of the war there were probably hundreds of them on both sides who followed their husbands or lovers into the ranks, but the majority soon went home when they saw what soldiering was really like. Most of these were probably never officially listed on their regiment's roster. And the vivs weren't limited to the zouave regiments. You could find them in any sort of regiment.

The ones we hear much about are the ones who stuck it out and actually accompanied the men on campaign and into battle. There were a lot fewer of them. There are a number of books on the subject.

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