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Wisconsin in the Civil War

Southern Women's Reaction to Union Soldiers

On May 2, 1862, the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry occupied Fredericksburg, Virginia. Adjutant Charles K. Dean writes home describing how the women of Fredericksburg reacted to the invading troops.

The women of this place look as if they could swallow the entire army of live Yankees; they are "rifling mad and can't help showing their dislike and hatred of the mudsills." Their "poutings" and effeminate scowls, are amusing to our troops, who nearly kill the poor "secesh creatures" with their yankee smiles and "frolicking." There are some good looking "ginny g'hals" [Virginia gals] here that have already struck the fancy of some of our "Bowld Sodger Boys," which if I mistake not, will in some instances bring about a Union between secesh damsels and our boys. A good chance to get a live yankee husband will not be allowed to slip through the fingers of these young ladies; for such an excellent bargain they will readily bring their minds to the belief that secesh is a "Bad Egg" and won't do to suck.

Source: E.B. Quiner Scrapbooks: "Correspondence of the Wisconsin Volunteers, 1861-1865," Volume 2, page 256.

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Officers of the 2nd Infantry with their wives.
Officers of the 2nd Infantry with their wives.

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