Τετάρτη, 2 Ιουλίου 2014

Vivandieres!


Vivandieres, sometimes known as cantinieres, were women who followed the army to provide support for the troops. Ideally, a vivandiere would have been a young woman the daughter of an officer or wife of a non-commissioned officer who wore a uniform and braved battles to provide care for wounded soldiers on the battlefield.





 The history of vivandieres can be traced to the French Zouave regiments in the Crimean War. By 1859, many local militia regiments in the United States had adopted the name “Zouave,” wore colorful uniforms, and adopted the practice of having a “daughter of the regiment” in their ranks. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, these regiments — in both the North and the South — answered the call for troops. Vivandieres saw most of their service during the early years of the war. By September 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant ordered that all women be removed from military camps in his theater.

Vivandieres did not fight in battles but were often armed, earned honors, and were sometimes captured by the enemy. Their most important contribution was the essential medical care they provided as field nurses. As battles raged, vivandieres made their way through the wounded offering immediate medial care. Calculating the exact number of women who served as vivandieres is nearly impossible. Neither North nor South recognized the service of vivandieres and they are rarely mentioned in official records. Their courage and brave deeds are recorded in personal accounts and post-war regimental histories. While we cannot put a name to the young woman in this photograph, there are a few vivandieres whose names have become symbolic of all those who served:

Sarah Taylor – 1st Tennessee (US) – prisoner of war
Marie Tepe – Collis’ Zouaves – awarded the Kearny Cross
Eliza Wilson – 5th Wisconsin
Ella Gibson – 49th Ohio
Lucy Ann Cox – 13th Virginia
Kady Brownell –1st and 5th Rhode Island
Bridget Divers – 1st Michigan Cavalry
Annie Etheridge – 3rd and 5th Michigan – awarded the Kearny Cross


Marie Tepe was one such courageous woman. Originally born in France in 1834, Marie was raised by her father and later moved to the United States following his death. When she was nearly 20 years of age, she married Bernhard Tepe, a Philadelphia tailor. When the Civil War began, her husband joined the 27th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. As soon as her husband left so did Marie, despite Bernhard wanting her to stay and mind the tailor shop in Philadelphia.




 In the spring of 1861, Marie Tepe became a vivandiere with the 27th Pennsylvania Volunteers. She is better known as the vivandiere of the 114th Pennsylvania. The original company of that regiment was organized in the early weeks of August, 1861, by Captain Charles H. T. Collis as the Zouaves d'Afrique. Then in mid-August of 1862, Collis raised nine more companies to form the 114th, with himself as colonel. Like the original company, the 114th was a Zouave unit, based on the renowned North African and European Zouave regiments of the French army. The soldiers wore a Zouave uniform; so did Mrs. Tepe, who left the 27th and went with Collis's outfit. She wore a blue jacket and red pants; to distinguish herself from the men, she wore a skirt trimmed in red. "French Mary," as she was often called, participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862. During the battle, she received a bullet wound to the ankle. For her bravery during the battle she received the coveted Kearny Cross, which was awarded to valorous veterans of the First Division of the III Army Corps in memory of its late division commander, General Philip Kearny.

After a short hospitalization she rejoined the regiment. In July 1863, Marie and her regiment joined the fight at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. When the battle was over, "French Mary" volunteered her services as a nurse to help the wounded. After a few weeks of tending to the injured she continued on with her regiment. Marie Tepe served through the rest of the war and later moved to Pittsburgh. She attended the reunion of the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1893. The famous "French Mary" died in 1901.

The Vivandieres who served in the Civil War showed great courage in the face of battle. These daring souls, like Marie Tepe, are the forgotten women of the Civil War. They went above and beyond the duties of a vivandiere to serve their country. French Mary and other vivandieres earned the recognition and respect of their regiments. They deserve to be remembered.



And here's my custom for the Marie Tepe aka "The French Mary"...



The French Mary 1834 - 1901
American Civil War
Vivandiere


 Information via...
Gilder Lehrman  

Army.mil 

wikipedia 


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