Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Woman's Work Is Never Done

This entry comes from the Memphis Daily Appeal, June 22, 1861 (as found at Art Circle Public Library, Cumberland County, TN website). During the Civil War, Southern women worked in ammunition factories much like during World Wars, Here is one example.

A visit to the Confederate Saber Factory in Memphis

Manufactory of Ammunition.-By the kindness of Mr. Trezevant, we were yesterday admitted within the Confederate Government saber manufactory, on the south-east corner of Monroe and Third streets, over which establishment we were obligingly shown by the efficient superintendent and inspector, Lieut.

On mounting to the immense room up stairs, we found four large tables ranged from end to end of the room, and at these tables two hundred and fifty women and girls, principally young girls, were busily engaged in the labor of preparing cartridges.. . .

. . .In giving employment, the widows, wives, and families of soldiers, have the
first preference. The women are paid four dollars and a half a week, the girls
three dollars; when by extraordinary industry a certain number per day are
made, a dollar a day is given. No less than two hundred and eighty-five persons
are employed, of whom two hundred and thirty are females. . . .

 "Filling Cartridges at the United States Arsenal at Watertown, Massachusetts," July 20, 1861, Harper’s Weekly.

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