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Women’s contributions to the American Revolution varied, their peculiar duties ranged from cooks, maids, childcare, nurses up to spies and soldiers. Women had to travel with their husbands to war because of economic necessity or because they had been driven from their homes by the enemy (Brinkley, 149). Women had no other choice than to work to survive and get money for their daily needs; but at the same time, women did not only help themselves but they supported the American Revolution as well. Denned Volvo, and M.
Volvo argue that women who had followed their husbands to the battlefield were known as camp followers; they traveled with the army, providing supplies, services, and emotional support (241 Camp followers had to do their best and serve their male relatives in whatever they deed. The most common duties women had to perform in the camps consisted of being cooks, maids and childcare; their main responsibilities were to cook, clean, do the laundry, sew and many more domestic tasks (Denned Volvo and M. Volvo 243).
The men’s point of view has never changed, neither on the past nor on the present days; according to most men all women have to perform domestic tasks because it was and will always be their obligations. The type of work camp followers did, were not men’s tasks. Although women were used to do those types of duties in their household every day, it seemed to be a suiTABLE job for them. Some women were not satisfied but they did the work because they had no other choice. “Women had to take care of their husbands needs during the battlefields.
Many women even carried water to relieve the thirst of soldiers while they were fighting” (Denned Volvo and M. Volvo 244). The camp follower’s actions embodied loyalty to their husbands and their entire family. They were just trying to do anything possible to help the army and their husbands to resist the war and defeat the enemy. Sarah Osborne is an example of one of the camp followers who participated in the American Revolution. According to Dankly, Sarah Osborne had followed her husband to the American Revolution and used to cook for the entire camp just a few miles away from the battlefield at the American Line (Dankly, n. . ). Sarah’s efforts reflect that she was equally important in supporting the Revolutionary War as any other man and that she worked hard to support the army and its cause. One crucial role women played in the American Revolution was the role of being nurses; they cared for the fallen soldiers and the sick. Since women’s husbands were out in the battlefield, women also wanted to contribute in a way or another to the American Revolution. That is why they did not take into consideration the hardship and sacrifices they had to go through while serving.
Women in the Revolutionary War were just the same as women today; all they wanted was to work on their own and be independent; all women do not want to depend on any man at any time. Nurses were really crucial in the battlefield and they demonstrated to be capTABLE of handling hard situations. Despite the risks women had to confront they always provided invaluTABLE contributions in helping those who were injured and saving their lives. A good example of a nurse who is very well-known is Margaret Cochran Corning. According to Lieberman, Margaret refused to let her husband go alone.
Since her nursing skills would be valuTABLE, she was allowed to accompany his unit as a camp follower (Lieberman, 2). Margaret not only performed domestic tasks for her husband, she also nursed the wounded and provided emotional support. Margaret Corning was very dedicated to her assigned tasks just as any other Women and always managed to nurse the wounded troops making evident the important role women played during the war. Lieberman stated that Margaret not only performed the tasks mentioned above; when she saw her husband dead, she stepped up and fired the cannon taking her husband’s lace in the battle (3).
Margaret was determined to help the army and avenge the death of her husband. This brave woman showed definitively her great skills and vigor of firing a gun. Margaret displayed how women are not inferior to men and how she not only performed domestic tasks and nursed the wounded but she also stepped out and fought against the enemy replacing men. Women were of significant value to the army. “it profited greatly form their presence and their auxiliary services” (Brinkley, 149).
Some women contributed to the American Revolution by enlisting and serving the Continental Army. Women did not accept their simple tasks and activities in the American Revolution as domestic wives that was why some women decided to provide support by being part of the army. Even though women wanted to work in battlefields, they weren’t approved by the government and the military because they thought women weren’t indispensTABLE at all and they didn’t have the same abilities as men, “Patriots saw them as disruptive and distracting’ (Brinkley, 149).
Deborah Sampson was one of the females who decided not to perform domestic tasks or aid the injured soldiers; she went beyond her limits as a woman and demonstrated how brave and helpful hey can be. “Deborah Sampson, however, is the only women known to have disguised herself as a man, fought as a soldier in the Revolution and received an official army pension” (Burble, 55) Deborah actions as a secret soldier clearly demonstrated women’s determinations and exhibited how Strong a woman can be.
She clearly illustrated to have the same abilities as men and should therefore all women have the same rights and the same degree of respect as men. ‘Washington did not accept women because it was seen as a violation of traditional gender roles and the generally lower-class backgrounds of the camp women” (Brinkley, 149). That is why soldiers doubted in giving women official status in the army or at least let them fight, because of the gender; they were women and weren’t TABLE to fight the same way as men. According to Mary R.
Burble this young woman had tried different ways to enlist into the Continental Army until she had used her brother’s name “On the articles of enlistment papers, she signed Robert Shirtless-the name of her brother… Her term was for three years, but she served only eighteen months before being discovered” (58). Despite the fact of the danger Deborah went through and the wounds she might of have achieved, all she wanted was to try something different and to show society women are not only good at working on their homes but in the battlefield as well.
Deborah hard work had change society’s points of view towards women in a way. Society kind of accepted the idea that women were not completely inferior to men and that women deserved respect. Deborah and other women’s roles were the same as men’s roles meaning no one is superior to the other. Deborah is a great role model and the entire society has a good contemplation about her “Deborah exhibited an extraordinary instance of female heroism by discharging the duties of faithful, gallant soldier” (Burble, 64). Women during the American Revolution displayed how strong they can be.
By fighting as soldiers and acting as spies, women demonstrated to be as strong as men and that they don’t deserve to just be around the house and look after their kids and look pretty. Women can definitely do more than that. Some women also helped the military by being spies; they faced so many dangerous situations but still never gave up and kept on helping its allies. One example of a woman who worked for the military as a spy was Dicey Landings. Dicey Landings acted as a spy/courier to pass information about the enemy to the patriots at the risk of her life as she secretly rode through the night” (140).
According to Meet, Dicey Landings visited some of her relatives in South Carolina, and gained information by simply listening to their enemies conversations for any moves. After obtaining information, she would go off to find her brother’s camp (the patriots) and report the news to them. Since she was a woman and was only sixteen years old, the enemy didn’t made any attempts to hide their conversations; she wasn’t a threat (140). By reading Languor’s story and contributions, it clearly demonstrates how women risked their own lives too much just to serve their country and help the American soldiers as much as possible.
Without thinking about the consequences women spied the enemy and delivered the message to secure its military well-being. “No general army would inevitably suspect that women were spying the enemy” (Hoffman and Albert, 16). Most camp followers just wanted to contribute in some effective way to the military that is why they decided to put themselves in discomfort, hardship and danger just to do something more than domestic tasks to help the militia. Women’s roles as spies were extremely helpful since it helped the army find out his enemies plans.
Women played different roles in the American Revolution; some of them were simple tasks but some of them were the most dangerous responsibilities anyone could assume. Despite the fact women were not allowed to participate so much in the war due to their gender, a countless number of women became involved in the battlefields and stepped out to serve their country. Without authorization, women performed men’s tasks resulting in being very helpful in action. Thanks to the great contributions rave women performed, the continental army was TABLE to get through the war and overcome its enemy.