While their menfolk were off fighting the Union, many Southern women stepped up to defend their homes and families. One group of females in LaGrange, Georgia, however, officially banded together and formed an all-female militia. They called themselves the Nancy Harts in honor of Revolutionary War heroine and fellow Georgian Nancy Morgan Hart. In case you missed my July 4 “Feisty Female” article on Nancy Morgan Hart, you can read it here.
After the LaGrange Light Guards of the Fourth Georgia Infantry left on April 26, 1861, two wives, Nancy Hill Morgan and Mary Alford Heard, decided to form their own all-female militia. About forty women attended the first meeting which was held at a schoolhouse on the grounds of United States Senator Benjamin Hill’s home. The women, inexperienced with both firearms and military procedures, secured the assistance of Dr. A.C. Ware, a local physician who had been exempted from military service, to assist them in their training. Dr. Ware was elected their first captain, according to Atlanta’s Southern Confederacy newspaper on June 1, 1861:
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