American Revolution: Women

Roles of Women During the Revolutionary War

Most women during the Revolutionary War stayed home and took care of the farm or the family business while their husband was off at war. They had to learn new skills and take on extra work.

There were women who took part directly in the war. Some did so because they were poor and wanted to work for food.

Nurses: Many women worked as nurses for the Continental Army. This was a dangerous job that exposed them to diseases found in army hospitals.

Spies: Some women were spies who gathered secret information. Officers from both sides talked freely around women, whom they believed wouldn't understand military terms and strategy.

Camp Followers: Women followed the army camp to take care of the soldiers: mending clothes, cooking meals, and cleaning up the camp. Wives of soldiers worked as camp followers in order to keep their husbands from quitting the army.

Soldiers: Some women disguised themselves as men and enlisted as soldiers.

Source: American Revolution: Women
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