About a month ago, I interviewed Dr. Michael Gabriel, a civil war historian, on women’s roles during the civil war. One thing that really stuck out to me in the interview was when Dr. Gabriel spoke of a lesser known role of Confederate women on the home front during the civil war. In the south women had to take over running the whole family life, including plantations and other business. With the slave labor system falling apart, they could not run plantations and the economy was collapsing . There were severe shortages of money and even food. This led the southern women to send letters for their husbands and brothers to come home and save their family. These letters were so influential that there was a tremendous increase in desertion rates in the confederate army towards the end of the war. You can find the discussion of this in the audio from my interview, from 7 minutes to 9 minutes and 45 seconds.