Social Studies 5: Fan Girls: Revolutionary War Wives (and Kids!) Who Traveled With the Armies
Yep, We're not kidding. This totally used to happen. Wives and children of soldiers would just march along with them and help out behind the scenes. Sounds pretty dangerous, but what do we know? We're afraid of going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
Guess just us, then…
Well, to answer our own question...their days were made up of some marching… [Soldiers marching]
… some fighting… [Two men fighting each other]
… and some standing still for a really long time while their pictures were painted… [Artist painting a picture of the soldiers]
But here's something you might not have known: the Continental Army wasn’t just made up [Dino pointing at a blackboard]
of perpetual bachelors.
A lot of men who went off to fight left wives and families. [Soldier walking away from his family]
And though history has pretty much forgotten them...
… they played a unique role in the Revolutionary War.
While an Army Wife might have been proud of her soldier husband…
…and while she might have been spared one more person to clean up after, it also meant [Pile of dirty washing on the bed]
that the family’s main source of income was MIA.
And it’s not like in the 1700s women could just [Bowls of stone soup on the table]
become lawyers, CEOs and celebrity chefs. [Pictures of women in jobs]
So naturally, many soldiers’ families faced serious cash flow problems, and some even [Money falling stops and goes back the other way]
ended up homeless.
What was a woman to do?
Turns out, many women and their families opted to follow after the Continental Army. [Women going behind soldiers holding cookies]
This gave them some measure of safety and security – even if “Bunker Hill” wasn’t
exactly a top family vacation destination. [Kid asking if there is free WiFi]
However, these family ties put General George Washington in a bit of a bind. [George Washington tied up with rope]
On the one hand, having soldiers’ families nearby meant fewer of his troops would desert
to go home.
On the other hand, it meant more mouths to feed with rations that was already in short [Washington holding each argument in either hand]
Plus, Washington was getting tired of the kids demanding he cut the crusts off of their [Angry kid holding up sandwich]
But these women and their children weren’t just a bunch of Continental Army groupies. [Women chasing after the soldiers]
They were actually busy providing valuable services to the army, like cooking, [Coop pointing at a blackboard]
cleaning, mending uniforms, and nursing.
Which turned out to be good for General George.
With the women doing these chores, it meant his soldiers had time to do more soldier-y
things, like, y’know, shooting and killing and stuff. [Soldier on horseback shooting a gun]
In return for their labor, women were able to make money and even receive army rations… [Woman holding empty plates]
Following the army meant that women had to endure the same conditions as the soldiers, [Rations and money are put on the plate]
including a lack of food and shelter… [Dino pointing at a blackboard]
… harsh conditions…
… and sometimes, no shoes or warm clothing.
Not to mention getting blood out of a uniform without modern-day stain removers was a real [Woman trying to wash a uniform]
But as the old saying goes, “behind every great army is a group of women and children”.
…Yeah, okay, that’s not really a saying, but you get the idea. [Marching soldiers reveal and woman and two kids]