Fearless, Feisty and Unflagging: The Women of Gettysburg


"Fearless French Mary" Marie Tepe stands on Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg in 1863. Public domain

Military history rarely focuses on the women who lived through conflict and worked on recovery efforts. This episode covers women who assisted troops, buried the dead, nursed the wounded, and managed to survive the fighting in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

This episode was originally performed as a live show as part of the Gettysburg Foundation's Great Conversation series. Our sincerest thanks to the Gettysburg Foundation, NPS Ranger Chris Gwinn, Gettysburg National Military Park Chief of Interpretation and Education, and Bethany Yingling, Events Coordinator, for making the trip to Gettysburg a delight.

Tracy's Research:

  • O’Toole, Garson. “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.” Quote Investigator. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/11/03/well-behaved-women/
  • Frederick, Jared. “Women & the Battle of Gettysburg.” Via C-SPAN. 5/19/2015. https://www.c-span.org/video/?326169-1/discussion-women-battle-gettysburg
  • Creighton, Margaret S. “The Colors of Courage: Immigrants, Women and African Americans in the Civil War’s Defining Battle.” Perseus Books. 2005.
  • Conklin, Eileen F. “Women at Gettysburg 1863 Revisited.” Americana Souvenirs and Gifts. 2013.
  • Cozzens, Peter. “Battlefield held little terror for feisty Marie Tepe as she focused on aiding her beloved Zouaves.” HistoryNet. 1/12/2012. https://www.historynet.com/fearless-french-mary.htm
  • Gettysburg Daily. “Elizabeth Thorn.” 5/9/2008. https://www.gettysburgdaily.com/elizabeth-thorn/
  • Kelly, Kate. “Elizabeth Thorn (1832-1907): Six Months Pregnant and Burying the Dead at Gettysburg.” America Comes Alive. https://americacomesalive.com/2014/03/12/elizabeth-thorn-1832-1907-six-months-pregnant-burying-dead-gettysburg/
  • Vermilyea, Peter C. “The Effect of the Confederate Invasion of Pennsylvania on Gettysburg’s African American Community.” via Gettysburg Discussion Group. http://www.gdg.org/gettysburg%20magazine/gburgafrican.html
  • Bierle, Sarah Kay. “Discovered: Female Soldiers At Gettysburg.” Emerging Civil War. 7/3/2016. https://emergingcivilwar.com/2016/07/03/discovered-female-soldiers-at-gettysburg/
  • Bloom, Robert L. “We Never Expected a Battle: The Civilians at Gettysburg, 1863.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies Vol. 55, No. 4 (October, 1988). Via JSTOR. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27773262
  • Alleman, Matilda Pierce. “At Gettysburg, or, What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle. A True Narrative.” 1889. Via University of Pennsylvania. https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/alleman/gettysburg/gettysburg.html

Topics in this Podcast: women, Pennsylvania, warfare, 19th century, U.S. history, Battle of Gettysburg, black history, slavery, U.S. civil war, Six Impossible Episodes