Writers on both sides of the divide took up the pen to voice their opinions, extol their heroes, and discredit their adversaries. Although American women had already begun to establish themselves as professional writers before the war, more women became involved in literary pursuits in order to participate in the war effort. Women writers created many pamphlets and other publications justifying a particular political stance or seeking to criticize supporters of the opposing side.
Anna Ella Carroll, a daughter of a governor of Maryland, was a well-known Union supporter who wrote at least four pamphlets and numerous letters to the press from July 1861 to May 1862. Her best-known work is Reply to the Speech of Hon. J. C. Breckinridge. She also published The War Powers of the General Government 1861, and The Relation of the National Government to the Revolted Citizens Defined. Carroll later served as an informant for President Lincoln about the war's western front, but was never acknowledged for her assistance in garnering support for the Union and in planning military strategies used by Union forces.
In 1862, a Zouave infantryman garrisoned in Baltimore, reportedly named Thomas Hollingsworth Morris, published a pamphlet entitled How They Act in Baltimore By A Volunteer Zouave. The pamphlet publicly admonished certain women in Baltimore society for their Confederate sympathies. While Morris included only first names, the women he addressed may very well have been real people. "Rebel" women in Baltimore were particularly well known for expressing their secessionist sentiments. They often waved or wore flags, and flaunted red and white ribbons or flowers in support of the Confederacy. One response to Morris's pamphlet included a poem entitled Reply to the Volunteer Zouave By a Baltimore Lady." The poem was attributed to Fannie A. Harwood or to a Miss N. Lemmon, names that could be pseudonyms of a male or a female author. In any case, the poem mocked and chastised Morris for both his depiction of, and criticisms made against, the women of Baltimore. The poem also demonstrates the possibilities for female authorship and women's involvement in the politics of the time.
Anna Ella Carroll (1815-1894), born in Somerset County, Maryland.
Rare Books Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.