Short: Women in the Confederacy

Sally Louisa Tompkins (November 9, 1833 – July 26, 1916)

Sally Louisa Tompkins (November 9, 1833 – July 26, 1916)


Only woman commissioned as an officer in the CSA

Captain Sally Louisa Tompkins
Was a humanitarian, nurse, and philanthropist. She is best-remembered for privately sponsoring a hospital in Richmond, Virginia to treat soldiers wounded in the War. Under her supervision, her insistence on cleanliness is said to have been a major key to the lowest mortality rate of any such military hospital, Union or Confederate, during the Civil War.

Only 28 years old, Tompkins was among the civilians who responded by opening the home of Judge John Robertson as a hospital. After the initial crisis had passed, Confederate President Jefferson Davis instituted regulations requiring military hospitals to be under military command.

However, The Robertson Hospital had done such an outstanding job and was prepared to continue that he commissioned Tompkins as a captain so that she could continue her work. She was the only woman officially commissioned as an officer in the Confederate States Army

Whenever Captain Sally discharged a patient, she sent him off with a knapsack packed with a blanket, clean clothes, warm socks she knitted herself, and a copy of the Gospels bound in oilcloth
In the hospital she supervised had 1,333 Confederate soldiers in her 22 bed with the remarkable record of returning 94% of them to service.

She refused any payment for her services. On her military commission, dated 9 September 1861, she wrote, “I accepted the above commission as Captain in the C.S.A. when it was offered. But, I would not allow my name to be placed upon the payroll of the army.

After the war, she continued her charity work until her fortune was depleted. She died a resident of the Confederate Women’s Home in Richmond and was buried with military honors.

Kitty “Dolly” Morgan Hill

She would be from an affluent family born in Lexington Kentucky July 25, 1834
During the war, She would have 6 brothers fighting for the South. Of them would be John Hunt Morgan, who would go on to become a famous Confederate cavalry general. Her brother in law Basil Duke, who served in Morgan’s Cavalry Corps.

She would lose her first husband in 1855 She remained to mourn for a year
Then she met the dashing, handsome A. P. Hill.

Powell courted Dolly throughout 1858 and on July 18, 1859, Powell and Dolly were married at her mother’s home outside Lexington, Kentucky.
Her brother John Hunt Morgan was the best man. Four children were born to the couple, all girls. Ann Powell Hill, the child that A. P. Hill never saw would become known as A. P. Dolly.

Dolly used the silk from her wedding gown to make a beautiful battle flag for Powell’s regiment, the 13th Virginia, – “a beautiful silk banner”.
She tried to remain close to her husband during the war, something that often caused him anxiety over her safety. Dolly sometimes engaged in activities that she thought would help her husband.

In 1864, she heard that General Phil Sheridan was coming to a certain hotel. She went to the hotel to obtain information. As she made her getaway, she was fired upon by Federal soldiers but escaped unharmed.

Shortly before the Wilderness campaign, the Hills decided to have Lucy Lee christened.
General Robert E. Lee stood as the godfather and held the child in his arms. As the minister sprinkled water on her brow and gave his blessing, a tear rolled down the great soldier’s cheek.

Wakening from his sickbed on the morning of April 2, 1865, at Petersburg, Hill rode out to try and rally his collapsing lines.
He was shot through the heart by a stray pair of soldiers from the Union Sixth Corps. He died instantly.

By General Lee’s orders, a charge was made, and his body was recovered and buried in Chesterfield County. With tears in his eyes, General Robert E. Lee remarked very sadly,
“He is at rest now, and we who are left are the ones to suffer.”

A week later General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. Dolly would be pregnant, when told of his death, also among the chaos of the fall of Richmond and the Confederate retreat
It would take several days before Hill’s body was buried.

Dolly was left embittered by the war
Of All 6 of her brothers who served the Confederate Army, leaving for the death of her brother and husband.

She dropped the name Dolly and went back to being called Kitty. In 1870 she married again to a Louisville doctor named Alexander Forsyth. She bore 2 children. He fell ill and died in 1875.

Kitty died at age 86 on March 23, 1920, and was buried at Lexington Cemetery in Fayette County Kentucky.

Nancy Hart Douglas (1846-1902)

Confederate Spy. Nancy was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but grew up in Tazewell, Virginia. In October of 1861, she moved in with her sister & brother-in-law who were living in present-day Roane County, West Virginia. After Nancy’s brother-in-law was murdered by Union soldiers, she had a strong hatred for the Union. While at a neighbor’s party, a group of Union soldiers marched by & Nancy shouted “Hurray for Jeff Davis”. Four shots were fired at her, but she was uninjured. Three days later, Nancy joined the Moccasin Rangers. She started out as a messenger for the Southern troops, but soon took on the job of nursing wounded Confederates & hiding them with sympathizers until they recovered. During the summer of 1862, Nancy was taken prisoner by Lt. Col. Starr. She managed to steal a gun from one of the guards & shot him. Nancy then jumped out the window & escaped on one of Starr’s horses. On July 25, 1862, 200 of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s cavalry troops, led by Major R. Augustus of Patton’s 22nd Virginia Infantry, raided the town of Summersville. Nancy, still riding Starr’s horse, and the Confederate forces were able to capture 8 mules, 12 horses, and several prisoners, including Lt. Col. Starr. After the war, Nancy married Joshua Douglas, a Ranger with the Confederate Army.

Credit:Hermitess from VA on Findagrave

Credit: Confederate/Southern Historical Society/Truths of History on FB

Note: More are involved will add more at a later date. I am working through the research to add these other wonderful women.