Daughters, mothers, sisters, husbands, and sons … what do you know about the women of Gettysburg in 1863? More than 100 years after the Civil War, how did these women help fight for a country of freedom for all? Many soldiers and civilian men of the Civil War and Battle of Gettysburg are remembered and honored in many of Gettysburg’s tours, museums, statues, information centers, stores, and the National Park. However, not much has been written or provided to help people learn about the crucial roles that many strong women of Gettysburg played in the Civil War and Battle of Gettysburg.
In 2013, the decision was made to create a list of memorable local women who had inspiring stories to share. The work of writing biographical sketches was shared by Joanne Lewis, a Licensed Battlefield Guide and Town Guide; Debra Sandoe McCauslin, of For the Cause Productions; and Linda Clark, a Licensed Battlefield Guide and author of books on local citizens. Ashley Andyshak Hayes, of the YWCA, designed the signage and made the posters to be placed around town in the windows of the residences of the 1863 women. Photographs were included when available. Although some of the homes were still private residences with Civil War plaques; some were newer buildings that housed businesses.