Members brave the rain to hear Jane Peters Estes

HSR members returned to the familiar setting of the Riverton Public School library Tuesday evening to hear historian, Hagley Museum guide, and costumed presenter Jane Peters Estes’ compelling presentation, “The Battle of Gettysburg: Where Were the Women?”

The take-away from this meeting and the short answer to Ms. Estes’ rhetorical question is: The women were everywhere – it’s just not always written in our history books.

Members socialize and enjoy refreshments after the presentation. Jane even showed some of the ladies her bloomers and the crinoline cage under her dress.

Ms. Estes has distilled the best parts from her bibliography of over three dozen listed sources and she quotes from period newspaper accounts, letters, diaries, journals, and eyewitness accounts to make her powerful case.  We heard how women hid in basements, faced their foes on the battlefield, nursed the wounded, and buried the dead at Gettysburg. She lectured dressed as a woman of the Civil War era, right down to the bloomers and corset.

A rhinestone-studded pumpkin decorates a refreshment table loaded with Mrs. Kloos' famous white chocolate covered pretzel snacks, Mrs. Rodgers' pumpkin mousse cupcakes, Mrs. Waters' homemade ginger snaps, donut holes, and two kinds of cider.

Click here for a one minute excerpt from the presentation that explains how a woman could join the army and not be detected.

The presentation concluded and we mingled afterward for conversation and refreshments. It may have been for longer than usual, but there was much to catch up on since this was the first presentation of the season.

An evening’s seminar on the varied roles of women in the Civil War, snacks and apple cider, socializing among others with a passion for understanding and preserving history  –  priceless!  This is a great time to join as a new member.  – John McCormick, Gaslight News editor


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John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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