Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Aberration of MindSuicide and Suffering in the Civil War-Era South$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Diane Miller Sommerville

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469643304

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643304.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 16 October 2019

A Dark Doom to Dread

A Dark Doom to Dread

Women, Suicide, and Suffering on the Confederate Homefront

Chapter:
(p.49) Chapter 2 A Dark Doom to Dread
Source:
Aberration of Mind
Author(s):

Diane Miller Sommerville

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643304.003.0003

Women on the Confederate homefront, living in a war zone, suffered psychologically. Socialized to believe in doctrines of paternalism, many women were ill-equipped and unaccustomed to new wartime roles household head that the absence of men required of them. Many southern white women found the added demands of war unbearable and too demanding, leading some to succumb to mental illness that sometimes led to institutionalization in insane asylums, and suicidal ideation or behavior. The most vulnerable women on the homefront were young mothers and widows who bore the heaviest burdens when their husbands were gone leaving them to care for families under trying circumstances. Also contributing to the psychological ailments of Confederate women were worries about male relatives on the battle front, fear of invading armies, scarcity, financial duress, deaths of loved ones, and management of slave labor. The war also exacerbated conditions of women with postpartum disorders rendering them vulnerable to institutionalization or suicidal behavior. The chapter also compares women’s suicidal activity to mens’ and concludes that women more actively thought and talked about ending their lives than men, with relatively few ending their lives, whereas the suicidal behavior of men was more often lethal when compared to women.

Keywords:   Confederate women, soldiers’ wives, homefront, war zone, insane asylum, suicidal behavior suicide, postpartum disorders, postpartum psychosis, gender roles, paternalism

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .