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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)

TITLE: The Highest Venerations
By Michael Aubrecht
05/03/07


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One of the most inspirational, yet most commonly forgotten aspects of American military history is the contribution that was made by women. Much of this neglect is due to the fact that the vast majority of the participants in these conflicts, as well as the historians who recorded it, were men.

Fortunately, as more and more women became respected in the academic community, so did the narratives of their female ancestors. One period-study in particular that has benefited greatly by this equality is that of the American Civil War.

Although women were typically prevented from taking up arms with their husbands, they were able to come closer to the battlefield than ever before. This newfound freedom opened up an entirely new world of opportunities and allowed women to contribute to their respective causes in a variety of ways.

One such avenue that opened for these female patriots came in the form of spying. Therefore, many women acted in this capacity, gathering information and insights from (and for) their male counterparts. One of the most revered of these undercover agents was a North Carolinian named Emeline Pigott.

On the farm where she lived, ran a creek and just on the opposite side from the bank camped the soldiers of the 26th North Carolina Division, whose duty was to defend Carolina's coastline. It was here that young Emeline volunteered her services to the Confederate States of America, helping the sick and at times nursing the wounded back to health in her home. She also forwarded mail for the soldiers and stashed food, medical supplies and clothing in hollow trees designated for this purpose.

As the conflict continued, Emeline began to gather intelligence information from Union soldiers that were sometimes entertained in (or near) her home. Legend has it that she would conceal as much as thirty pounds of supplies and documents while wearing an oversized hoop skirt.

In 1862, the troops of the 26th North Carolina departed for the battlefields of Virginia, but Pigott stayed behind and continued to spy on the occupying Federal forces.

Three years later, she and her brother-in-law, Rufus Bell were accused of espionage and arrested by the United States Army, who prosecuted them as spies. Both were taken to the Federal prison in New Bern, where they were put on trial, summarily convicted and finally sentenced to death.

Mercifully, a short time later, her sentence was mysteriously suspended and she was released on parole.

Following the end of the War Between the States, Emeline spent countless hours sharing the “cloak and dagger” tales of her exciting exploits as a spy for the Southern Cause.

Like many of her peers, who include Belle Boyd, Nancy Hart and Laura Ratcliffe, she will be forever embraced in the annals of Confederate history. More importantly, Emeline has remained in the hearts and minds of believers everywhere and is still celebrated to this day as a true Christian soldier.

According to an essay from the Elizabeth Moore Collection entitled 'Heroines of the Confederacy', Emeline’s legacy is one of a woman with tremendous faith, courage, and character.

It states, “At the beginning of the war Miss Pigott, then a young girl, had given her whole heart to the cause of the South, nursing the sick and wounded soldiers, who were brought in from the attacks on our coasts. Her soldier sweetheart fell in the Battle of Gettysburg, and after that Emeline Pigott felt that she must do even more for the Confederacy. She made many dangerous journeys, and she narrowly escaped capture very often, going through great danger to fulfill her mission. At one time she was seized and while being searched, she swallowed the important message she was carrying.”

It concludes with the memory that, “Her name is held in the highest venerations.”

Passing away in 1916 at the age of 80, Emeline never revealed, nor verified the circumstances surrounding her miraculous release. Instead, she continued to give credit to the Lord above for blessing both her and her captors with mercy.

Even today, she remains as an inspirational role model for Christian women everywhere who refuse to lose faith, or allow gender-biases to hold them down.


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This article has been read 843 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne05/10/07
Very good article. I assume this to be a true article about a true character. If not, it is very well written anyway.
Bonnie Way05/10/07
Excellent article on a very interesting subject! This could definately be made longer - I'm curious about her now! :)
Lynda Schultz 05/10/07
How true this is: "Much of this neglect is due to the fact that the vast majority of the participants in these conflicts, as well as the historians who recorded it, were men." It also goes for nations too - they write their history the way they see it, not necessarily the way it was. This was well done — I appreciated the insight into this woman's life. Good work.
Joanne Sher 05/11/07
Fascinating woman who I feel privileged to have gotten to know through this wonderful writing. I agree - would love to read more (and if this is who I think it is, I might be in luck! hehe).
Leigh MacKelvey05/11/07
It seems a few of us wrote about the part women played in the Civil War! this was a well written article with interesting facts and I loved that she as "mysteriously" release from her penalty!
Myrna Noyes05/14/07
Fascinating!! :) I have heard about women who served as nurses during the Civil War, but I have not heard much about them being spies. Thank you for bringing this lesser-known contribution of females during this conflict to our attention! Is there a book you could recommend about women's participation in the Civil War?
I was really intrigued with this! :)
Linda Germain 05/14/07
You have definitely piqued my interest in Miss Emiline(love her name). I am looking forward to reading more about this brave woman. At least she gave hoop skirts a valid reason for existing. This is good stuff for a movie script!
Linda Germain 05/14/07
Sorry! I mean Emeline...(she probably would not appreciate having her name spelled wrong).
Mariane Holbrook05/15/07
Very interesting handling of this. I hope you place with it! Kudos!
T. F. Chezum05/16/07
Very interesting and well written (but what else would I expect from you). Great job ... thanks for sharing this.
Betty Castleberry05/16/07
Thank you for bringing the contribution of women in war time to the forefront. This was a very interesting article, and one that I was not familiar with. Well done.
Brenda Welc05/16/07
Wow! A history lesson that not only included a woman but a Christian one at that? Well done, I found this to very readable.
Rita Garcia05/16/07
Michael, thank you for sharing this story! I am so pleased you joined in for the history genre...do I need to say, it is well crafted? Of course it is!!
Purity Snowe05/16/07
This was very well done and totally interesting!
Loren T. Lowery05/16/07
Written on a level and a manner I would expect to see in a good magizine that focuses on history and biographies of people that made a difference in the growth of our nation. Great, educational and entertaining read.