because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Emeline Pigott

Not only did Emeline Pigott tend to the sick and wounded Confederate soldiers quartered across the creek from her parents' house on the North Carolina coast, but she helped to provide them with food, clothing and medicine she had to stash in hollow logs for them to find because it was illegal to support the boys in gray. That was far from all she did, however.

Her main interest was to move mail, messages and supplies in big pockets under her hoop skirts -- sometimes as much as thirty pounds at a whack. Crossing the lines back and forth between those serving the Confederacy and those serving the Union, she became a primary source of sustenance and information for the Confederate cause, even though it put her in constant danger.

Finally arrested in the latter months of the war for suspicion of spying, she demanded to be searched by a White woman (rather than the Black woman that was already present) and while the Union soldiers were locating a White woman they could trust, Pigott promptly ate as much of the evidence as she could get down and tore the rest into little tiny pieces. Needless to say, it didn't get her off the hook. Still, for some odd reason, though she could have been executed, if found guilty, she was simply released to go home. The story goes that she was a very charming (in-your-face) woman. Indeed!

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