When women wanted husbands who deserted

“In February 1864, a North Carolina government official wrote: ‘Desertion takes place because desertion is encouraged…. And though the ladies may not be willing to concede the fact, they are nevertheless responsible’….

“One woman not only conceded her encouragement of desertion, she made it publicly clear. At the rail depot in Charlotte, she called to her deserter husband, who was being dragged back to the army: ‘Take it easy, Jake — you desert agin, quick as you kin — come back to your wife and children.’ As the distance between them grew, she yelled even louder. ‘Desert, Jake! Desert agin, Jake!’ ”

— From “Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War” by David Williams (2008)

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