Support the Lost Cause, marry a handicapped vet

“Nearly a quarter of the men of military age in the South were killed, and perhaps another quarter returned home wounded. To make up to the men for what they had lost, Southern girls were urged to do their part by marrying handicapped veterans.

” ‘Girls have married men they would never have given a thought of had it not been thought a sacred duty,’ wrote a North Carolina woman whose daughter had just taken the plunge. ‘You would never believe how our public speakers… excite the crowd to this thing.’ ”

— From “America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines” by Gail Collins (2003)