Margaret Michell knew from such histories about the “Bummers” aka looters, murderers and rapists who followed the Union Armies and included one in her “Gone With The Wind.”
To admit to having been raped by a Yankee (one step below an orangutan) would have destroyed the social life of any respectable white Southern woman forever...the bragging of the rapists is but oral history as well since the liberal Yankee media spikes any information detrimental to their agenda--even to this day.
We who have ancestors who went through the war know what happened.
"Sherman and Sheridan Blue Scum Bellies bragged for years that most the babies born in the South after the war were probably half Yankee (and not by choice)."
I'm wondering where you got the allegation that there was any bragging .. or anything else of the like .. on the part of soldiers or officials of the Union Army, as I have never seen the like of that in any of the documentation.
In years after the Civil War, many personal histories were added to newspaper and other contemporary reports of the war.
All of these have been scoured by generations of historians looking to find evidence of mass murders & rapes, etc.
None have been found.
I conclude therefore that such claims are somewhat, ahem, exaggerated.
The fact that few charges were laid against Union soldiers for rape constitutes definitive evidence that just about every white southern woman was raped.
Absence of evidence is the best proof.
Family legend is not always entirely historically accurate. See Miss Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren.
Will probably p*ss off an entirely new group by bringing it up, but family history used to cement group identities has a habit of developing hyperbolically.
Perhaps the classic example is the story of "No Irish Need Apply," for which there is an entire mythology of how it was universal in newspaper employment ads, on "Help Wanted" signs in windows, etc. throughout the country. So common that it was often just the acronym NINA. Shows how oppressed the Irish were in America.
So a professor decided to research just how common it was. After going through many thousands of newspaper pages throughout the century, hundreds of thousands of ads, he found less than 10 examples. Don't remember the exact number.
The legend continues to exist and creates hostility if its accuracy is challenged, despite almost zero evidence of its truth.
Same with the stories of mass rape of southern women. Bet you anything the family histories don't have their women being raped, just everybody else's.
BTW, wouldn't blaming the southern woman for her own rape by Union soldiers lean a bit in the Islamist honor-killing direction?
Margaret Michell knew from such histories about the Bummers aka looters, murderers and rapists who followed the Union Armies and included one in her Gone With The Wind.
Quite right. Deserters from both armies, southern criminals and others no doubt took advantage of helpless people and preyed on those in the wake of the armies. As despicable predators always have. My understanding is that when caught, both armies hanged them.
That's a fairly dimwitted thing to say.