How Sarah Rosetta Wakeman Overcame Challenges Of The Civil War

The proposed project will discuss a notable person in a period of the United States from 1492 to 1877 who faced a significant challenge. It is interesting to consider the role of women in society throughout the years, how gender inequality affected it, and how they responded to different challenges within the context of stark gender disparities. Therefore, the title for the project is as follows: Female Soldiers and the Challenge of the Civil War: The Story of Rosetta Wakeman. It will be argued that Sarah Rosetta Wakeman faced and overcame the challenge of the Civil War and circumvented one of gender inequality by assuming the identity of a man named Lyons Wakeman.

Wakeman lived during a time of great political tension, gender inequality that led to women being financially dependent on men and limited in the choice of career, and the government prosecuting women for wearing trousers. Nevertheless, she achieved financial independence and a military career inconceivable for women in 19th century America (Thomas, 2022). Although she did so under the guise of a man, her natural predisposition for the military and successful concealment of her identity helped prove that women have a place in the army.

Primary sources are crucial for research projects concerning historical events or persons. As Rosetta Wakeman effectively disguised herself as a man and was buried under the name of Lyons Wakeman, her secret was revealed decades later as her letters to her family were discovered. Thus, it is important to attempt to locate these letters in order to learn more about Wakeman’s journey. In addition, letters of other soldiers who might have known about Rosetta’s rouse, for example, William Henry Austin’s letter of their encounter during Wakeman’s service (Stattler, 2021). In summary, Rosetta Wakeman is a fascinating historical figure, and her tenure in the military deserves recognition.


Stattler, R. (2021). Women & the Civil War. Swann Galleries News.

Thomas, K. (2022). Battlefield women: How nurses, soldiers, and spies challenged gender roles during the American Civil War. History Honors Program, 30, 1–65.