Land of Suffering: The Lived Civil War Experience of Indigenous Women
The Civil War in popular histography has been interpreted through endless lenses and perspectives. However, the role of Indigenous peoples within the Civil War has remained neglected and consequently, incomplete Additionally, the lived experiences of Native women have been overshadowed by a rhetoric of militaristic operations which have placed men at the forefront of these events.
The purpose of this thesis is twofold. First, utilizing brief oral histories from their descendants, I will create a narrative of three Indigenous Women: “Grandmother,” Archargowe, and Larney Scott. Representing the Diné or Navajo, Dakota, as well as Muscogee (Creek), these narratives give perspective to these women’s experiences during the Civil War and their fierce resilience within their unimaginable suffering. Secondly, this thesis seeks to restore agency to women that have otherwise beenperceived as merely victims of the time period. This thesis seeks to illustrate the strength, courage, and calculated decision-making prevalent in these women’s lives. Contrary to popular historiography, these women were not passive victims, but active participants in the preservation of their communities. Their voices are needed to understand fully the complete American experience.