March is Women’s History Month. It is also the month where a lot of history happened at the Fayetteville Arsenal. In combining both observances, the Museum of the Cape Fear, is pleased to present for a second consecutive year Hoop Skirts and Gunpowder: A Woman of the Fayetteville Arsenal. Admission is free.
When the Civil War broke out men were needed on the front lines, but they also needed ammunition to fight the war. So, the country looked to new workers—women. Believing that women would be more likely to obey then boys, Colonel John Symington of the Alleghany Arsenal in Pittsburg, wrote, “I have discharged all the boys at work in that portion of the laboratory and will supply their places with females.”
Hoop Skirts and Gunpowder: A Woman of the Fayetteville Arsenal is one-of-a-kind, one-woman show by Lee Ann Rose of Williamsburg, VA. The presentation will include describing what women did in the arsenals, the jobs women performed in the Civil War, and comparisons between the freedoms and dangers arsenal workers had with the continued responsibility of domestic life. Was the danger worth this new experience of working outside the home, which allowed her a little more independence? Hear from one of the women who took to the arsenal’s work and away from her domestic life.
Rose has been doing character interpretation for more than 25 years. She worked for Colonial Williamsburg and now, along with her husband, Bill, runs their company of historical interpretation and education called, SHADES OF OUR PAST, LLC.