The Roles Women Played in the War of 1812
by Hellen Ferguson
There were women involved in the War of 1812 on both the American and British sides, and through their reminisces, letters and journals, we can get a glimpse of what it was like in this war that spanned many acres and took two and a half years.
Though their stories are seldom told, women did indeed have important roles to play. There are many ways in which women helped the cause. Women on the battlefield helped pass water to the soldiers. In the camps, they were laundresses, seamstresses, and companions to the soldiers.
Women were stationed in forts and garrisons as servants in high-ranking officers’ houses and worked as cooks as well as nursemaids and laundresses and of course, at home, where they took care of family and possessions while their men were away at war. In this war, as in many, women took jobs doing war work while the men were away.