Monday, October 25, 2010

True Facts Tuesday: Oh, Yes They Did!

For the next couple of Tuesdays I'm going to talk about "The World's Oldest Profession". Being a historical author I've found some interesting information during my research. One of the most surprising things I discovered was that despite the high moral standards of the Victorian era, there was also a seedy underside to this society.

If you're a fan of the History Channel, you may have watched the series entitled, Sex and the Civil War: The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell. The series was based upon the book by the same name, written by Thomas P. Lowry, MD. Doctor Lowry is a wealth of knowledge about this subject, and I recommend his book if you write Victorian Era stories.

The sad fact is that a large percent of war-time letters were destroyed - not by the fighting - but by the soldiers themselves, their way of protecting their secret "dirty" lives away from home. The following quotes are from the few surviving letters.

Harris Levin, 1864: Several nights a week our lonely post is visited by two sisters who are rentable for riding. They visit the boys at Brooks and Semmes also, as they lived at Hatcher's. Amanda is about 15 and my favorite. She has never asked for more of me than a good poking, but does of the others, but her sister, Carrie, will ask for her accommodations to me, so you know which I choose.

1863, Carlisle, PA (where the soldiers had captured a large supply of Yankee whiskey): Some of the Pennylvania women, hearing the noise of the revel and the music, dared to come near us. Soon they had formed the center of attention and joined the spirit of the doings. After much whiskey and dancing, they shed most of their garments and offered to us their bottoms. Each took on dozens of us, squealing in delight. For me it was hard come, easy go.

Amos Brenneman, 1864: ........I did not receive the box {of shoes}, I would like to have it, for my shoes are bad when it rains. I get wet feet and that I don't like. I would sooner have a wet c**k .

J.D. James, 1865, to his friend, John Wilson: You spoke of some marriages. It does me good to hear of weddings if I can't get to see any them. It is very seldom you hear of marriage here, for in fact there aren't any girls in this country except those that is strictly on the f**k for $5 a go. I take a snoot full about once a month. 

Hmmmm. Guess it's easy to see why the men didn't save that correspondence.

All information from: Sex In the Civil War: The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell
Thomas P. Lowry, MD
Stackpole Books, 1994


  1. That is really interesting. I love reading your Tues. facts. I like that you included some quotes.

  2. Thanks for sharing this resource with us. I'm writing a Civil War historical, so I'll have to look up that book. :)