Strawberry (Battle) Fields and Gender: A Woman’s Cloisonné Pendant from a Bombarded Encampment of the American Civil War
Located in southeastern North Carolina, Fort Anderson was a Confederate Civil War fortification comprised primarily of defensive earthen mounds. Though garrisoned only by a small company of soldiers, its population swelled in January 1865 as other regional forts were abandoned as Federal forces advanced towards Wilmington. Shortly after this increase, a three-day bombardment by Federal forces left the encampment areas in ruins and Fort Anderson abandoned. During the 2011 excavation in the area of ‘overflow’ barracks structures by students of the William Peace University Archaeological Field School, fragments of a woman’s cloisonné pendant resembling a strawberry were recovered in the context of a wooden encampment structure likely destroyed during the bombardment. This delicate pendant raises interesting questions about gender, regarding the physical or material presence of women among Confederate soldiers that had hastily abandoned other fortifications and in the hazardous location of the Federal bombardment of Fort Anderson.
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Strawberry (Battle) Fields and Gender: A Woman’s Cloisonné Pendant from a Bombarded Encampment of the American Civil War. Hannah Smith, Thomas Beaman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436710)