Wartime entertainment seemed to be a theme in a couple New York City weekly picture publications 100 years ago. In Verdun:
Newport: fancy dress for the Red Cross:
Back to that blue-gray thing. I actually saw a photo that reminded me a bit of the Civil War. During the Sesquicentennial commemoration there were several stories of women who disguised themselves so they could serve as soldiers. One hundred years ago a woman dressed up like a soldier so she could accompany her husband over there. It didn’t work; when found out she was sent back to the States and presumably one of the newest states. On the other hand, at least one locality hired a female as police officer. Women also modeled new uniforms for war-related organizations. And the Red Cross was also raising funds on the West Coast.
In his book about the American Civil War, Seneca County (NY) Historian Walt Gable wrote about one woman who didn’t have to disguise herself to accompany her husband during his war service. Jeremiah Gahan (listed as Gahn in the roster) served in the 148th New York Infantry from August 1862 to the unit’s mustering out in June 1865. And so did his wife Mary, whose
job was to launder and mend soldier’s clothing. She received a fee for doing this work. She traveled with the Regiment. One person described her efforts this way: “In all the marches of that regiment Mary bore her part as bravely as the strongest soldier of them all….She shared the perils and fatigues of its Virginia Campaigns and was with it at its triumphant return.”
Walt references George Shadman, They Marched on Richmond: The Story of the Gallant 148th New York Volunteers, (Watkins Glen, NY: G. Shadman, 1996, p. 206. I wonder if Mary lived in the trenches at Cold Harbor. I wonder if the women had to pony up the 98 cents for that kitchen uniform or was it on the taxpayers. Maciste seems to be something like James Bond in Italian cinema – many movies over a long time period with different actors in the lead role. “The Warrior” was released in Italy in 1916. All the images in this post were first published on July 22, 1917 and can be found at the Library of Congress: NY Times and NY Tribune
-  Gable, Walter Seneca County And The Civil War. Charleston, S.C.: The History Press, 2014. Print. pages 70-72. ↩