Presentation Explores Women Who Fought in Civil War

Published September 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm Life Enrichment

Life Enrichment will host "Women Soldiers of the Civil War" in early October.

The presentation and discussion by Diane Eickhoff will take place Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 10 a.m. in the Hubbard Welcome Center on the Butler of El Dorado campus. Prior to that, Brad Newby, a Butler alum who has designed and 3D printed a low-cost, high-functioning prosthetic hand, will begin the event with a presentation of his invention at 9 a.m. Newby created the prosthetic as a class assignment for Wichita State University, and is now in the process of developing and perfecting the hand to be sold at little cost.

Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact Life Enrichment at 316-218-6355 for more information. The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council. 
Eickhoff’s presentation talks about how during the Civil War, hundreds of women cut their hair and donned men’s clothing to report for duty to Union and Confederate Army recruiters. Others served as scouts and spies or rode with their husbands and brothers in service. The presentation will explore how and why a fascinating group of women defied cultural norms to become soldiers, especially during a time when there was great emphasis on women’s and men’s separate roles in society. 
Diane Eickhoff is an independent historian, writer and editor of education materials. Her most recent historical biography, Clarina Nichols: Frontier Crusader for Women’s Rights, is published by Quindaro Press. 
“This program evolved out of a single slide that often brought an earlier Speakers Bureau talk of mine to a standstill,” said Eickhoff. “People are as fascinated as I was to learn how so many women were able to disguise themselves as men, and to learn about their different motives for entering the battlefield.” 
“Women Soldiers of the Civil War” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Kansas Stories Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions that examine our shared human experience—our innovations, culture, heritage and conflicts. 
The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities.  For more information about the Kansas Humanities Council at 785-357-0359, or visit 
For more information about the “Women Soldiers of the Civil War” event or Brad Newby’s presentation at Butler Community College, contact Trisha with Life Enrichment at 316-218-6355. 

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