Stage to Page


For the previous two years, I have been writing vignettes for Untold Stories to celebrate Black History Month. Sponsored by the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield, I’ve written original one-act plays depicting little-known episodes in African American history. These were presented at several historic churches in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Patrons travel from one church to another to see the various stories. This year we’re focusing on Women’s History Month and will present three vignettes. One will highlight women’s contribution and sacrifice during the Civil War.

In 1862 and 1864, St. George’s Episcopal Church served as a hosptial and then waiting area for wounded Union soldiers until they could be tranfered to the field hospitals at Belle Plains. Northern women traveled south as members of the U.S. Christian Commission and U.S. Sanitary Commission to bring food, clothing and medical supplies. They also brought their courage, committment and Christian religion to comfort the soldiers. They cared for the sick in many ways: bandaging wounds, feeding those who had lost their limbs, and writing letters to the loved ones soldiers left back home.

Women also served as soldiers. Like Deborah Sampson in the Revolutionary War, they disguised themselves as men, enlisted, and witnessed the bloodiest battles of war and crossed enemy lines, as did Emma Edmonds, aka: Frank Thompson.