Military Biography Civil War Hero Anna Ella Carroll Part 3

About the lesser-known Civil War hero Anna Ella Carroll, history and biography of the woman whose military tactics helped win the war.



The plan was put into action and, as Anne had predicted, For Henry fell to Major General Halleck, who was hailed as a hero. Lincoln ordered follow-up attacks on railway connections, which resulted in victory after victory for the Union. But the Union's newfound success was not to be credited to Anne Carroll. While army generals were vying among themselves for credit that rightfully belonged to Anne, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, Congressman Wade, and others held a brainstorming session to outmaneuver them. Grief-stricken by the sudden death of his son, Lincoln pleaded with them to refrain from antagonizing the generals. To Anne he said imploringly, "Could I dare let it be known that the armies of the U.S. are moving under the directing hand of a woman?"

Anne was not named by Congress as the hero, but Representative Roscoe Conkling, directing the House proceedings, went on record as saying that credit should not be appropriated by those to whom it was not due, nor denied to those who deserved it. Wade later wrote that Lincoln had informed him the plan was Miss Carroll's. It was also entered in the Congressional Record that the movement of troops to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad had been her idea and had proceeded according to her detailed suggestions. Stanton--appointed to carry out her over-all plan--concurred, saying, "She...did the great work that made the others famous."

Gradually, Anne's friends and associates died, including Lemuel Evans, to whom she had become engaged. Without the support of leading feminists, she would have been without an advocate. Anne's historic pamphlet "War Powers of the General Government" cannot be located anywhere, although it is listed in the card catalog of the Library of Congress. If it were not for author Sarah Ellen Blackwell, who reprinted the pamphlet in A Military Genius, we would have no record of this document and no one would know that a woman first set forth its principles.

After years of heartbreak, as she watched the falsification of history, Anna Ella Carroll died on Feb. 19, 1893. It is a double paradox that the savior of the Union was a Southerner who rejected the Confederate cause and a woman whose leadership preserved a nation that refused to acknowledge her.

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