Judith Giesberg, editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era, is a professor of history at Villanova University. She is the author of four books on the Civil War era: Civil War Sisterhood: The United States Sanitary Commission and Women's Politics in Transition (2000); "Army at Home": Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front (2009); Keystone State in Crisis: Pennsylvania in the Civil War (2013); and Sex and the Civil War: Soldiers, Pornography, and the Making of American Morality (2017). Giesberg also edited Emilie Davis's Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863–1865 (2014) and coedited, with Randall Miller, Women and the American Civil War: North-South Counterpoints (2018). She directs the project Last Seen: Finding Family after Slavery, which is digitizing "Information Wanted" advertisements placed in newspapers by African Americans looking for family members lost in slavery.
This lecture highlights the experiences of working class and poor women in the Civil War North through an exploration of Lydia Bixby, the widow to whom Abraham Lincoln addressed a condolence letter in November 1864.