“ I thank you for the perception which enabled you to see what drag it sometimes is on a woman to “lug about” the ladder upon which man plants his foot & ascends to the intellectual heaven of peace in ignorance of the machinery which feeds his daily life-& yet it is not always so. Rightly managed, prayerfully taken, women also may ascend, using each of their petty cares as an advance toward that “heaven” which is gained by self conquest, self abnegation.” (Edmondston, 166)
Catherine Edmondston’s life, during the Civil War, was thrown into a whirlwind of stifled emotion, glorified enthusiastic feelings of Southern patriotism, new domestic duties, and re-defined personal relationships. Catherine utilizes and recognizes the very power she held, within her own gender sphere, to attempt to hold together the very foundation of her Southern identity and sacrifice for the Confederate cause. Even though Catherine was confined to her established female expectations, she conceptualized a more complex emotional, psychological, and behavioral role of the ideal Southern woman in the 19th century.