In conclusion, we see from this exhibit the Civil War was not solely fought by Union and Confederate soldiers. Though the threats Confederate wives faced in their husbands’ absences was not a bayonet, a charging Union soldier, or a canon, the threats of starvation and possible destitution, financial troubles, disease, lack of resources, lack of defense, and the inability to manage a slave plantation were just as life-altering and disastrous as any head-on attack by an enemy on the battlefield. Of course this does not mean soldiers did not face similar problems, but these threats, coupled with the gender dynamics and roles of the Victorian era were enough to crush a Confederate family without the presence of a patriarch. Throughout this exhibit you will see though Martha Poteet and Ann Bowen were placed in these circumstances, they and women like them learned to survive and thrive during the Civil War. Through constant obstacles such as sick children, scarce food resources, terrorizing by the Home Guard, and Union occupation, Martha Poteet and Ann Bowen learned how to fend for themselves and hold their own in their husbands’ absences. They represent the struggle and fight many Confederate wives went through and put up to save their families and themselves. It should also be noted throughout their trials, both Martha and Ann still continued to lift their husbands’ morale despite facing at certain times death, as in the case with Martha. Overall, the goal for this exhibit was to portray firsthand what the experience of being a wife of a Confederate soldier was like during the duration of the Civil War. Throughout this exhibit, primary sources are used in the form of handwritten correspondence letters written by Martha Poteet and Ann Bowen themselves to their husbands, Francis and Henry, respectively. To provide context, I relied on the works of Thavolia Glymph and Steven Ash as my main secondary sources. Glymph’s work in particular was interesting in that part of it explored the ever transforming gender roles of Southern white women before, during, and after the Civil War. This provided great insight in particular into the mindset of the planter’s wife as she not only continued her role as Mistress of the house, but also took on the paternal roles of Master and Overseer in her husband’s absence. Looking at the primary sources, it was evident that both Martha and Ann loved and adored their husbands very much. That despite their sufferings and attempts at continuing to boost their husbands’ morale, they in turn were seeking to boost their own by continuing the correspondence with their husbands throughout the war. One of the things that struck me the most about these handwritten letters was their precise length, always no longer than two pages, with writing sometimes continuing along the edges of the sheet of paper they wrote on. Granted, this could be attributed to how the letters had to be mailed, but it’s fascinating just how much information from back home both Martha and Ann were able to cover in their letters. Overall, what was my original goal in doing this exhibit as a means of telling a story that has not been told before, walking away from it I realize that this exhibit serves instead as a story which finds itself within a history that has been told and retold, edited, restored, transformed, and has been rediscovered time and time again throughout the public education system. I hope this exhibit has been as much fun to look through and learn about as it was researching and majority of the time writing for me.