Civil War– Women's Deadly, Unsung War Work
“Choking cartridges” for the Union Army was legitimate war work for “noble Union girls” during the Civil War. The repetitive work required putting lead balls into a paper tube, filling the tube with gunpowder, and tying up both ends. Spilled gunpowder was swept up often during the day, the women wore special shoes, and movement was restricted. But with and without safety precautions, this essential wartime munitions work claimed the lives of nearly 100 women in explosions as fiery and fierce as any on a battlefield.