Student Research Paper
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Adalbert Johann Volck’s 1861 sketch of Union soldiers, “Searching for Arms,” represents a substantial contribution to the narrative about gender relations during the American Civil War. This simple, small sketch offers the observer a window into the past. It is a collision of symbols and meaning—from gender to war to the household—all wrapped up in one image. This is a portrait sketch of a woman being invaded in her domestic, private sphere, revealing so much about gender relations during the time. The mistress herself seemed to embody a vast range of sentiments such as anger, fear, frailty, and strength, proving the tension in her role as a wife, a mother, and guardian of the home. This inner conflict is something that all women faced during this time as they strove to remain loyal to the cause for which their husbands fought.
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Hatcher, Lynn B., "Visual Culture Project: Confederate War Etchings: Searching for Arms by Adalbert Johann Volck" (2017). Student Publications. 535.