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Child of the Regiment

November 2, 2021
(San Antonio Light, L-0118-H)

The photo of Mrs. Fannie Youree appeared in the San Antonio Light on November 7, 1933.1  At the time of the photo, she was the widow of Capt. F. W. Youree, who had served for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

Capt. Youree married Fannie on the 15th of August of 1860.   He began his military service in the Confederate army as a private in E. P. Tyree’s company, which would become Company C of the Seventh Cavalry Battalion of Tennessee and later as Company D of the Second Tennessee Cavalry.2  He rose through the ranks to become second Lieutenant and then first Lieutenant.

Fannie Youree followed her husband during the war and helped nurse wounded soldiers.  As Catherine Clinton writes, “Wives following their husbands volunteered during trying times.”3  Where would these women stay?  Mary Elizabeth Massey states that those women who wanted to be close to their husbands and were not able to stay “in camp often lived as near the installation as possible.”4  This was the case with Fannie.  The article mentions that she would find housing close to her husband’s regiment and battles.

There is no mention if she served on the field but Jane E. Schultz writes that, “Virtually all who accompanied regiments became field nurses whose chief duties consisted of providing food and relief for the sick and wounded, and foraging for supplies.”5  Fannie Youree’s service to her husband’s company and caring for wounded soldiers won the respect of the regiment.  She was nicknamed the “child of the regiment”.

Fannie returned to Tennessee in 1864, which was not without risk or danger.  After Nashville had surrendered to Union forces on February 1862, “most of Tennessee came under Union military control.” As she returned,  Fannie was captured by Union forces and was accused of being a spy.  Espionage during the Civil War was common.  As Clinton writes, “Clearly, there were scores of loyal Confederate women who gathered intelligence to convey vital information to military and political leaders.”7 After spending 10 days in prison, she was released with the help of Tennessee State Comptroller, Joseph S. Fowler.

One interesting note in Hancock’s diary is that, “She made out nearly all the muster rolls for Company D.”8  No details are given as to what additional tasks she performed with the regiment but Hancock’s note on muster rolls indicate that Fannie provided valuable service that was more than just nursing.

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  1. “Civil War is Recalled by Heroine,” San Antonio Light, November 7, 1933.
  2. Richard Ramsey Hancock, Hancock’s Diary: or, A History of the Second Tennessee Confederate Cavalry, with sketches of First and Seventh Battalions; Also, Portraits and Biographical Sketches (Nashville: Brandon Printing Company, 1887), 610.
  3. Catherine Clinton, Stepdaughters of History:  Southern Women and the American Civil War (Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2016), 57.
  4. Mary Elizabeth Massey, Women in the Civil War (Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1994) 66.
  5. Jane E. Schultz, Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004) 38.
  6. James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) 403. 
  7. Clinton, Stepdaughters of History, 58.
  8. Hancock, Hancock’s Diary, 610.
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