Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mary Niall Mitchell

Second Advisor

Connie Zeanah Atkinson

Third Advisor

Michael Mizell-Nelson


Although scholars have explored women’s public resistance in occupied cities during the Civil War, few have explored women in occupied New Orleans. Studies have been limited to the rambunctious activities of women in the city streets, armed with sharp tongues. The use of private spaces, specifically religious spaces, as a platform for protest, has not been explored. By analyzing the events surrounding the closure of an uptown church on October of 1862, known as “The Battle of Saint Paul’s,” this thesis will address Confederate female activism and protest to Union occupation in New Orleans. It will do so by examining competing press accounts as well as a song inspired by the event. For its female members, the church was the last community-held space in the city. The women of St. Paul’s fought Union control of the only public space that afforded them a degree of autonomy within occupied New Orleans.


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