In “The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell,” author Thomas P. Lowry writes that the Victorian age indulged in euphemism, usually referring to prostitutes as soiled doves or Cyprians. He notes that to solve a serious problem in his command at Nashville in July 1863, Lt. Col. George Spaulding of the Eighteenth Michigan Regiment chartered a steamer to remove “all [white] women of known to be of vile character.” Within a month they were all back in Nashville, though their places had been quickly “filled by their black colleagues.” Camp Washington below, was a rendezvous point for Philadelphia companies in 1861, located near Easton, Pennsylvania.
Venus in Distress
“It was discovered in Camp Washington this morning, that a certain young lady of easy virtue and strong Union proclivities, had testified her loyalty to the Federal cause by establishing her headquarters at camp, where she had passed a restless night in exhorting the military to patriotic deeds of daring when they should be brought face to face with the Southern foe, etc.
The commanding officer being apprised of the fact and being unwilling that her health should fall victim to her zeal, ordered a military escort to conduct her beyond the boundaries of the camp. Accordingly, our Amazon was marched off with military honors, but terrible to relate, so thoroughly had she ingratiated herself into the good graces of the soldiery, that they refused to leave her without some substantial token by way of a . . . [remembrance].”
(Civil War History of the 47th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, Lewis G. Schmidt, self-published, 1986, pg. 21)