ENG 11, Section: 1853
October 30, 2008
Getting to know Sarah Rosetta Wakeman
A. Personal letters allow the possibility of honestly knowing someone whom you’ve never had the opportunity of meeting.
B. An Uncommon Soldier: The Civil War Letters of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Pvt. Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, 1862-1864 by Lauren Cook Burgess reveals this through a series of letters from a female Civil War Soldier called Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Private Lyons Wakeman.
C. Through her letters Rosetta Wakeman reveals her deep rooted faith in her God, the significant of the relationships with the people who knew her the best, desires from life, conflicting personalities, and a strong will for never giving up.
a. Sarah Rosetta Wakeman
- Hidden amongst male soldiers
- Able to fight as good as the other boys.
- She likes a challenge
- Proud of her skills
- Doesn’t give up
b. Pvt. Lyon/Edwin Wakeman
- Believes in ability to destroying the enemy
- Happy to be a soldier
- Less trusting
- Mind is never easy
- Does not see self as woman but as a male soldier.
c. Rosetta Wakeman Vs Lyon/Edwin Wakeman
- Believes death is near
- After the battle she now desires to go back home
- It’s obvious that she enjoys her independence but she misses her family and wants to see them again.
- She goes into an identity crises as she signs Edwin Wakeman or Rosetta Wakeman.
- She is stuck between two worlds
d. Her desires for life
- She no longer wanted to live life caged in her home town.
- She wanted to be free and experience life.
- Wanted to help provide for her family in a way a man would.
- She wanted to travel.
- She sends letters home to her family reassuring them of her wellness.
- She sends as much money as she can spare to her family.
- The fact that her family saved all her letters shows the importance she had in their lives.
- She often tries to heal old wounds and make amends for old conflicts she had with her family.
- She sends trinkets and pictures to remember her.
- She is obligated to family and people around her.
Conclusion: Use the writing activity done in class for this section.