Making Good on a Promise: The Education of Civil War Orphans in Pennsylvania, 1863–1893
History of Education Quarterly
During and after the American Civil War, individual state governments, faced with numerous economic demands, struggled to meet the needs of soldiers and their families. Among other pressing questions, they had to decide what to do with the massive number of dependent children orphaned by the war. Pennsylvania, a state that contributed the second most soldiers to the Union cause (only New York contributed more) suffered heavy losses. More than 15,000 Pennsylvania soldiers died in battle or of mortally inflicted battlefield wounds during the conflict. When one factored in death from disease and other causes, the number of Pennsylvania casualties exceeded 33,000. In addition to those who died, many others had their lives shortened by wartime injuries and diseases. Thousands more Pennsylvania soldiers survived the battle and its aftermath, but suffered severe injuries and were left too disabled to work. As a result, an unprecedented number of children became either full orphans or half orphans (those with mothers still living) or lived in families without adequate income to support them.
Bair, Sarah D. "Making Good on a Promise: The Education of Civil War Orphans in Pennsylvania, 1863–1893." History of Education Quarterly 51, no. 4 (2011): 460-485. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/history-of-education-quarterly/article/making-good-on-a-promise-the-education-of-civil-war-orphans-in-pennsylvania-18631893/39C78173641738C108F08A9CBAC6A689