These were usually pictures of nude women doing innocent things; nude women that were engaging in actual sexual activity were usually not white, but either black or Native American.With the soldiers being far away from their wives and sweethearts, it is speculated these were used for masturbation, and not just for entertainment.However, this is not to say females were not available for sex.
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Some historians have speculated that this growth can be attributed to a depression, and the need for women to support themselves and their families while their husbands were away at war.
Other historians considered the growth of prostitution to be related to the women wanting to spread venereal disease to the opposing troops.
The total rate of VD among the white Union troops was 82 cases per 1000 men, where before and after the war the rate was 87 of 1000.
Union black troops, however, had rates of for syphilis and for gonorrhea.
The false rumor quickly spread in the North that Davis was caught during his escape while dressed as a woman.
Period drawings depicting Davis in full women's dress (bonnet included) were used to ridicule the Confederacy's former President.These small towns were overrun by the sex trade when army troops set up nearby camps.One soldier wrote home to his wife, "It is said that one house in every ten is a bawdy house—it is a perfect Sodom." The most notorious area for prostitution was in Tennessee.After the outbreak of war, the number of brothels skyrocketed."In 1864 there were 450 brothels in Washington, and over 75 brothels in nearby Alexandria, Virginia.During the American Civil War, sexual behavior and attitudes, like many other aspects of life, were affected by the conflict. Photographs of nudity were available as well, and were purchased by both enlisted men and officers.