The Big Walnut Area Historical Society is looking for a few good women.

The Big Walnut Area Historical Society is looking for a few good women.

The historical society for the first time is putting together a re-enactment of a Ladies Aid Society that existed during the Civil War, said society president Polly Horn.

"Under various names, the ladies (during the war) formed groups dedicated to collecting necessities for the troops and the families they left behind. Many of these groups became known as Ladies' Aid Societies and attached themselves to churches," Horn said.

Women and girls of all ages are welcome to be a part of the re-enactment, which will take place May 15, she said. It will either be inside or next door to the historical society, 45 S. Columbus St., Sunbury.

Any time spent on the re-enactment will be strictly volunteer, Horn said.

"This is an opportunity to learn more about the Civil War era. The death ratio of men killed from poor living conditions outnumbered those shot three to one.

"Women saw this as an opportunity to do their part for the cause," Horn said.

Many Ladies' Aid Societies continued to work with churches to provide for those in need well through the 20th century, she said.

"The names may have changed today, but Ladies Clubs are the backbone of many churches," Horn said.

The clubs also led to the beginning of the women's rights movement, she said.

One of those volunteers was Clara Barton. She later started the Red Cross in 1881, Horn added.

"We hope to form a Ladies' Aid Society to support the General Rosecrans Department of the Ohio Headquarters Unit which is a part of the historical society," she said.

General Rosecrans Department of the Ohio Headquarters Unit is made up of individuals from different units who report to the general as they would have done in the time of battle, Horn said.

These men also belong to their own re-enactment units, she added. For more information, log on to

Rachel Edwards, who is assisting Horn, said this is a good history lesson for children.

"I think it's important to keep history alive in any form that's authentic -- not necessarily what you see in old movies," she said. "It's important that kids understand what the past really meant."

Edwards said she enjoys working with children and "seeing the light come on in their eyes when they realize that they've never thought about people having to do certain things or things being a certain way.

"What we have now came from hardship and suffering back then and it's still going on in many ways," she added. "This gives them an appreciation for why we need to preserve what has been handed down to us.

"It gives them a more rounded view of what life was like back then," she added.