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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.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.The number of female soldiers in the War is estimated at between 400 and 750, although an accurate count is impossible because the women had to disguise themselves as men.A Union officer was once quoted regarding how a Union sergeant was "in violation of all military law" by giving birth to child, and this was not the only case where the true sex of a soldier was discovered due to childbirth.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.
Prostitution experienced a large growth and spread across the North and South, and was one of the few industries to cross enemy lines throughout the duration of the war.
A newspaper estimated there were 5000 public women in the District and another 2500 in Alexandria and Georgetown, bringing the total to 7500 by the war's third year".
However, it was the towns located just outside the camps where prostitution was most prominent.
Federal troops who committed rape while invading the southern states mostly took advantage of black rather than white women, and black soldiers were usually punished more severely for the crime than their white counterparts.
The term "homosexuality" was not coined until thirty years after the war ended.