In the last of Gerard's his eight-part series on the Civil War, he writes devastation is synonymous with the Civil War and affected not only beleaguered troops from both sides but a large population left behind; women. With men off fighting the war, women were left behind to cope with everyday life, but this everyday existence differed between dissimilar socio-economic groups. Those who enjoyed a privileged life before conflict continued to live with some degree of comfort and when war threatened too close, these women could pick-up and move away. Middle-class and lower-class women experienced greater degrees of hardship and much sooner into the conflict. Yet no segment of the female population suffered more than African-Americans, abandoned by husbands or abused by Confederate and Union troops alike.