Is that Tillie on the cover?

Bio-TillieYes, it is! Not only is it Tillie, but many believe it is Tillie at about the age (15) when the Battle of Gettysburg took place. In spending a lot of time looking at her photo, I have come to believe it was taken after her harrowing experiences. There is a sadness and seriousness in her eyes that a teenage girl might not usually show. In fact, someone asked me early on if this might not actually be a photo of Tillie as a young woman, perhaps in her 20s. I could answer that one definitively: no. How was I so sure? Because of her hairstyle.

The style of the day for women was to part their hair in the center—men most often parted their on the side—without bangs. A young girl or teenage girl often wore this shorter style, called a “bob,” in the 1860s. If Tillie had been older here, and married, she would have had longer hair pulled back into a bun or into ringlets.

tilliepierce olderOnly one other photo of Tillie exists, and it is probably of her around the time of her marriage to Horace Alleman in 1871, at age 23. It’s hard to see how long her hair is, but it seems to be pulled back into a braid that crowns her head. Notice that her earrings and brooch match, another style of the day. (Most earrings in that day were for pierced ears, by the way.)

I wish more photos of Tillie could be found. I’ll keep looking! In any case, she was a lovely girl whose image now graces the cover of a book.

You can read more about hairstyles during the Civil war here: Florida Reenactors: The 1860s’ Lady

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