Civil War Widow-In the antebellum South, with social mores that imitated those of England, mourning was just as strictly observed by the upper classes.
When a woman mourned for her husband in the 1860’s, she spent a year in morning. Little or no social activities: no parties, , no outings, no visitors, and a wardrobe that consisted of nothing but black. The following year, she is allowed to wear a shorter veil and adorn her gown with black trimmings, such as lace. During the final 6 months of her mourning period, which can extend to 5 years, she may wear lavender or gray. The switch to these colors signals the change to “half-mourning.” It was not unusual for a widow to dress in mourning attire for the rest of her life.