Female Nurses of the Civil War

Female Nurses of the Civil War

"You have given your boys to die for their country;
now you can give your girls to nurse them."

(Nurse Mary Stinebaugh to her father in 1863)

Some historians believe that somewhere between 3,000 and 8,000 women volunteered their services as nurses throughout the duration of the Civil War, the majority of them being from northern states. However, such an estimate is questionable due to the fact that several nurses, upon receiving appointments, refused to have their names recorded in the official books. Mrs. M. J. Boston once said to the surgeon she was working under, "I do not want any pay for my services. I only try to do all I can for the soldiers." Other women who made similar decisions found it even more difficult to collect pensions later in their lives. With the lack of documentation, it is nearly impossible to claim the exact number of women who performed duty as nurses. Yet, we do know that their work was greatly appreciated by the men they cared for. John G. B. Adams, once the National Commander of the G.A.R., expressed that the memory of these nurses "will ever live in the hearts of the veterans they nursed with such tender care."

Although this web site will never reach completion, I have attempted to revive the memory of the female nurses, both northern and southern, by providing accurate information on the work they accomplished. Because this is a work in progress, please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or concerns. My goal is only to preserve the legacy of these nurses so they may not be forgotten.

Table of Contents

Who They Were

What They Did

How They Dressed

Researching Your Civil War Nurse Ancestor --Coming Soon!

References And Links

About Me

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Britta Arendt, the Webmaster, portraying vivandiere, Marie Tepe, with the 114th PA Zouaves at 140th Gettysburg, August 2003

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Copyright 2002 by Britta Arendt