Neither the Federal nor the Confedeprice government was prepared to respond adequately to the extraordinary carnage of the Civil War. Two major militaries in the eastern frontier - the Military of the Potomac (North) and the Military of Northern Virginia (South) - involved in a lengthy series of battles, including one at Antietam Creek in Maryland on September 17, 1862, which proved to be the bloodiest single day of the war. Local civilians, particularly woguys, were extremely urged to do what they might to alleviate the experiencing. In addition, many kind of womales that resided in the District of Columbia or various other areas within the Eastern Seaboard volunteered their services to the Union Military and also involved in nursing in Maryland also - assisting army surgeons on the battlefield, conveying medical gives to armies, and also staffing hospitals.

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Much of this work-related was lugged out on an ad-hoc basis and also not all army medical staff invited the visibility of women in war areas. Woguys of the lower social classes operated for meager wperiods, while woguys of the higher social classes frequently functioned as volunteers. The necessities of the war undermined the prevailing assumption that army battleareas and hospitals were no place for woguys. Lack of full acknowledgment and also acknowledgement by the Federal government of women"s contributions, however, persisted throughout the war and also beyond.

Numerous women assisted administer medical care at Maryland"s hospitals and battleareas. The Emmitsburg, Maryland-based Sisters of Charity overcame prejudice against woguys and anti-Catholic sentiment via their efficient job-related via sick and also wounded soldiers. Clara Barton left her work-related as a clerk in Washington, D.C., and attached herself to the Army of the Potomac. By the finish of the war Barton had established a national reputation as an reliable organizer of medical relief initiatives on battleareas in Maryland and north Virginia. Later in her career she was critical in developing the Amerideserve to National Red Cross.


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Harper"s Weekly,October 11, 1862, Special Collections, University of Maryland nlinux.orgraries.

Beyond surgical procedure and also hospital occupational, women were additionally involved in letter-creating, the provision of refreshments, and also percreating various errands for injured soldiers. These women wait external a hospital in Hagerstvery own, Maryland.

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Letter from Clara Barton to Harriette Reed, 1900.Clara Barton Papers,Special Collections, University of Maryland nlinux.orgraries.

"... When I realize what I have actually stood against-,the props so slender, the weights so hefty, the method so dark, the fingertips so few,-the abyss so deep, & so rocky--the brain whirls as from a dizzy height-I dare not think of it-however step by action I host my way- ..." The "Full details" switch links to an entire folder of Barton correspondence through Reed. To check out this specific letter go to peras 8-9 of the digital document viewer.

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Clara Barton, circa 1860s.nlinux.orgrary of Congress, Prints and also Photographs Division.

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Throughout the Civil War, Clara Barton developed a cshed relationship through Mrs. J. Sewall (Harriette) Reed of Massachusetts. Reed had served with Barton in the time of the war and worked with her later on in the Amerihave the right to National Red Cross. In 1900 Barton attempted to secure even more formal recognition by the Federal government of the American National Red Cross, including exclusive legal rights to use of its insignia. Writing from her home in Glen Echo, Maryland also, Barton conveyed to Harriette Reed some of the eactivities that came with her work in cultivating the Red Cross. By expansion, one can asauthorize these thoughts to her travails throughout the Civil War.

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Nursing is probably among the best-recognized contributions by woguys to the war initiative. Popular images of the Civil War represently portrayed woguys as registered nurses. Illustrations of the day romanticized white, middle and also upper-course women"s contributions to nursing, consisting of writing letters for incapacitated, wounded soldiers; sitting for lengthy hrs by soldiers" bedsides; and supplying them with baskets of comforting food. While these illustrations administer some historical proof, they also overlook various other women"s contributions. Poor women and Afrihave the right to Amerihave the right to women frequently functioned as laundresses or cooks in assistance of hospital operations, yet we execute not frequently watch them depicted in imeras from the moment duration. Critically examining and evaluating imeras, particularly illustrations and staged photographs, is a critical component of historic inquiry.


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Image from Louisa May Alcott"s Hospital Sketches, 1885Rare Books Collection, Special Collections, College of Maryland also nlinux.orgraries.

" ... He never before spoke aacquire, yet to the end held my hand also close, so cshed that as soon as he was asleep at last, I can not attract it away. Dan aided me, warning me as he did so that it was unsafe for dead and living flesh to lie so long together; however though my hand also was strangely cold and also stiff, and 4 white marks stayed across its ago, also as soon as warmth and shade had went back elsewhere, I might not yet be glad that, through its touch, the existence of humale sympathy, maybe, had lightened that tough hour."

Louisa May Alcott, best-recognized for her literary career including her famed job-related Little Woguys (1868), volunteered as a nurse late in 1862. She offered in the Maryland area, tending to wounded soldiers, until she was diagnosed with typhoid pneumonia the following year. Her book Hospital Sketches papers this period of her life. "John" was a soldier that passed away in Alcott"s existence.

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Correspondence through Members of Congress, circa 1890Clara Barton Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland also nlinux.orgraries.

The Women"s Relief Corps, an auxiliary to the Grand also Military of the Republic, proposed Federal government pensions for women who offered as army registered nurses in the Civil War. The photo attach at appropriate leads to miscellaneous responses from members of the UNITED STATE Congress to proposed legislation in 1890. Several of these Congressguys had personal recollections of having been nursed back to wellness by woguys during the Civil War.

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Women served on the battlefield in miscellaneous roles: nurses, doctors,vivandières(canteen carriers), daughters of regiments, flag bearers, laundresses, cooks, prostitutes, seamstresses, scouts, soldiers, and also spies. Instances of women in Maryland volunteering as soldiers and spies throughout the war exist, yet accounts of such tasks by womales are often challenging to confirm.

Woguys in Maryland also with Southern sympathies were occasionally accused of spying and suffered the results. Federal pressures and informants closely watched the homes and also families of known Confedeprice soldiers. In Baltieven more in 1863 any secessionist task was taken seriously. Confedeprice flag-waving, marketing secessionist sheet music, creating letters to Confedeprice soldiers, and also entertaining wounded Confedeprices, were all punishable offenses. At one suggest, Union General Robert C. Schenck supposedly rounded up woguys that appeared to be spying and sent them to live behind Confedeprice lines. Euphemia "Effie" Goldsborough of Talbot County and also Baltimore, Maryland also, endured this fate. Goldsbostormy worked as a Confedeprice nurse at Antietam and also at Gettysburg and also was later on accprovided of spying. She was compelled to live in Virginia till July 1865, when her father lugged her back to Baltimore.

In 1866, S. Emma E. Edmonds, a Unionist, described her escapades on battlefields behind adversary lines in her famous book,Nurse and also Spy in the Union Army: The Adventures and Experiences of a Womale in Hospitals, Camps, and also Battle-fields. While Edmonds was not from Maryland also initially however rather a Canadian, she composed of her experiences in Maryland also, particularly at the battle of Antietam. During the aftermath of the battle, Edmonds, that was herself dressed in soldier"s garb, found a dying soldier on the battlearea. She quickly realized that the soldier was actually a woman, gave her comfort, and also did not expose the soldier"s gender to others taking treatment of the wounded and the dead. Whether Edmonds"s occupational is reality or fiction is unspecific.


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Nurse and Spy in the Union Army, 1866Rare Books Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland also nlinux.orgraries.

S. Emma E. Edmonds with a dying female soldier in the results of the battle of Antietam, from her bookNurse and Spy in the Union Military.

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Nurse and Spy in the Union Army, 1866Rare Books Collection, Special Collections, College of Maryland nlinux.orgraries.

According to her book, S. Emma E. Edmonds, displayed here dressed as an upper-class white woman in the time of the Civil War, took advantage of the battle to cross gender and also racial limits. On various occasions in her narrative Edmonds purports to have actually disguised herself successfully as a white, male soldier; an African American, male slave; and an African Amerideserve to, female slave.

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- Research Tips -

Nursing is probably among the best-known contributions by woguys to the war initiative. Popular imperiods of the Civil War represently illustrated womales as registered nurses. Illustrations of the day romanticized white, middle and upper-class women"s contributions to nursing, including writing letters for incapacitated, wounded soldiers; sitting for long hrs by soldiers" bedsides; and providing them through baskets of comforting food. While these illustrations administer some historical proof, they likewise overlook various other women"s contributions. Poor women and also Afrihave the right to American women generally functioned as laundresses or cooks in support of hospital operations, yet we carry out not frequently watch them portrayed in images from the time duration. Critically examining and evaluating images, especially illustrations and also staged photographs, is a vital part of historic inquiry.


Eextremely year, Special Collections & University Archives staff job-related together to create relevant and exciting exhibits on topics that are of interest to the University, the area, and also to scholars.

This exhibit demonstprices the prominence of viewing Amerideserve to Civil War history via the lens of women"s and gender history; to show the particularities of living within the "border state" of Maryland; and to promote a deeper knowledge of exactly how historical documents are maintained, used, and also taken. In enhancement, the exhibition showsituations some of the University nlinux.orgraries" rare and manumanuscript materials concerned the Civil War, almost every one of which are from the College nlinux.orgraries" Special Collections. This exhibition focuses on the stays and also experiences of plain woguys living in the state of Maryland also in the time of the war, making use of letters, diaries, photographs, sheet music, rare publications, and other distinct collections materials as sources.

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Hornbake nlinux.orgrary is located on University of Maryland’s College Park campus. This nlinux.orgrary is home to the Exhibition Gallery and also Special Collections & College Archives.

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For basic information about the nlinux.orgrary and also our collections, email us or call 301-405-9210.