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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Women Volunteers

By Barbara Maling, R.N., M.S.N., A.C.N.P.

. . . Many women volunteers were devoted caretakers and their contributions were significant. Many Civil War histories refer to women visiting hospitals but do not classify them as nursing staff. These women performed limited nursing activities such as feeding soldiers too weak to feed themselves, writing letters for soldiers, and preparing food.

. . . Many brave women during the Civil War, including those in Charlottesville, defied initial objections against "refined ladies" taking care of strangrs and nursing in military hospitals. They braved the frowns of those around them to volunteer their nursing services despite risk of disease and physical harm to themselves. . . In doing this they overcsme prejudices of many who initially opposed their presence among the wounded and ill.

(Excerpted from: "Women Providing Nursing Care in Charlottesville during The American Civil War, 1861-1865") "The Journal of Civil War Medicine, Vol. 12, No. 4

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