Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Charlotte Forten

African American Civil War Nurse

From the U.S. National Library of Medicine
Charlotte Forten was born in Philadelphia in 1837 and was the first African American to travel south in 1862, to teach former slaves during the Civil War.
Spending much of her time in South Carolina, she volunteered as a nurse in the summer of 1863, caring for wounded soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of the United States Colored Infantry after their defeat at Fort Wagner.
Although her time as a nurse was brief due to illness, she understood the impact nurses made on wounded soldiers. While capturing her hospital observations in a daily journal, she noted this about a nineteen year old soldier, "He is very badly wounded…in both legs…this poor fellow suffers terribly. But he utters no complaint, and it is touching to see his gratitude for the least kindness that one does him."


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