Sunday, August 30, 2015

Caroline Asenath Grant Burghardt (1831-1922) Civil War Nurse

From:, 8-23-12

Born in Massachusetts, was working as a governess in New York when the Civil War began. One of the youngest applicants accepted by Dorothea Dix, she served as a nurse in Washington, D.C., Antietam, Gettysburg, Fortress Monroe, Winchester, and Alexandria.

She was one of five nurses sent to Wilmington, North Carolina, to receive and care for Union soldiers who were released from Andersonville Prison. Burghardt’s dark hair reportedly turned white from the strain of her one month of service there. Her fellow nurses were not as lucky—three died, and the other became an invalid for life from diseases contracted from the men. Burghardt returned to Washington with a load of forty men who had lost their feet while imprisoned in the South.

Burghardt served until September 1865, making her the second longest serving nurse under Dix’s authority. After the war, she attended Howard University, then the only college in Washington that accepted female students. She graduated from the Medical Department in 1878. Dr. Burghardt practiced medicine in Washington and also worked for the Treasury Department. When Burghardt died in 1922, she was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in a section with her fellow Army nurses of the Civil War.


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