Lucy Bainbridge

Nurse for the Union Army While serving as a Union Civil War nurse Lucy Bainbridge was called Sister Ohio because she wore the badge of the Ohio Soldiers’ Aid Society. She was given that name by a Union trooper with both arms wounded to whom she brought water and food. She described her experiences on the battlefield in her autobiography, Yesterdays. Lucy Elizabeth Seaman was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 18, 1842. She was tutored at home until she was nine years old. She then attended grade school, high school, and the Cleveland Female Seminary for one year. She was then transferred to a seminary at Ipswich, Massachusetts. Her extensive education was unusual for females living in that era….

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Julia Wheelock

Teacher, Author and Nurse from Michigan Julia Susan Wheelock volunteered as a nurse for the Michigan Soldier’s Relief Association. In newspaper accounts, she was referred to as The Florence Nightingale of Michigan. After the war, she worked as a clerk at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. Julia was born in Avon, Ohio, on October 7, 1833. When she was four, her father moved the family to Erie, Pennsylvania. Her father died when she was 11 years old, and her mother died when she was 21. Julia then moved to Michigan to be near her brothers, Orville and Chapin. In 1858, she entered Kalamazoo College, majoring in Latin and mathematics. After graduating, she began teaching. In September 1861, Julia’s brother,…

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Eliza Clinedinst Crim

Confederate Nurse at the Battle of New Market Eliza Clinedinst Crim was a young woman living in New Market, Virginia at the time of the Battle of New Market in the Shenandoah Valley on May 15, 1864. Following the long Sunday fight, several of the VMI cadets were taken to Crim’s home, where she fed and cared for them. Crim continued a correspondence with many of the cadets she first met in the aftermath of the battle and became known as the Mother of the New Market Cadets.” Image: Tinted copy of a photo taken circa 1864 Summary of the Battle of New Market: As a part of his spring offensive, General Ulysses S. Grant ordered Federal General Franz Sigel…

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Amy Morris Bradley

Civil War Nurse and Educator Amy Morris Bradley, a schoolteacher from Vassalborough, Maine, abhorred the limitations placed on women in the 19th century. She started out as a field nurse for the Union Army, then became an agent for the U.S. Sanitary Commission. She also served aboard hospital ships and ran a Soldiers’ Home in Washington, DC. When the Civil War erupted, Bradley quickly volunteered her services as a nurse. She was assigned to the Fifth Maine Infantry but soon transferred to a hospital ship on the James River in Virginia. At that time, nursing was viewed as domestic work. Bradley’s abilities led her to the United States Sanitary Commission where she rose through the ranks to become Special Relief…

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Lucy Delaney

Writer and Slave Who Won Her Freedom in Court Lucy Ann Delaney (1830–1891) was an African American author, former slave and activist, notable for her 1891 slave narrative, From the Darkness Cometh the Light, or, Struggles for Freedom. The memoir tells of her mother’s legal battles in St. Louis, Missouri for her own and her daughter’s freedom from slavery. Their cases were two of 301 freedom suits filed in St. Louis from 1814-1860. Edward Bates, the future US Attorney General under President Abraham Lincoln, argued Lucy’s case in court and won. Childhood and Early Years Lucy Ann Berry was born a slave in St. Louis, Missouri in 1830. Lucy’s mother Polly Berry had been born free in Illinois, but was…

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Hetty Cary

Wife of Confederate General John Pegram Hetty Cary (1836–1892) was the wife of CSA General John Pegram. She is best remembered for making the first three battle flags of the Confederacy (along with her sister and cousin). Henry Kyd Douglas, in I Rode With Stonewall, described Hetty as “the handsomest woman in the Southland – with her classic face, her pure complexion, her auburn hair, her perfect figure and her carriage, altogether the most beautiful woman I ever saw in any land.” Hetty Cary was born in Baltimore on May 15, 1836. She was related to two of Virginia’s most influential families, the Jeffersons (through her mother’s family) and the Randolphs (through her paternal grandmother, Virginia Randolph Cary). When the…

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Lizzie Aiken

Union Nurse from Illinois A Civil War nurse, her birth name was Eliza Atherton. She was born on March 24, 1817 in the town of Auburn, New York. Her maternal grandfather was John Ward who was related to General Artemus Ward, a leader of the American Revolution. In March of 1826, Lizzie’s paternal grandfather, Jonathan Atherton of Cavendish, Vermont, died. He left his large farm to Lizzie’s father, Stedman Atherton, with the understanding that he would make it his home and care for his mother for the balance of her life. In October of that year, Stedman moved to Cavendish with his wife and two little girls. Lizzie was nine years old. This was a great change from living in…

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Emeline Pigott

Emeline Pigott

Confederate Nurse and Spy North Carolina native Emeline Pigott offered her services to the Confederate Army as a spy. Single and 25 years old, Pigott hosted parties for local Union soldiers and gathered information about their plans. In the folds of her voluminous skirts she hid important papers and other contraband, which she later passed on to the local Rebels – until 1865, when she was arrested and jailed. Emeline Pigott was born in December 15, 1836, in Harlowe Township, Carteret County, North Carolina, and spent her youth there. When Emeline was 25 years old, just after the Civil War began, she and her parents moved to a farm on Calico Creek at Crab Point on the coast – what…

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Floride Clemson

Floride Elizabeth Clemson was born in 1842, at “Fort Hill,” her grandfather’s estate, near Pendleton, South Carolina. She was educated at a women’s academy in Columbia, South Carolina. Floride Clemson Lee Floride’s father, Thomas Green Clemson, a native Pennsylvanian, was educated in Paris. He was a scientist and a farmer. He combined his two loves and, for most of his life, experimented with various ways of farming scientifically. In 1838, he married Anna Maria Calhoun, the favorite daughter of the distinguished senator from South Carolina, John C. Calhoun. At the time of his granddaughter’s birth, Mr. Calhoun was about to leave the Senate to declare his candidacy for the 1844 presidential election, which he lost. Soon thereafter, he was appointed…

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Cornelia Hancock

Nurse at the Battle of Gettysburg Cornelia Hancock was a nurse for the Union Army whose work at the Battle of Gettysburg where her work was exemplary. The ground was littered with dead and wounded after Pickett’s Charge, and more than 5000 injured Confederate soldiers were left behind when General Robert E. Lee retreated after the three-day battle. The letters Hancock wrote to relatives about her experiences at Gettysburg are priceless. Cornelia Hancock was born February 8, 1840 in southern New Jersey. She was one of five children in a Quaker family. When the Civil War began, her only brother and her cousins went to war against the South, and Cornelia wanted to do her part for the Union cause….

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