Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

I owe a profound debt of gratitude to William E. Gienapp, the mentor of the original dissertation, without whose guidance this project would never have been conceived or completed. After taking a Civil War history seminar my first year of graduate school and writing the paper that eventually became my thesis,...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-15

Over 620,000 American men died during the Civil War. The enemy killed only one-third of those lost; two-thirds fell victim to disease.1 This book examines the experience of Southern women who nursed sick and wounded soldiers during the war—their contributions and sacrifices, their relationships with...

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1. State and Private Hospitals

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pp. 17-34

The Confederacy lacked even a rudimentary medical system in April 1861. In the midst of creating a functioning government, the South was grossly unprepared for the inundation of sickness and casualties early in the war, creating an emergency situation that necessitated state and civilian involvement in medical care. State governments sponsored hospitals in Richmond to treat their own...

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2. Matrons’ Work

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pp. 35-56

The staff of a modern hospital (excluding various physicians and medical specialists) includes nurses, nurses’ aides, technicians, chaplains, psychologists, nutritionists, therapists, social workers, and support staff such as janitors and kitchen workers, not to mention various levels of administrators and record keepers. In Civil War hospitals, female nurses often supervised and performed...

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3. Becoming a Nurse

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pp. 57-73

As the Civil War quickly became a more protracted and engulfing conflict than most Americans had predicted, the scope of the medical emergency led to extensive civilian involvement in medical care. Because the war was fought by elected governments and citizen recruits, public opinion remained crucial for the maintenance of the war effort. The military precedent of using detailed and...

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4. Ideal Nursing

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pp. 74-105

Prewar medical care was usually administered within the household; therefore, home became the standard against which wartime care was measured. Nurses, soldiers, and citizens began with preconceived attitudes about hospitals. Although female nursing, both within institutions and in private homes, was an established and growing occupation, hospitals remained either luxurious accommodations...

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5. Civilian Women and Confederate Medical Care

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pp. 106-133

Women on the home front contributed to the care of sick and wounded men in two important ways. Those distant from the fighting created relief societies and raised supplies that helped keep hospitals stocked with food and other essential items, frequently forwarding those goods to official matrons. Women living near hospitals and battlefields often engaged directly in volunteer hospital...

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6. The Hospital Labor Dilemma

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pp. 134-154

The need for nurses and other attendants to staff Civil War hospitals surpassed expectations. The antebellum practice of detailing able-bodied men or using convalescent soldiers in military hospitals proved inadequate but remained in effect throughout the war. Military officers, loath to lose good men, generally relinquished their undesirables and recalled details when they pleased. Although a handful made good nurses, many convalescents were physically...

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7. Conflict and Cooperation

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pp. 155-180

Potential female nurses entered military institutions run by men on behalf of male patients. Their initiation into this masculine world initially occasioned two opposite responses. Soldiers immediately welcomed women, but surgeons, who held the power, regarded women with suspicion at best. Because soldiers viewed female nurses as a reminder of home in an otherwise bleak setting,...

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8. Nursing and Personal Growth

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pp. 181-203

Civil War matrons changed as a result of their work. For most women, the war brought profound alterations to their sense of themselves and expanded their social connections and realm of experience, but it did not change the paramount importance of marriage and family. Following the war, Southern women had more pressing concerns than reflecting on the meaning of their...

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9. Aftermath and Social Change

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pp. 204-221

According to Lost Cause literature, men emerged from the war with honor and women with renewed purity. White Southerners thus reconstructed their world and values through an embellished memory of the war. Individual hospital organizers and matrons became known as heroines, and as the Lost Cause solidified, nursing became a vital aspect of the general memory of Southern...

Notes

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pp. 223-291

Bibliography

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pp. 293-306

Index

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pp. 307-317