Record Details

Catalog Search

Civil War nurse narratives, 1863-1870 / Daneen Wardrop ; design by April Leidig.

Wardrop, Daneen, 1952- (author.). Leidig, April, (designer.).

Electronic resources

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781609383688 (e-book)
  • Physical Description: 1 online resource (278 pages) : illustrations, photographs
  • Publisher: Iowa City, Iowa : University of Iowa Press, 2015.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Louisa May Alcott's Hospital Sketches: a readership -- Georgeanna Woolsey's Three Weeks at Gettysburg: connecting links -- Julia Dunlap's Notes of Hospital Life: women's rights, benevolence, and class -- Elvira Powers's Hospital Pencillings: travel, dissent, and cultural ties -- Anna Morris Holstein's Three Years in Field Hospitals of the Army of the Potomac: the dead line -- Sophronia Bucklin's In Hospital and Camp: rank-and-file nursing -- Julia S. Wheelock's The Boys in White: narrative construction.
Summary, etc.:
Civil War Nurse Narratives, 1863--1870, examines the first wave of autobiographical narratives written by northern female nurses and published during the war and shortly thereafter, ranging from the well-known Louisa May Alcott to lesser-known figures such as Elvira Powers and Julia Wheelock. From the hospitals of Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, to the field at Gettysburg in the aftermath of the battle, to the camps bordering front lines during active combat, these nurse narrators reported on what they saw and experienced for an American audience hungry for tales of individual experience in the war. As a subgenre of war literature, the Civil War nurse narrative offered realistic reportage of medical experiences and declined to engage with military strategies or Congressional politics. Instead, nurse narrators chronicled the details of attending wounded soldiers in the hospital, where a kind of microcosm of US democracy-in-progress emerged. As the war reshaped the social and political ideologies of the republic, nurses labored in a workplace that reflected cultural changes in ideas about gender, race, and class. Through interactions with surgeons and other officials they tested women's rights convictions, and through interactions with formerly enslaved workers they wrestled with the need to live up to their own often abolitionist convictions and support social equality. By putting these accounts in conversation with each other, Civil War Nurse Narratives productively explores a developing genre of war literature that has rarely been given its due and that offers refreshing insights into women's contributions to the war effort. Taken together, these stories offer an impressive and important addition to the literary history of the Civil War.
Source of Description Note:
Description based on print version record.
Subject: Nurses > United States > History > 19th century.
United States > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 > Medical care.
United States > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 > Personal narratives.
United States > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 > Women.

Syndetic Solutions - CHOICE_Magazine Review for ISBN Number 9781609383688
Civil War Nurse Narratives, 1863-1870
Civil War Nurse Narratives, 1863-1870
by Wardrop, Daneen
Rate this title:
vote data
Click an element below to view details:

CHOICE_Magazine Review

Civil War Nurse Narratives, 1863-1870


Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

The US Civil War divided the nation yet opened doors for women occupationally. Thousands of women in the North nursed sick and injured soldiers in hospitals and on the battlefront, in so doing stepping outside their socially mandated position of tending sick family members at home. The women served in hospitals from Washington, DC, to Gettysburg to Philadelphia and in camp hospitals bordering battle lines at the front. In all, more than 20,000 women served soldier-patients--among those women, Roman Catholic nuns, freed black women living in Northern camps, and family members and friends who traveled to tend their wounded loved ones. Wardrop (English, Western Michigan Univ.) examines the narratives of nine Northern female nurses, including the well-known Louisa May Alcott and several less-famous figures such as Julia Dunlop and Anna Morris Holstein. Detailing daily demands during the bloody war that nearly tore the US apart, these autobiographical narratives reveal three mid-19th-century concerns: women's rights, interracial interactions, and the development of a national character. Wardrop does an excellent job of drawing critical information about the war, women's issues, and the period in general from these narratives. An ideal collection for those interested in women's studies and US history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. --Rebekah Ray, independent scholar

Additional Resources