Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
This, because what a surviving nurse said years later of those lost, sticks in my head. Posted her comment before, but it belongs amongst her peers. How flowers and vines take over the stones, and butterflies play where sorrow once walked from a grave.
Hoping this may grow into something with greater form. Numbers of casualties, from reading various sources, seem arguable; 620, 000 soldiers or more, perished in the American Civil War. There is no count, much less estimate of how many nurses perished between 1861 and 1865.
Someone should correct this.
North and South, women and men, too, served as nurses to men not only wounded by the machines of war, but stricken with those disease. Diptheria, typhoid, cholera, sepsis, TB, measles, influenza and any infection carried by any bacteria happily breeding under conditions which would overwhelm the immune system of an average pig.
But still they came, our nurses. Most without pay. Dix was enabled to muster 10% of a humanizing force, our Army nurses, on a payroll. The rest? Aid societies, most famously The Sanitary Commission, The Christian Commission, each state's ( North and South ) aid societies, countless city, town, church and plain, old groups of ladies formed to plain, old send help.
And civilians. The war rolled through towns like a tsunami. Civilians brought wounded in from the streets, slept on the floor, hung red flags from windows announcing ' Wounded, here '. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends traveled to battlefields in search of wounded loved ones. More stayed than we can know- many stayed to nurse after finding their loved one dead. Nurses, all.
It will be tough, creating a common cemetery for all of them, if not giving each a name. It must be done.
Next post, suggestions, please. I'll start, with how to do it in a thread. No ego here, if anyone has ideas, please, please say so. keeping count through pages ( I hope ) of a thread, without duplicating will require effort. Our nurses, North and South, deserve it.