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NurseErin

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NurseErin

Private
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
34
Is there anyone within your reenacting community that does Medical demonstrations or Sanitary Commission??

One of the people in my battery puts on a medical show which I intend to ask him tons of questions when I meet him. I would also like to develope something more nurse related that I could do on my own as he doesn't come to every event.
 
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johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,956
Location
South of the North 40
One of the people in my battery puts on a medical show which I intend to ask him tons of questions when I meet him. I would also like to develope something more nurse related that I could do on my own as he doesn't come to every event.
Quite a few nurses were simply laundresses who stepped up to do what needed to be done. Most were lower to middle class women without a lot of coin who had a direct reason to get involved. Some had family who went off to war and they wished to contribute others lost family & friends and wished to help in any way they could.

I would suggest scrolling through the Impressions Forum and take a look at various impressions for women, there are several that might provide inspiration.

One of my favorite descriptions of a lady from the era is of a laundress with the 4th MN VI. She was seen driving the regimental ammo wagon wearing a cast off cavalry jacket, an officers dress hat and a simple blue dress. She was a free woman of color who was a laundress, cook & nurse who went back to MN w/ the Regt. She is essentially the impression my wife emulates.
 
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Blessmag

Captain
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
6,144
Location
Minnesota
Don't we have several nurses in CivilWarTalk. BBF comes to mind as one of them. And a mother and or daughter does that as well.
 
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MaryDee

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
Messages
3,141
Here is an excellent reference on Civil War era appearance for women, including dress, hairdo, accessories, etc.
https://www.amazon.com/Who-Wore-What-Womens-1861-1865/dp/0939631814/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486506207&sr=1-1&keywords=Leisch--Who+wore+what?

Rather than try to critique your appearance from a not-too-clear photograph (if you are there), I'll just recommend strongly that you (1) purchase the above book, and (2) go online and look at photographs (mostly CDVs--visiting cards made of photos) from the early 1860s. There are a lot of them--study as many as possible!

While the Authentic Campaigner website, mentioned above, is mostly for men, I definitely recommend it for any material they have on women.

Also look up Dorothea Dix's criteria for nurses. You don't necessarily have to adhere to those strict criteria, since not all nurses were under her jurisdiction, but it's a start. Her "no hoops" edict just plain made sense in a crowded hospital ward (as illustrated in the first episode of Mercy Street last year). I do note that most nurses photographed outside the hospital evidently put their hoops on before being photographed!

Of course all the references in prior posts here are excellent! I'd also recommend Mary Livermore's My Story of the War. As a US Sanitary Commission supervisor for the Midwest, she did a lot of everything, including nursing and other hospital work (dietary in particular).
 
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