Nurses of the Confederacy

18thVirginia

Major
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
lucy mina otey 2.jpg
Lucy Mina Otey would eventually lose three sons and a son-in-law in the Civil War. At age 60 and a widow, she organized a group of ladies in Lynchburg, Virginia to make bandages and uniforms. With the expansion of the war, women became hospital nurses and matrons.

Due to the opposition of women in hospitals by the local military chief, Dr. William Otway Owen, Mrs. Otey was turned away at a hospital with official orders, "No more women, no more flies." Dr. Owen believed that women had no place in hospitals and should stay home and sew uniforms. He would not allow them to have anything to do with patients. So, Mrs. Otey traveled to Richmond and petitioned President Jefferson Davis to allow her to set up an Independent Ladies' Relief Hospital with beds for 100 patients. The Ladies' Relief Hospital was set up in the old Union Hotel and staffed by the organization of 500 women, with Mrs. Captain Otey as its president. Despite receiving the worst casualties, Mrs. Otey's hospital had one of the lowest mortality rates among military hospitals.

During the first difficult winter, Mrs. Otey requested that women who staffed the hospital be accorded the ability to purchase supplies from the commissary as officers. Her request was denied.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
OH my gosh, thank you! I've read accounts where soldier after soldier has been attended to by nurses but not who there were. LOVE her, don't you? Boy, bet she didn't take ' No' for an answer easily.

I'm guessing as we keep looking we'll keep finding them, first slowly then in a landslide. Know what would be amazing? Someone whose ancestor was nurse, right? OH! Era papers! Hello LoC.
 

18thVirginia

Major
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Expired Image Removed Kate Cumming of Georgia, a native of Scotland, left her home in Mobile, Alabama along with 40 other women and traveled to the Tennessee boarder to treat Confederate victims of the Battle of Shiloh. She continued as a nurse throughout the war, spending a year at a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee where she became a paid nurse in the Confederate Army Medical Department.

She moved to Georgia after Chattanooga fell and served in many field hospitals as Sherman's troops moved South. She was at Americus, Cherokee Springs, Dalton, Newnan, and Ringgold. At the end of the war in 1865, she was serving in Southwest Georgia.

Returning to Mobile after the war, she published an account of her nursing experiences A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee from the Battle of Shiloh to the End of the War. She moved to Birmingham, where she became a teacher. She never married.

http://www.gacivilwar.org/story/kate-cumming
 
Last edited:

RobertP

Major
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Location
Dallas
Juliet Ann Opie Hopkins, discussed in thread last year. Wounded at Seven Pines, portrait appeared on Alabama coinage and paper money during the war, donated between $200,000 and $500,000 to the CSA, known during the war as the Florence Nightingale of the South. Is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Juliet Opie Hopkins, nurse Battle of Seven Pines
by Barrycdog, Campfire Chat Link

Also: http://civilwarwomenblog.com/juliet-hopkins/
 
Last edited:

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Fanny Beers

Thanks for all of these, hope it's ok to flesh some of them out a little?

" A Confederate army surgeon, Dr. William McAllister, was establishing a field hospital at Gainesville, Alabama, to treat the wounded of the Battle of Shiloh. He put a notice in the newspaper asking for a women to serve as matron, and Fannie Beers volunteered immediately.

Dr. McAllister later wrote:

"She said she desired to do something while her husband was at the front defending our Southern homes. I soon found what she lacked in age and experience was made up in patriotism, devotion to the Southern cause, constant vigilance and tenderness in nursing the Confederate sick and wounded.

She remained as hospital matron at Gainesville, Alabama; Ringgold, Georgia; Newnan, Georgia; and Port Valley, Georgia, embracing a period of nearly three years. She was all the time chief matron, sometimes supervising more than one thousand beds filled with sick and wounded. Through heat and cold, night and day, she was incessant in her attentions and watchfulness over the Confederate sick and wounded." "

From the same blog Robert cited.

This is the kind of memorial there is in our thread on Union nurses, where someone fortunately thought to have some write their memories in their own words. Some there could not, or not well- it's nice to hear from this collegue, Dr. William McAllister, something succinct on her devotion to her duty.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Again, hope it's ok to put in a little more information? Her story is so long because she did so, so much it's a little tough to pick through her life.


Juliet Opie Hopkins, from RobertP's post.


" Juliet Hopkins (1818–1890) was born on a plantation in West Virginia, but moved to Mobile, Alabama after marrying Arthur Hopkins. When her husband was appointed to oversee hospitals during the Civil War, Juliet went to work converting tobacco factories into hospitals. She made daily visits to the injured soldiers, and received a wound on the battlefield in the course of her duties. "

" In the Confederate military system, each state was responsible for the care of its own patients. Hopkins moved to Richmond, and in June 1861 began organizing medical services. In August 1861, Hopkins established a hospital for Alabamians. "


" On July 1, 1862, during the Battle of Seven Pines, Juliet was shot in the leg twice while rescuing wounded men from the battlefield. These injuries required surgery, and left her with a permanent limp. "

" Hopkins was so highly regarded by the entire nation that she was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and the members of the Alabama congressional delegation served as her pall bearers. Following her bier as an attendant was General Joseph E Johnston, who years before had called her The Angel of the South. "
http://civilwarwomenblog.com/juliet-hopkins/

hopkins.jpg
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Phoebe Yates Levy Pember (1823-1913). Phoebe was the Matron of the Chimborazo Military Hospital in Richmond. Phoebe Pember came to this hospital in December, 1862, She served here until the end of the war. "She dedicated herself to doing everything possible to relieve the suffering of the soldiers, administering medications, assisting surgeons in operations, patching wounds and caring for patients."

At the end of the war, Phoebe wrote her memoirs of the hardships of life in Richmond including her experiences as matron of Chimborazo Hospital. "A Southern Woman's Story" was first published in 1879. "The book is a landmark work in women's history through Phoebe Pember's vivid description of the difficulties encountered by one of the first women to enter the previously all male domain of nursing."

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/phoebepember.html
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
Expired Image Removed Kate Cumming of Georgia

Returning to Mobile after the war, she published an account of her nursing experiences A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee from the Battle of Shiloh to the End of the War. She moved to Birmingham, where she became a teacher. She never married.

http://www.gacivilwar.org/story/kate-cumming

I only I had the time to read all these fascinating accounts of these great women!!!
Here is her book:
https://archive.org/details/53801782.3341.emory.edu
 

CSA Today

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Location
Laurinburg NC
Again, hope it's ok to put in a little more information? Her story is so long because she did so, so much it's a little tough to pick through her life.


Juliet Opie Hopkins, from RobertP's post.


" Juliet Hopkins (1818–1890) was born on a plantation in West Virginia, but moved to Mobile, Alabama after marrying Arthur Hopkins. When her husband was appointed to oversee hospitals during the Civil War, Juliet went to work converting tobacco factories into hospitals. She made daily visits to the injured soldiers, and received a wound on the battlefield in the course of her duties. "

" In the Confederate military system, each state was responsible for the care of its own patients. Hopkins moved to Richmond, and in June 1861 began organizing medical services. In August 1861, Hopkins established a hospital for Alabamians. "


" On July 1, 1862, during the Battle of Seven Pines, Juliet was shot in the leg twice while rescuing wounded men from the battlefield. These injuries required surgery, and left her with a permanent limp. "

" Hopkins was so highly regarded by the entire nation that she was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and the members of the Alabama congressional delegation served as her pall bearers. Following her bier as an attendant was General Joseph E Johnston, who years before had called her The Angel of the South. "
http://civilwarwomenblog.com/juliet-hopkins/

View attachment 47674

Mrs. Hopkins was the only woman to win the Confederate Medal of Honor.
 

18thVirginia

Major
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Again, hope it's ok to put in a little more information? Her story is so long because she did so, so much it's a little tough to pick through her life.


Juliet Opie Hopkins, from RobertP's post.


" Juliet Hopkins (1818–1890) was born on a plantation in West Virginia, but moved to Mobile, Alabama after marrying Arthur Hopkins. When her husband was appointed to oversee hospitals during the Civil War, Juliet went to work converting tobacco factories into hospitals. She made daily visits to the injured soldiers, and received a wound on the battlefield in the course of her duties. "

" In the Confederate military system, each state was responsible for the care of its own patients. Hopkins moved to Richmond, and in June 1861 began organizing medical services. In August 1861, Hopkins established a hospital for Alabamians. "


" On July 1, 1862, during the Battle of Seven Pines, Juliet was shot in the leg twice while rescuing wounded men from the battlefield. These injuries required surgery, and left her with a permanent limp. "

" Hopkins was so highly regarded by the entire nation that she was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, and the members of the Alabama congressional delegation served as her pall bearers. Following her bier as an attendant was General Joseph E Johnston, who years before had called her The Angel of the South. "
http://civilwarwomenblog.com/juliet-hopkins/

View attachment 47674

I thought that the really special thing about Juliet Opie Hopkins was this description:

The most remarkable aspect of Mrs. Hopkins' work was the level of personal care she and her colleagues provided. She wrote letters home for the soldiers, made requests for furloughs, and supplied them with books to read during the long hours of convalescence. She kept a list of the soldiers who died and sent locks of their hair to their families in Alabama.

Think of how the mothers at home felt when they knew what was happening with their sons and received a special remembrance of them.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
I thought that the really special thing about Juliet Opie Hopkins was this description:

The most remarkable aspect of Mrs. Hopkins' work was the level of personal care she and her colleagues provided. She wrote letters home for the soldiers, made requests for furloughs, and supplied them with books to read during the long hours of convalescence. She kept a list of the soldiers who died and sent locks of their hair to their families in Alabama.

Think of how the mothers at home felt when they knew what was happening with their sons and received a special remembrance of them.

Ok, that just made me cry. These women- I'm sure they took each one personally, every soldier who died took a little more out of them if that's what she did, for instance. Sent a lock of hair? You can't do that unless you're thinking ' What would I want, if it were my son? ' I'm sorry, one of the toughest jobs in the war, and she did it voluntarily.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Do not mean to beat the proverbial horse- this book on Confederate nurses is superb, truly. Read it from anywhere, too- start at page 10 or 110- it's riveting. @18thVirginia , I'm going to try to find more biographical information on some of these women and maybe men who appear in this book. Little smitten with it so am hoping to find time- it'll take some doing.

If anyone else has time, be a way to make it come more to life. VERY good book, these women take you there- battle descriptions as the nurses hear them, situations of the armies, their own movements following hem- various hospitals in various cities. Super read for a history buff.

Few bits-

cn2.JPG


cn3.JPG

cn4.JPG
 
Top