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Nurses who served the Union Army - Philadelphia Inquirer

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philadelphia inquirer: nurses who served the union

[color=#6f6f6f]philadelphia inquirer, pa - 1 hour ago

between 1862 and 1865, women volunteered to tend to wounded and dying men far from home.

by bonnie l. cook

inquirer staff writer

no one sent them. they volunteered to go.

leaving behind more quiet lives, a handful of montgomery county women answered the call for civilians to nurse union army wounded during the u.s. civil war.

between 1862 and 1865, they trekked in plain dress, with hair pulled back, to battlefields in pennsylvania, maryland and the south. they had scant training or supplies, yet managed to care for the hurt and comfort the dying.

"the brigade surgeon has assured me more than once, that far more lives of the wounded soldiers have been spared thro' the tender nursing of our ladies than by the skill of all the surgeons," the husband of a nurse wrote in 1862.

tomorrow, for what is believed to be the first time, one will be honored.

michelle harris, executive director of the historical society of montgomery county, will lay flowers on the headstone of elizabeth j. brower, a civilian nurse who died in 1919 and lies buried among the buttercups in montgomery cemetery in norristown.

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