Now showing in the Castele Gallery, October 1st through January 2nd

Nursing's Echo: Reflections on Nursing's Diversity in the Civil War

Civil War Nursing The U. S. Civil War represents a dynamic time for nursing. Increased demand for nurses resulted in an explosion of opportunity across gender, race, religious and class lines that would not be crossed again for more than a century. The echo of this period would change both nursing and medicine in the United States as the power struggles of wartime nursing became reflected through memorialization and education.

STEM History Ph.D. student Sandy Clark has spent the last year reading the letters and journals of Civil War nurses as well as relevant scholarship on the delivery of medical care in the civil war and the response of the home front. Beginning from a nursing history dominated by a few big names, equally large questions emerged. How did the tasks and duties of nurses differ from those today? What became of the tens of thousands of nurses who served? How did this experience shape American medicine? The sheer volume of nurses forgotten far outnumbers those we know of through letters and journals. How did they enter nursing and why?