Medical, Doctors, Nurses

Woman Doctor's Civil War Esther Hill Hawk's Diary

Woman Doctor's Civil War Esther Hill Hawk's Diary

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A physician, a Northerner, a teacher, a school administrator, a suffragist, and an abolitionist, Esther Hill Hawks was the antithesis of Southern womanhood. And those very differences destined her to chronicle the era in which she played such a strange part.

While most women of the 1860s stayed at home, tending husband and house, Esther Hill Hawks went south to minister to black Union troops and newly freed slaves as both a teacher and a doctor. She kept a diary and described the South she saw--conquered but still proud. Her pen, honed to a fine point by her abolitionist views, missed mothing as she traveled through a hungary and ailing land.

In the well-known Diary from Dixie, Mary Boykin Chestnut depiced her native Southland as one of cavaliers with their ladies, statesmen and politicians, honor and glory. But Hawks painted a much different picture. And unlike Chestnut's characters, hers were liberated slaves and their hungary children, swaggering carpetbaggers, occupation troops far from home, and zealous missionaries. Revealed in the pages of this diary is a woman of vast energy, intelligence, and fortitude, who transformed her idealism into action.

Women at the Front Hospital Workers in Civil War America

Women at the Front Hospital Workers in Civil War America

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As many as 20,000 women worked in Union and Confederate hospitals during America's bloodiest war. Black and white, and from various social classes, these women served as nurses, administrators, matrons, seamstresses, cooks, laundresses, and custodial workers. Jane E. Schultz provides the first full history of these female relief workers, showing how the domestic and military arenas merged in Civil War America, blurring the line between homefront and battlefront.

Schultz uses government records, private manuscripts, and published sources by and about women hospital workers, some of whom are familiar--such as Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Louisa May Alcott, and Sojourner Truth--but most of whom are not well-known. Examining the lives and legacies of these women, Schultz considers who they were, how they became involved in wartime hospital work, how they adjusted to it, and how they challenged it. She demonstrates that class, race, and gender roles linked female workers with soldiers, both black and white, but became sites of conflict between the women and doctors and even among themselves.

Schultz also explores the women's postwar lives--their professional and domestic choices, their pursuit of pensions, and their memorials to the war in published narratives. Surprisingly few parlayed their war experience into postwar medical work, and their extremely varied postwar experiences, Schultz argues, defy any simple narrative of pre-professionalism, triumphalism, or conciliation.

As many as 20,000 women worked in Union and Confederate hospitals during America's bloodiest war. Black and white, and from various social classes, these women served as nurses, administrators, matrons, seamstresses, cooks, laundresses, and custodial workers. Jane Schultz provides the first full history of these female relief workers, showing how the domestic and military arenas merged in Civil War America, blurring the line between homefront and battlefront. Examining the lives and legacies of Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Susie King Taylor, and others, Schultz demonstrates that class, race, and gender roles linked female workers with soldiers, both black and white. These same factors also stoked conflict between the hospital women and doctors and even among the women themselves.







Years of Change and Suffering Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine

Years of Change and Suffering Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine

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Introducing new primary source material from experts in the field, this thoughtful and detailed discussion covers the battlefields, hospitals, and laboratories of the Civil War period while also considering the effects of the war on the mental and physical health of veterans many years later. Turning conventional wisdom on its head, this collection discusses the advances made in the understanding and treatment of diseases and wounds to the nervous system by the end of the war along with the new surgical techniques that were used to treat battlefield injuries once thought to be fatal. Topics also discussed include how the Confederate army marshaled a wide array of resources, including plants from its rich fields and forests, to furnish its physicians with medicines needed to treat patients and how each year of the war saw improved survival and better recovery as surgeons learned how to treat destructive injuries of the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and genitals--injuries previously thought to be fatal. Perfect for Civil War enthusiasts, professional historians, medical professionals, or medical journals, this serious look at Civil War medicine is designed for a popular audience but filled with enough extensive research to be used in a classroom.