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Honoring Civil War Nurses
Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America
Written by Jane Schultz, an esteemed Civil War historian, Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America vividly describes the sights, sounds and smells experienced by Civil War nurses. It also tracks the evolution of nursing. According to a New England Journal of Medicine book review, “Throughout history, female nurses have dealt with being invisible, discounted, and devalued. During the Civil War, when nursing was viewed as domestic work, nurses did not seem threatening, which eased their entrance into the ‘military medical arena.’ Paradoxically, this move hampered their autonomy and virtually eliminated any claim to authority they might have desired.”
The book also includes a number of first person accounts, including the financial, personal and professional struggles that many nurses faced after the war.