I found this great article on Louisa May Alcott’s contribution to the Civil War. Brief as her service was, it was immortalized in her writing and helped her find her voice.
The article was found on the History in an Hour blog – here’s a teaser:
Louisa May Alcott and the American Civil War
Posted on November 22, 2011 by Rupert Colley
Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, had the briefest of nursing careers: about six weeks, from start to finish. Alcott being Alcott, she effectively morphed the experience into grist for her literary mill.
Alcott was not a Big Gun in nursing history. Her musings are not technically significant, like Florence Nightingale’s contemporaneous Notes on Nursing. Her service does not resonate through Civil War history like that of her influential contemporaries, Dorothea Dix and Clara Barton. The product of Alcott’s nursing experience was Hospital Sketches (1863), the story of a bedside army nurse at a time when the bedside army nurse was also, typically, a Victorian spinster. Alcott’s tale of grit and grace is as compelling now as it was in the nineteenth century.
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