AMONG the hundreds who with untiring devotion have consecrated their services to the ministrations of mercy in the Armies of the Union, there is but one "Mother" Bickerdyke. Others may in various ways have made as great sacrifices, or displayed equal heroism, but her measures and methods have been peculiarly her own, and "none but herself can be her parallel."
She is a widow, somewhat above forty years of age, of humble origin, and of but moderate education, with a robust frame and great powers of endurance, and possessing a rough stirring eloquence, a stern, determined will and extraordinary executive ability. No woman connected with the philanthropic work of the army has encountered more obstacles in the accomplishment of her purposes, and none ever carried them through more triumphantly. She has two little sons, noble boys, to whom she is devotedly attached, but her patriotic zeal was even stronger than her love for her children, and she gave herself up to the cause of her country most unhesitatingly.
At the commencement of the war, she was, it is said, housekeeper in the family of a gentleman in Cleveland, but she commenced her labors among the sick and wounded men of the army very early, and never relinquished her work until the close of the conflict. It has been one of her peculiarities that she devoted her attention almost exclusively to the care of the