Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience

By L. P. Brockett; Mary C. Vaughan | Go to book overview

MRS. HARRIET R. COLFAX.

THIS lady whose services merit all the praise which has been bestowed upon them, is a resident of Michigan City, Indiana, the still youthful widow of a near relative of the Honorable Schuyler Colfax, the present Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Her father, during her youth, was long an invalid, and his enforced seclusion from all business pursuits was spent in bestowing instruction upon his children. His conversations with his children, and the lessons in history which he gave them were made the means of instilling great moral ideas, and amidst all others an ardent love of their native country and its institutions. At the same period of the life of Mrs. Colfax, she was blest with a mother whose large and active benevolence led her to spend much time in visiting and ministering to the sick. Her daughter often accompanied her, and as often was sent alone upon like errands. Thus she learned the practice of the sentiments which caused her, in the hour of her country's trial, to lend such energetic and cheerful aid to its wounded defenders.

Previous to the commencement of the war Mrs. Colfax had lost her husband and her father. Her mother remained to advise and guide the young widow and her fatherless children, and it was to her that she turned for counsel, when, on the announcement of the need of female nurses in the hospitals that were so soon filled with sick and wounded, Mrs. Colfax felt herself impelled to devote herself to this service and ministry.

Her mother and other friends disapproved of her going, and

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