Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care during the American Civil War

By Frank R. Freemon | Go to book overview

5
The Introduction of Women Nurses

IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA A SICK PERSON usually obtained nursing care from female relatives. The doctor visited the home, examined the patient, and made recommendations. If a surgical procedure was required, it was performed on the kitchen table. The dressing of wounds and the administration of medications were left to the care of the wife, mother, and grandmother. The only people treated in the hospital were persons unable to obtain

Before the War, the Marine Hospital at Vicksburg served as a place to hospitalize boatmen who were too ill to
accompany their vessel on the Mississippi River and who had no family to care for them in their homes. The
structure served as a Confederate and later a Union hospital. Miller

-51-

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