MISS CORNELIA M. TOMPKINS, of Niagara Falls, was one of the truly heroic spirits evoked by the war. Related to a distinguished family of the same name, educated, accustomed to the refinements and social enjoyments of a Christian home she left all to become a hospital nurse, and to aid in saving the lives of the heroes and defenders of her native land. Recommended by her friend, the late Margaret Breckinridge, of whom a biographical notice is given in this volume, she came to St. Louis in the summer of 1863, was com-missioned as a nurse by Mr. Yeatman, and assigned to duty at the Benton Barracks Hospital, under the superintendence of Miss Emily E. Parsons, and the general direction of Surgeon Ira Russell. In this service she was one of the faithful band of nurses, who, with Miss Parsons, brought the system of nursing to such perfection at that hospital.
In the fall of that year she was transferred to the hospital service at Memphis, by Mr. Yeatman, to meet the great demand for nurses there, where she became favorably known as a most judicious and skilful nurse.
In the spring of 1864 she returned to St. Louis, and was again assigned to duty at Benton Barracks, where she remained till mid-summer, when having been from home a year, she obtained a furlough, and went home for a short period of rest, and to visit her family.
On her return to St. Louis she was assigned to duty at the____________________