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 CHARLOTTE E. McKAY.

THIS lady, a resident of Massachusetts, had early in the war been bereaved of her husband and only child, not by the vicissitudes of the battle-field but by sickness at home, and her heart worn with grief, sought relief, where it was most likely to find it, it ministering to the sufferings of others.

She accepted an appointment under Miss Dix as a hospital nurse, and commenced her hospital life in Frederick City, Maryland, in March, 1862, where she was entrusted with the care of a large number of wounded from the first battle of Winchester. Her life here passed without much of special interest, till September, 1862, when the little Maryland city was filled for two or three days with Stonewall Jackson's Corps on their way to South Mountain and Antietam. The rebels took possession of the hospital, and filled it for the time with their sick and wounded men. Resistance was useless, and Mrs. McKay treated the rebel officers and men courteously, and did what she could for the sick; her civility and kindness were recognized, and she was treated with respect by all. After the battle of Antietam, Frederick City and its hospitals were filled with the wounded, and Mrs. McKay's heart and hands were full--but as soon as the wounded became convalescent, she went to Washington and was assigned to duty for a time in the hospitals of the Capital. In January, she went to Falmouth and found employment as a nurse in the Third Corps Hospital. Here by her skill and tact she soon effected a

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