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. O. E. HOSMER.

AT the opening of the late war, the subject of this sketch, Mrs. O. E. Hosmer, was residing with her family in Chicago, Illinois. Hers was by no means a vague patriotism that contented itself with verbal expressions of sympathy for her country's cause and defenders. She believed that she had sacrifices to make, and work to do, and could hope for no enjoyment, or even comfort, amidst the luxuries of home, while thousands to whom these things were as dear as to herself, had resolutely turned away from them, willing to perish themselves, if the national life might be preserved.

Her first sacrifice was that of two of her sons, whom she gave to the service of the country in the army. Then, to use her own words, "feeling a burning desire to aid personally in the work, I did not wait to hear of sufferings I have since so often witnessed, but determined, as God had given me health and a good husband to provide for me, to go forth as a volunteer and do whatever my hands found to do." Few perhaps will ever know to the full extent, how much the soldier benefited by this resolve.

To such a spirit, waiting and ardent, opportunities were not long in presenting themselves. Mrs. Hosmer's first experiences, away from home, were at Tipton, and Smithtown, Missouri. This was early in the winter of 1862, only a few months after the commencement of the War; but as all will remember there had already been desperate campaigns, and hard fighting in Missouri,

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