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. R. M. BIGELOW.

IN the ordinary acceptation of the term, Mrs. Bigelow has not been connected with Soldiers' Homes either in Washington or elsewhere; yet there are few if any ladies in the country who have taken so many sick or wounded soldiers to their own houses, and have made them at home there, as she. To hundreds, if not thousands, of the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac, the name of "Aunty Bigelow," the title by which she was universally known among the sick and wounded soldiers, is as carefully, and quite as gratefully cherished as the name of their commanders. Mrs. Bigelow is a native of Washington, in which city she has always resided. She was never able, in consequence of her family duties, to devote herself exclusively to hospital work, but was among the first to respond to the call for friendly aid to the sick soldier. She was, in 1861, a daily visitor to the Indiana Hospital in the Patent Office Building, coming at such hours as she could spare from her home duties; and she was always welcome, for no one was more skillful as a nurse than she, or could cheer and comfort the sick better. When she could not come, she sent such delicacies as would tempt the appetite of the invalid to the hospital. Many a soldier remembers to this day the hot cakes, or the mush and milk, or the custard which came from Aunty Bigelow's on purpose for him, and always exactly at the right time. Mrs. R. K. Billing, a near relative of Mrs. Bigelow, and the mother of that Miss Rose M. Billing whose patriotic labors ended only with her life--a life

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