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Schultz uses government records, private manuscripts, and published sources by and about women hospital workers, some of whom are familiar--such as Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Louisa May Alcott, and Sojourner Truth--but most of whom are not well-known. Examining the lives and legacies of these women, Schultz considers who they were, how they became involved in wartime hospital work, how they adjusted to it, and how they challenged it. She demonstrates that class, race, and gender roles linked female workers with soldiers, both black and white, but became sites of conflict between the women and doctors and even among themselves.
Schultz also explores the women's postwar lives--their professional and domestic choices, their pursuit of pensions, and their memorials to the war in published narratives. Surprisingly few parlayed their war experience into postwar medical work, and their extremely varied postwar experiences, Schultz argues, defy any simple narrative of pre-professionalism, triumphalism, or conciliation.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Hospitals, United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Women, United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Medical care, Women United States History 19th century, Women Confederate States of America History, Hospitals United States Staff History 19th century, Hospitals Confederate States of America Staff History, Military nursing United States History 19th century, Military nursing Confederate States of America History