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Gettysburg Nurse Grouping

Item MED-9513
1863 Hannah Epler, Mary Vance & Georgeanna Woolsey


Superb Gettysburg Nurse Grouping (6 Items)

These items have been exhibited at:
-National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick, MD
-Clara Barton House, Glen Echo, MD
-Dittrick Medical Museum, Cleveland, OH
-Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk, CT
-Carlyle House, Alexandria, VA
-Lyceum, Alexandria, VA

1. Photograph of Hannah Epler, who served as a nurse after the Battle of Gettysburg. The dried flowers and leaf at the bottom of the frame were said to have been picked on the battlefield. The label on the inside reverse of the image reads: “Hannah Epler/Born January 8, 1825/Was at Gettysburg as Nurse/Picked at Battlefield 1863/Tipton & Myers/Baltimore St. Branch/Photograph Gallery/Gettysburg, PA.”

2. Nurse’s Cap: This cap belonged to Civil War Nurse Mary Vance, who was an assistant to Dorothea Dix who she served with in the pavilion hospitals in Washington and Baltimore, and in the field hospitals after the Battle of Gettysburg. She was in charge of six hospital ward at Gettysburg. There were no official uniforms worn by nurses in the Civil War. Most women wore sensible adornment and aprons. Some chose to wear small caps like this one.

Four very rare original booklets:

3. “Hospital Scenes After the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1863” by the Patriotic Daughters of Lancaster

This 61 page booklet describes caring for soldiers at Christ Lutheran Church. Excerpts: “Here where now wave upon wave of sorrow rolled over the suffering thousands that lay in these tents crippled or dying. . . .Each house was a hospital and through the open doors and windows were seen wounded men in every attitude. . . .We arranged that some of us should cook and prepare delicacies for the sick, while the rest should undertake nursing”

4. “Three Weeks at Gettysburg” 24 pages. A memoir by Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey was one member of a remarkable New York family who served the Union cause during the Civil War. Woolsey was among the first nurses trained by the Women’s Central Association of Relief. After one month, she was assigned to Washington, D.C. with the task of receiving new nurses. She served at the Georgetown Hospital and aboard hospital ships.

This unpretending sketch of the labors of two ladies among the wounded, after the Battle of Gettysburg, was only so well received the Sanitary Commission originally printed 10,000 copies for private distribution among a few of the Soldiers’ Aid Societies, to raise funds for support of the war nurses.

5. “Documents of the Christian Commission – 1862” 32 pages that includes messages from President Lincoln, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Navy and General McClellan. Also included is a description of duties for Delegates to the field, hospitals and battlegrounds.

6. “The War, Battle of Gettysburg and the Christian Commission” by Andrew B. Cross. 92 pages with battlefield maps included.