Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 - March 6, 1888) - Civil War Nurse
About 20,000 women volunteered in military hospitals during the Civil War. Unfortunately, the majority of them left little or no written evidence of their sacrifice in the war. Louisa May Alcott, renowned 19th-century author of Little Women, was one of them, and her service is documented in a Washington, D.C., hospital’s muster roll.
As her muster roll indicates, she was stationed at the “Union Hotel U.S.A. General Hospital,” a makeshift military hospital in “Georgetown, D.C.” She served under the superintendent of Union Army nurses, Dorothea Dix, as a “female nurse” for November and December 1862 and received ten dollars pay.
Her time as a nurse later served as the foundation for her novel Hospital Sketches (1863). The novel, a fictionalized account composed from letters written home during the war, was her first bestseller.
What’s your favorite Louisa May Alcott book?
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