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Keywords

Civil War, Clara Barton, Confederate nurses, Dorothea Dix, nursing, union nurses, women's work

 

Authors

  1. Lesniak, Rhonda Goodman PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC

Abstract

Using the method of social history, this article looks at the many roles filled by women during the American Civil War. Through primary documents such as letters and diaries, the article captures a moment in time when society began to accept an expansion of women's allowed behaviors because of the war. One such field of endeavor was nursing, in which, contrary to Victorian notions, women proved their ability to withstand gruesome conditions in an effort to care for injured and ill soldiers. The purpose of this article is to reconstruct a brief period in which society began to accept role expansion for American women because of the demands of the American Civil War.