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HancockBuilder
12-13-2008, 08:58 PM
My 18 year old daughter wants to do more than just sit with the spectators. Here in Northwest Georgia we have not been able to find anything in writing about nurses at reenactments (dressed as women), but she was "told by someone" that she could not participate until she turned 24. If she wanted to dress as a man, she could have been on the field last year. Any suggestions?
Thank you,
Bill H.

hta1970
12-13-2008, 09:11 PM
Alot will depend on how history heavy the events are. If they are simply theme camping, nurses at events or women poorly dressed as men will be seen...

If you are concerend with history and authenticity, then women nursing the woulded would be foud at general hospitals very far from the battle or in private homes days after the battle. Civilians tended to flee battle areas for obvious reasons. If she wants to serve as a male, then she could serve as an orderly or litter bearer (litter bearers require strength and stamina and are not a job for those who can't work hard carrying a grown man on a litter). But she shopuld be able to really pass as a man. If she looks like a woman dressed as a man, she should think about just portraying a woman. And as the best women reenacting as men will tell you, if you dress as a man, don't even think about going to the ball as a woman. Some women can do a great job passing as a man, so if she can pass convincingly as a man and wants to she could think about it.

As for reenacting age, that sounds like a unit requirement. Shop around, other units may tell you otherwise...

David Meister
12-13-2008, 10:05 PM
Have you thought of a Sanitary Commision Impression or the Christian Commision Impression?

Regular DOC
12-14-2008, 03:44 PM
I concur with Dave. Sanitation Commision or Christian commission for someone that age would be a more appropriate impression and would have been near the battlefield though not directly on it. The few female nurses who did see battlefield hospitals even during the battle such as Harriet P. Dame of the 2nd New Hampshire were spinsters in their late 30's usually. I can recomend numerous sources for the Sanitation commision.

celtfiddler
12-14-2008, 04:49 PM
Realistically, using Dix's criteria for nurses and the amount of reading I've done on the subject of women nurses. I've yet to come across a nurse that young who was actually travelling with the troops. For your daughter to be a nurse...it would be a more realistic portrayal for her to be a civilian helping in the aftermath of battle.


If you are concerend with history and authenticity, then women nursing the woulded would be foud at general hospitals very far from the battle or in private homes days after the battle.

I'm going to respectfully disagree with this generalization. There is documentation depending on the scenario for women to be at field hospitals and hospital transport ships. One nurse that I've done a pretty fair amount of research on is Harriet Patience Dame of the Second New Hampshire Infantry. She was with HER boys through much of the war except when the unit was sent home on furlough. Marie Tepe was wounded in the ankle at Fredericksburg (I am including her because one of the duties as a vivandiere would be to nurse the sick and wounded).


Civilians tended to flee battle areas for obvious reasons

Again respectfully disagreeing. It depends on the scenario. Given the amount of journals and diaries documenting the civilian experience at Gettysburg you have to consider the scenario instead of hard and fast generalizations.

hta1970
12-14-2008, 06:35 PM
My point is there is no place for ice angles and women on the battlefield running about 10 yards from the line of battle.

The battlefield was no place for women in the 19th century. Like it or not my attitude towards this is a very 19th century attitude. It was quite common for surgeons to voice their displeasure at the prescence of women in the hospitals serving as nurses. And Dix had many many critics in the US Medical Department. She was far from poular with surgeons in her day.

Also a nurse in the 19th century had very different duties than in the 21st century. Many duties today performed by nurses were in fact performed by medical officers in the 19th century.

Yes I spoke in generalizations. In most cases what I have said is true. What you have stated are the exceptions and the rare cases, not the common instances.

A nurse in the 19th century was commonly a man, not a woman. We would be better served education the public on what was the norm first before we try to find the exception to the rule.

I know this excludes women from getting out there and getting dirty. But if we can't first show the plain everyday common, the public will believe that the exception was in fact the rule.

I would certainly though encourage you to please share with the forum here, perhaps in a separate topic, women's service in the medical department with references (which you are by ther way always good at providing and always helpful to those looking to read more). I think this is an area which women can properly mentored and , as you say, i"n the proper situations" be used correctly to educate the public and the reenactor. I myself am looking into a general hospital event where I would really like some dedicated and well educated women to participate education the public on the role of women in hospitals during the war. If you are interested, I'd love to caht further and send me an e-mail.

I think we are both looking to do the same thing here, improve the authentiucity of medical reenacting and educating the public. Sorry if I started off on a high horse, but I always worry the effect of the exception to the rule has upon less than authentically minded medical reenactors.

Regular DOC
12-14-2008, 06:55 PM
My point is there is no place for ice angles and women on the battlefield running about 10 yards from the line of battle.

The battlefield was no place for women in the 19th century. Like it or not my attitude towards this is a very 19th century attitude. It was quite common for surgeons to voice their displeasure at the prescence of women in the hospitals serving as nurses. And Dix had many many critics in the US Medical Department. She was far from poular with surgeons in her day.

Also a nurse in the 19th century had very different duties than in the 21st century. Many duties today performed by nurses were in fact performed by medical officers in the 19th century.

Yes I spoke in generalizations. In most cases what I have said is true. What you have stated are the exceptions and the rare cases, not the common instances.

A nurse in the 19th century was commonly a man, not a woman. We would be better served education the public on what was the norm first before we try to find the exception to the rule.

I know this excludes women from getting out there and getting dirty. But if we can't first show the plain everyday common, the public will believe that the exception was in fact the rule.

I would certainly though encourage you to please share with the forum here, perhaps in a separate topic, women's service in the medical department with references (which you are by ther way always good at providing and always helpful to those looking to read more). I think this is an area which women can properly mentored and , as you say, i"n the proper situations" be used correctly to educate the public and the reenactor. I myself am looking into a general hospital event where I would really like some dedicated and well educated women to participate education the public on the role of women in hospitals during the war. If you are interested, I'd love to caht further and send me an e-mail.

I think we are both looking to do the same thing here, improve the authentiucity of medical reenacting and educating the public. Sorry if I started off on a high horse, but I always worry the effect of the exception to the rule has upon less than authentically minded medical reenactors.



Answer this my friend the 1861 regs made a point to include Female Nurses and Matrons in the regs. While they may have not been the norm they were there. Females among the Hospitals were not uncommon immeadiately after the battle. Had it not been for some members of the support commisions of different states many of which were female the hospitals at Gettysburg would have been in a world of hurt. I don't mean to be offensive but the staement they have no place to me is uninformed. I point you to Grappling with Death. Ms Handcock features very heavily in the book. She was not a sobnote or minor player she was featured extensively.

Regular DOC
12-14-2008, 07:07 PM
My point is there is no place for ice angles and women on the battlefield running about 10 yards from the line of battle.




Now dealing with this statement ice angles may be not in your view of authentic but with the number of reenactments stopped because of overheating individuals they do play a part. There comes a point where safety and authneticity have to compramise. If the angels are out of sight then the benefit is great as they were at Chickamauga 145th.

celtfiddler
12-14-2008, 07:31 PM
My point is there is no place for ice angles and women on the battlefield running about 10 yards from the line of battle.

The battlefield was no place for women in the 19th century. Like it or not my attitude towards this is a very 19th century attitude. It was quite common for surgeons to voice their displeasure at the prescence of women in the hospitals serving as nurses. And Dix had many many critics in the US Medical Department. She was far from poular with surgeons in her day.

Also a nurse in the 19th century had very different duties than in the 21st century. Many duties today performed by nurses were in fact performed by medical officers in the 19th century.

Yes I spoke in generalizations. In most cases what I have said is true. What you have stated are the exceptions and the rare cases, not the common instances.

A nurse in the 19th century was commonly a man, not a woman. We would be better served education the public on what was the norm first before we try to find the exception to the rule.

I know this excludes women from getting out there and getting dirty. But if we can't first show the plain everyday common, the public will believe that the exception was in fact the rule.

I would certainly though encourage you to please share with the forum here, perhaps in a separate topic, women's service in the medical department with references (which you are by ther way always good at providing and always helpful to those looking to read more). I think this is an area which women can properly mentored and , as you say, i"n the proper situations" be used correctly to educate the public and the reenactor. I myself am looking into a general hospital event where I would really like some dedicated and well educated women to participate education the public on the role of women in hospitals during the war. If you are interested, I'd love to caht further and send me an e-mail.

I think we are both looking to do the same thing here, improve the authentiucity of medical reenacting and educating the public. Sorry if I started off on a high horse, but I always worry the effect of the exception to the rule has upon less than authentically minded medical reenactors.

Given the number of WOMEN pensioned for their work as nurses during the civil war, I suggest you do some more research about the role of women as nurses during the American civil war.

In case you need some names to start with:

Susan E (Hall) Barry
Sarah Mary Carrol (Sister Mary Carroll--Sisters of Charity)
Blanche Duffy (formerly Sister Blanche O'Brien--Sisters of Charity)
Harriet Dada Emens
Anna M Holstein
Rose V Mullin (Sister Vincent--Sisters of Charity)
Sarah S Sampson
Joanna W Turner
Isabella Fogg (pensioned due to DISABILITY as a result of mishap aboard the hospital ship Jacob Strader)

Perhaps you can also explain Dr Mercedes Graf's research that indicates a percentage of the FEMALE nurses pensioned during the civil war would have been likely termed today as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?


Wonder if you know who some of these women are and can identify their unit affiliations:

Addie Jackson
Elmina Keeler Spencer
Amanda Colburn Farnham
Estelle S Johnson
Kady Brownell
Annie Etheridge
Modenia R Weston
Ruth Helena Sinnotte
Estelle S Johnson
Mary E Scott

Or the contributions of these women:

Helen Gilson
Cornelia Hancock

hta1970
12-14-2008, 09:53 PM
To answer your question yes...

I've said my part, you've said yours.

I will not participate in a tag team attack by a husband and wife directed towards me in this forum.

You enjoy your events and I'll enjoy mine...

2RIV
12-14-2008, 11:49 PM
Harry,

Yes, you stated your part and they stated theirs. I don't see it as a tag team attack on your statement. I see they have a mound of research to back up the statements they made. I have seen much conjecture and no research cited on your part. If you can't fight an intellectual battle with facts then why did you try and start it. I think you are trying to express a covert agenda (you personally don't like women on the field). If that is the case then just say it. Don't try to hide your opinion by basing it on false "facts". I am not knocking you for your likes or dislikes, I just think you are taking the cowards way out by saying, "I've said my part, you've said yours." Back it up with factual information or don't say it. As you said, " the public will believe that the exception was in fact the rule."

MD_Independent26
12-15-2008, 01:14 AM
Monsieur 2RIV,
You've made a good point; however, Mr. and Mrs. Shwatka have provided us with a short list of names and little else. It is much easier to provide exceptions to a rule than it is to defend a rule from these exceptions. I hope that the Shwatka's will provide further information. Unit affiliations would be nice. When and where these women were at a particular time, especially when relevant to a specific scenario being portrayed, would be absolutely superb.

My first event of the season was the Battle of Glendale. Were there any female nurses anywhere near the front lines of the 4th PA Reserves on 30 June 1862? What about at the battle of Pickett's Mill behind the 29th Ohio? Gettysburg, within site of the 1st Minnesota and it's charge of 2nd July? Following the 13th Virginia at Cedar Mountain? It's up to them to prove that there was a woman present if they wish to have a legitimate impression for said event. Otherwise, I would hope that they would support historical accuracy and stay off the field. To expect me to prove that there weren't any nurses in the vacinity is rediculous. My impression as an infantryman is already proven for the above scenarios.

In regards to the 'ice angel' argument, I fail to see how that belongs in this discussion at all. I will merely state that none of the events I attended this past year, with the possible exception of At High Tide, had an 'ice angel'. The claim that they are benefitial to reenactor health on the field may or may not have legitimacy; however, I can not believe that they are a necessity at any event.

I'll be quite honest. I don't have a desire, nor will I by choice, attend an event with women on the field without proper and DETAILED documentation... For that matter, I will not knowingly attend or support an event that permits anyone with an undocumented impression to participate. That goes for women, foreign observers, sharpshooters, zoozoo's, etc... Hopefully, I have not offended anyone, and my quest for accuracy will not be misconstrued as sexism.

Billy Birney

hanktrent
12-15-2008, 08:10 AM
Answer this my friend the 1861 regs made a point to include Female Nurses and Matrons in the regs. While they may have not been the norm they were there.

Sure. Those regulations were talking about city hospitals, in buildings, where you needed cooks and laundresses. There were plenty of female workers there, though also plenty of male nurses as well.


Females among the Hospitals were not uncommon immeadiately after the battle. Had it not been for some members of the support commisions of different states many of which were female the hospitals at Gettysburg would have been in a world of hurt.

I agree, but the problem is that "immediately after" in period terms means they typically arrived in a day or two, to help the soldiers who would be there for days or weeks before being evacuated to city hospitals farther back. In reenacting terms, "immediately after" means ten minutes, to help the soldiers who will be up and shopping at the sutlers in an hour.

If we're talking about the typical role of the thousands of woman in caring for the wounded, rather than the few notable exceptions, it wasn't within sight of the firing line; it was like Louisa May Alcott or Phoebe Yates Pember, laboring amid the drudgery and horrors of city hospitals. True, that wasn't as flashy as running around on the battlefield, but it's a shame to see their work and sacrifice ignored to the point that it's no longer even considered common, just because it's difficult to find a living history situation where it can be portrayed.


There is documentation depending on the scenario for women to be at field hospitals and hospital transport ships.

Of course. The problem is that it's very rare to see a field hospital portrayed at an event. Usually what's portrayed is a dressing station, or merely preparation for the evacuation of the wounded to the dressing station with minimal stabilizing care. And hospital ships--well, wouldn't that be cool to see! But not in our lifetime, I'm afraid, unless someone coughs up a few hundred thousand dollars.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

2RIV
12-15-2008, 08:44 AM
Monsieur 2RIV,
You've made a good point; however, Mr. and Mrs. Shwatka have provided us with a short list of names and little else. It is much easier to provide exceptions to a rule than it is to defend a rule from these exceptions. I hope that the Shwatka's will provide further information. Unit affiliations would be nice. When and where these women were at a particular time, especially when relevant to a specific scenario being portrayed, would be absolutely superb.

I totally agree. I am fully aware of many of the particulars of this topic. If he had sited references and historical statements than I would have never posted. I even agree that in many situations, women were no where near the front. I also feel that making broad generalizations (or generalizations about broads, :) ) for the sake of a personal or covert agenda is low and cowardly. If you don't like women in the field or at events, that is fine, but don't be a coward and say it. Personally I don't like women in the ranks (I am fine with it in the hospital setting). Whether it is done historically accurate or not, I just don't like it. I hope the Shwatka's provide more information as well.

My first event of the season was the Battle of Glendale. Were there any female nurses anywhere near the front lines of the 4th PA Reserves on 30 June 1862? What about at the battle of Pickett's Mill behind the 29th Ohio? Gettysburg, within site of the 1st Minnesota and it's charge of 2nd July? Following the 13th Virginia at Cedar Mountain? It's up to them to prove that there was a woman present if they wish to have a legitimate impression for said event. Otherwise, I would hope that they would support historical accuracy and stay off the field. To expect me to prove that there weren't any nurses in the vacinity is rediculous. My impression as an infantryman is already proven for the above scenarios.

Once again, my issue was with statements made to justify someone's personal feelings/agenda. I totally agree that the research is up to the person doing the impression. We each must justify our role at said event, and not count on the other guy to do it for us.


In regards to the 'ice angel' argument, I fail to see how that belongs in this discussion at all. I will merely state that none of the events I attended this past year, with the possible exception of At High Tide, had an 'ice angel'. The claim that they are benefitial to reenactor health on the field may or may not have legitimacy; however, I can not believe that they are a necessity at any event.

Once again, I agree with you. I never said Ice Angels were authentic or needed. I have my own modern medical opinions (in real life I'm an RN) about using ice to rapidly change the temperature of someone on the verge of or in heat exhaustion/stroke. I also think, for the most part, barring unforeseen circumstances, it is the responsibility of the individual to maintain there own health. While I will gladly aid anyone who may fall ill at an event, it is not my job to look after their basic health needs or assure they have common sense.


I'll be quite honest. I don't have a desire, nor will I by choice, attend an event with women on the field without proper and DETAILED documentation... For that matter, I will not knowingly attend or support an event that permits anyone with an undocumented impression to participate. That goes for women, foreign observers, sharpshooters, zoozoo's, etc... Hopefully, I have not offended anyone, and my quest for accuracy will not be misconstrued as sexism.

Billy Birney

Bravo Bill! I like that you can at least distinguish your opinion from fact. As has been said many times before, there is a place in this hobby for everyone, be it gal troops, ice angels, female nurses five feet from the front line, history heavy/impression specific events, etc., etc., etc. Like I keep saying, there is nothing wrong with personal likes or dislikes. The problem is when we make broadly generalized statements about history to back up our opinion, and cannot back it up with facts. It is the cowards way out of having to deal with the disagreements and dislikes of him/her and his/her opinion.

Regular DOC
12-15-2008, 10:11 AM
Monsieur 2RIV,
You've made a good point; however, Mr. and Mrs. Shwatka have provided us with a short list of names and little else. It is much easier to provide exceptions to a rule than it is to defend a rule from these exceptions. I hope that the Shwatka's will provide further information. Unit affiliations would be nice. When and where these women were at a particular time, especially when relevant to a specific scenario being portrayed, would be absolutely superb.

My first event of the season was the Battle of Glendale. Were there any female nurses anywhere near the front lines of the 4th PA Reserves on 30 June 1862? What about at the battle of Pickett's Mill behind the 29th Ohio? Gettysburg, within site of the 1st Minnesota and it's charge of 2nd July? Following the 13th Virginia at Cedar Mountain? It's up to them to prove that there was a woman present if they wish to have a legitimate impression for said event. Otherwise, I would hope that they would support historical accuracy and stay off the field. To expect me to prove that there weren't any nurses in the vacinity is rediculous. My impression as an infantryman is already proven for the above scenarios.

In regards to the 'ice angel' argument, I fail to see how that belongs in this discussion at all. I will merely state that none of the events I attended this past year, with the possible exception of At High Tide, had an 'ice angel'. The claim that they are benefitial to reenactor health on the field may or may not have legitimacy; however, I can not believe that they are a necessity at any event.

I'll be quite honest. I don't have a desire, nor will I by choice, attend an event with women on the field without proper and DETAILED documentation... For that matter, I will not knowingly attend or support an event that permits anyone with an undocumented impression to participate. That goes for women, foreign observers, sharpshooters, zoozoo's, etc... Hopefully, I have not offended anyone, and my quest for accuracy will not be misconstrued as sexism.

Billy Birney


So you are between the age of 18-35 and are around 5'8"? I mean if we only want to represent the common accuracy that was what a soldier should be in physical demensions. None of my posts indicate I want women on the line or in the field. My statement about Ice angels were out of site either back at camp or well away from the battlefield and was in response to someone's statement. I am referring to the Field Hospitals mainly after the battle.

In addition if you read the original posts we were offereing suggestions to someone who wanted to get their daughter into the hobby in an appropriate impression. There a couple people suggested for her to try x or y. Including stating the her age would proclude her from nurse but might be better to try one of the support commisions. But the disscussion quickly turned into a they don't belong there don't under the famous unless they can document broad generalization. Isn't that what we want people to do research and find the documentation. I would expect the young lady to research what impression she does. However that rally cry usual only applies to those in impressions that don't burn powder. No one demands that cavalry private in his 50's document his presence on the field. No one demands the 6'4 250 pound infantry 1st Sgt document his presence. Both of those people are outside the accurate norm for a soldier of the day but no one demands they document themselves being there.

Regular DOC
12-15-2008, 10:17 AM
I agree, but the problem is that "immediately after" in period terms means they typically arrived in a day or two, to help the soldiers who would be there for days or weeks before being evacuated to city hospitals farther back. In reenacting terms, "immediately after" means ten minutes, to help the soldiers who will be up and shopping at the sutlers in an hour.

If we're talking about the typical role of the thousands of woman in caring for the wounded, rather than the few notable exceptions, it wasn't within sight of the firing line; it was like Louisa May Alcott or Phoebe Yates Pember, laboring amid the drudgery and horrors of city hospitals. True, that wasn't as flashy as running around on the battlefield, but it's a shame to see their work and sacrifice ignored to the point that it's no longer even considered common, just because it's difficult to find a living history situation where it can be portrayed.



Of course. The problem is that it's very rare to see a field hospital portrayed at an event. Usually what's portrayed is a dressing station, or merely preparation for the evacuation of the wounded to the dressing station with minimal stabilizing care. And hospital ships--well, wouldn't that be cool to see! But not in our lifetime, I'm afraid, unless someone coughs up a few hundred thousand dollars.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net




Hank

That is where I like to point out to people that we are representinmg something that went on for days after the battle. When we do a field hospital impression it isn't as much of a chore though setting up wards is nearly impossible unless like you said you have thousands of dollars. We set up the surgeons portion sometime even setting up a diet kitchen. You can't set up the full hospital but selected portions of it.

Pvt Schnapps
12-15-2008, 01:53 PM
Harry's right about the role of women in the medical department or as vivandiers. I don't think those taking exception to his statements have provided much beyond a list of names. It would help immeasurably if they could also provide some reputable original source citations.

As an example, we have this from "General Orders of the War Department" (available and searchable on Google Books):

"War Dep't, Adjutant General's Office
Washington, June 9, 1861

"General Orders
No. 31

"Women nurses will not reside in the camps, nor accompany regiments on the march; but those who apply for service, and are highly accredited, having certificates from two Physicians, and two Clergymen of standing; and will forward the same to Miss D. L. Dix, at Washington, will receive a certificate in return accrediting them for service in any Military Hospital in the United States where such services are required.

"By order,
L. Thomas, Adjutant General"

Further reading in the Surgeon's Manual and Steward's Manual makes it even clearer that the "any Military Hospital" referred to a general hospital in the rear. From a general order of the AOP written by Letterman, hospitals in time of battle consisted of field dressing stations managed by a small number of the regiment's medical personnel with the majority of such personnel consolidated at divisional hospitals. There was plenty of work for women and civilian employees of the Hospital Corps in Washington City, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

So, apart from an individual impression of Mary Tepe at Fredericksburg or Clara Barton at Antietam, there really is no role for a woman on the battlefield unless she's portraying a man, and even the documentation for Tepe and Barton is, as I recall, pretty weak.

If someone has a contemporary original source that would indicate otherwise, I would love to see it. I have not been able to find anything of the sort in the ORs or the books and periodicals on the Cornell MOA site.

2RIV
12-15-2008, 02:01 PM
Now that is cited examples. I wouldn't argue with the citations listed at all.

David Meister
12-15-2008, 03:11 PM
I would highly recommend a Sanitary Commission Impression for an 18 year old Female interested in aiding soldiers. I would never allow my 18 year old daughter near the front lines or anywhere near the Army as a whole. That’s speaking as if I Had a daughter. I do not. God has decided to Bless Me with two sons thus far and very soon a third.

Being that I portray an Assistant Surgeon…

If I were to find a female in the ranks I would have her discharged according to Army Regulations Immediately. Being a Christian I would try provide for her a means to return to her family.. If that is possible.

David Meister
12-15-2008, 03:14 PM
You may Contact My Wife Sarah if you would like to know more about the
Sanitary Commission.

Pvt Schnapps
12-15-2008, 04:18 PM
Google Books also has several contemporary works on the Sanitary Commission, e.g.,

The Sanitary Commission of the United States Army: A Succinct Narrative of ...‎ by United States Sanitary Commission - 1864 - 318 pages

The United States Sanitary Commission: A Sketch of Its Purposes and Its Work‎ - by Katharine Prescott Wormeley - 1863 - 299 pages

History of the United States Sanitary Commission: Being the General Report ...‎ by United States Sanitary Commission, Charles Janeway Stillé - United States - 1868

These are great sources for those interested in the operations of this organization. If you search you'll find even more.

Pvt Schnapps
12-15-2008, 04:30 PM
If I were to find a female in the ranks I would have her discharged according to Army Regulations Immediately. Being a Christian I would try provide for her a means to return to her family.. If that is possible.

Nothing's immediate in the army. There has to be a court martial for false muster at least, and a refund of bounty, the cost of any clothing issued above the allowance, &c. &c. But I'm sure her transportation at least part of the way home would be covered. Not comfortable, but covered. :)

David Meister
12-15-2008, 04:45 PM
Well I should have said with out delay on my part instead of immediately . You know the army "hurry up and wait!"

Regular DOC
12-15-2008, 04:45 PM
Harry's right about the role of women in the medical department or as vivandiers. I don't think those taking exception to his statements have provided much beyond a list of names. It would help immeasurably if they could also provide some reputable original source citations.

As an example, we have this from "General Orders of the War Department" (available and searchable on Google Books):

"War Dep't, Adjutant General's Office
Washington, June 9, 1861

"General Orders
No. 31

"Women nurses will not reside in the camps, nor accompany regiments on the march; but those who apply for service, and are highly accredited, having certificates from two Physicians, and two Clergymen of standing; and will forward the same to Miss D. L. Dix, at Washington, will receive a certificate in return accrediting them for service in any Military Hospital in the United States where such services are required.

"By order,
L. Thomas, Adjutant General"

Further reading in the Surgeon's Manual and Steward's Manual makes it even clearer that the "any Military Hospital" referred to a general hospital in the rear. From a general order of the AOP written by Letterman, hospitals in time of battle consisted of field dressing stations managed by a small number of the regiment's medical personnel with the majority of such personnel consolidated at divisional hospitals. There was plenty of work for women and civilian employees of the Hospital Corps in Washington City, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

So, apart from an individual impression of Mary Tepe at Fredericksburg or Clara Barton at Antietam, there really is no role for a woman on the battlefield unless she's portraying a man, and even the documentation for Tepe and Barton is, as I recall, pretty weak.

If someone has a contemporary original source that would indicate otherwise, I would love to see it. I have not been able to find anything of the sort in the ORs or the books and periodicals on the Cornell MOA site.

So pension records and regimental histories are not realiable sources now? So if we are going PEC like there is no role for women there is equally no role for white haired privates.

Brian Schwatka
Surgeon
3RD US Regular Inf Co D+K

Regular DOC
12-15-2008, 04:58 PM
Flamebait like that serves no practical purpose on this forum other than to rile people up. Harry has never intimated that he has an anti-female tilt, in fact, his only tilt is "pro history". Rather than spoon feed research to people about a commonly known historical fact that by and large, women did not go on the battlefield, you just called him out and showed quite a classless act of posting personal messages, all to provoke and cause trouble. They are called "personal" messages for a reason. I do respect that you signed your posting, however. Just like the "leopard skin pants" from Echoes of Glory, you can always find isolated research back-up to show something occured at least once in the war, but we should all be more interested in the what occured most commonly, and that without a doubt was that women and civilians rarely worked on the battlefield.



So as I have asked several times are you equally "pro-history" when it comes to the age and size of most reenactors? Of course we don't tell older or overweight reenactors they can't play cause they don't make the norm. Yes women in the hospitals were not the norm during the battles but in the days immeadiately following they were not uncommon.

Pvt Schnapps
12-15-2008, 05:27 PM
So pension records and regimental histories are not realiable sources now? So if we are going PEC like there is no role for women there is equally no role for white haired privates.

Brian Schwatka
Surgeon
3RD US Regular Inf Co D+K

I'm not saying that at all, Brian (and BTW, nice to see you at Fredericksburg on Saturday) and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I've written pretty extensively on this forum and others about the inevitable demographic challenges we face in reenacting and I've always argued for tolerance. Even the average "campaigner" is, from my observation and the limited data I've collected, about 2 inches taller, 20 years older, and 30-40 pounds heavier than the average original soldier. So, like Harry and unlike many others, I can accept a woman portraying a man if she's as close to the original as I am. We also know that women did pass as men.

What I object to are vivandiers, ice angels, Mexican military observers, kilted bagpipers, and others on battlefields when they weren't there. I don't even like to see the wrong corps badges, zouaves, Garibaldisti, or even sharp shooters where they weren't. Same with female nurses. If you can document it, great. But the documentation I've seen presented for vivandiers, for example, is pretty slim and anecdotal.

And sources written during the actual war tend to carry more weight with me than works written long after. Regimental histories written in the 80s and 90s can trend towards the fanciful. Awards of pensions could be influenced by politics. If I see something unusual in a post-war history, I try to check it out with a source closer to the actual war. In some cases the post-war account turns out to be demonstrably false.

Interestingly, some of the best post-war descriptions of the army, such as Si Klegg and Hardtack and Coffee (both of which check out pretty well with contemporary accounts), make absolutely no mention of women as frontline nurses or vivandiers. Even laundresses got pretty scarce pretty early, though G. A. Sala and others mention their presence in winter encampments.

Going a little further, if General Orders forbade women accompanying the regiments in the field, then such an impression had better be pretty well documented if the person portraying such wishes other living historians to take them seriously.

I hope this is clearer. As others have stated, there are some great roles for women as women in reenacting without having to invent more.

Ross L. Lamoreaux
12-15-2008, 05:34 PM
So as I have asked several times are you equally "pro-history" when it comes to the age and size of most reenactors? Of course we don't tell older or overweight reenactors they can't play cause they don't make the norm. Yes women in the hospitals were not the norm during the battles but in the days immeadiately following they were not uncommon.
I am so pro-history that I practice what I preach by mostly portraying a citizen now. At the age of 39 and being more portly than the average private soldier, I know when my gig is up, so in the interest of the common historical experience, I am more believable as a civilian. Instead of the usual redirection of blame on the dreaded people who focus on historical based practices, and since we don't reenact the days following battles very often, lets go back to discussing history-heavy roles and not trying to justify an uncommon practice

Pvt Schnapps
12-15-2008, 05:37 PM
Yes women in the hospitals were not the norm during the battles but in the days immeadiately following they were not uncommon.

Here's an opportunity for you to document something Brian. As I read the AOP general order by Letterman from August, 1862, there were no women at divisional hospitals because those staffs consisted of surgeons and enlisted personnel detached from the regiments. The women would, per the June, 1861 General Order, be limited to service well to the rear, a role that Louisa May Alcott did a wonderful job of describing in her hospital sketches. If you can find something that shows otherwise -- that Dix, the USSC, or USCC commonly sent women to the front -- let us know.

Alternatively, you could have a woman portraying a local civilian caught up in the fray and assisting with the care of wounded, but that should be something appropriate to the specific event. There are some excellent reenactors out there who portray a wide range of 19th century civilians. But I don't think any of them portray a female "field nurse" because the position did not exist.

2RIV
12-15-2008, 05:41 PM
Flamebait like that serves no practical purpose on this forum other than to rile people up.

On the contrary Ross. Harry made a vague and generalized statement. One again, and I will spoon feed it to you since you seemed to miss it; I said I agree that what he said was historically accurate. My problem is that he presented it without backing it up with any other information. He basically just sad, "It never, ever, never, ever happened." The way his message came across stunk of hidden agenda.

Harry has never intimated that he has an anti-female tilt, in fact, his only tilt is "pro history". Rather than spoon feed research to people about a commonly known historical fact that by and large, women did not go on the battlefield,

I agree that this is true, but, if he is so history heavy, he should cite evidence for his case. Once again, we should be very careful of broad generalizations.

you just called him out and showed quite a classless act of posting personal messages, all to provoke and cause trouble. They are called "personal" messages for a reason.

Once again, he had to show his cowardice by sending me a private message, so he would not have to show everyone else his poor attempt to corner and intimidate me. Hence why he did not respond to my reply to his pm, nor on this thread. Classless is having to covertly send private messages to intimidate others into submission. Just because he sent it privately does not mean I am obligated to keep it that way. I would have posted my reply as well, but what was said on may part, as I stated earlier, does not comply with forum rules of posting for the general public.

I do respect that you signed your posting, however. Just like the "leopard skin pants" from Echoes of Glory, you can always find isolated research back-up to show something occured at least once in the war, but we should all be more interested in the what occured most commonly, and that without a doubt was that women and civilians rarely worked on the battlefield.

Once again, Ross, I agree, but; you cannot make over generalizations, not cite any research or examples, and then get offended when called out.



Ross,
I find your posts on this forum both interesting, and knowledgeable. Also, you almost always seem to cite your research. I am assuming that Harry is a friend of yours, since you seem to have come to his aid. I respect that, and would do the same for any of my friends. I hope you also see that I have a point here as well.

hanktrent
12-15-2008, 06:04 PM
Instead of the usual redirection of blame on the dreaded people who focus on historical based practices, and since we don't reenact the days following battles very often, lets go back to discussing history-heavy roles and not trying to justify an uncommon practice

It's ironic, I was just discussing by email with the woman portraying my sister at Piney Woods, where the heck are our children? We could sure use a teen/twenty-something female or male in our family, if they could handle the role physically. So there are roles available at history-heavy events for young females and children.

The problem I've found is that for a lot of reenactors, the history-heavy events are either too scattered requiring too much travel, or too specific requiring too much adaptation (you can't just have a recurring role with your group that portrays the Sanitary Commission or whatever), or too challenging or intimidating no matter how helpful and supportive one tries to be, or honestly just not what someone thinks would sound like fun.

So then they're left with the events where ice angels might be accepted, might not; where female soldiers might be okay or might be complained about; where you have to pick a role and try to fit it in rather than being given a list of roles that are definitely wanted; where you have two groups to deal with, the overall organizers and your local unit. Ironically, it can be harder to become accepted at an event that's more open to diversity, because each group or subgroup or individual may try to enforce their own view through peer pressure, and the views may be very different.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Regular DOC
12-15-2008, 06:13 PM
Here's an opportunity for you to document something Brian. As I read the AOP general order by Letterman from August, 1862, there were no women at divisional hospitals because those staffs consisted of surgeons and enlisted personnel detached from the regiments. The women would, per the June, 1861 General Order, be limited to service well to the rear, a role that Louisa May Alcott did a wonderful job of describing in her hospital sketches. If you can find something that shows otherwise -- that Dix, the USSC, or USCC commonly sent women to the front -- let us know.

Alternatively, you could have a woman portraying a local civilian caught up in the fray and assisting with the care of wounded, but that should be something appropriate to the specific event. There are some excellent reenactors out there who portray a wide range of 19th century civilians. But I don't think any of them portray a female "field nurse" because the position did not exist.


The ones who were on the front were mostly independants under the direct employment of the states or who volunteered on their own.

An example Would be Harriet P. Dame

Adjutant General State of New Hampshire Report 1865 pgs 152-153

Maj J.D. Cooper 2nd NH Infantry

"I allude to Miss Harriet P. Dame. I allude to her in this connection, because she is more nearly connected with the Second then any other regiment, and there is not a military organization from New Hampshire some of whose members have not recieved her kind care and attention. She is dear to the hearts of all our soldiers; all feel that a more noble self-sacrificing, patriotic woman does not exist, and her noble devotion to cause which profes to love has shone forth moreconspicuously while suffering from seeming neglect.

She has followed the Army from commencment of the war unitl present time, and she has been an angel of mercy to hundreds of sick and wounded soldiers from our State. Many days and sleepless nights she has stood by the side of our noble patriotic sons who have gone to their long homes, doing all power to alleviate their sufferings, and soothe their sorrows in the dying hour. The fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives of New Hampshire can never thank this nobel woman enough for the deeds of mercy she has done for their loved ones. At the second battle of Bull Run, while she was on the battlefield, nursing and assiting the wounded, she was taken prisoner of war and marched to Stonewall Jackson's headquaters. On the next day she was released and allowed to passinside our lines."

"She always goes where her services are the moist needed. Shot and shell strike no terror in her."


I could devote more but I will let my wife do that as she has the dozens of pages of notes on the subject an unfortuneately more as she is one her way back from Carliisle Army Barracks doing research.(Great more papers cluttering the living room.)

Regular DOC
12-15-2008, 06:26 PM
I'm not saying that at all, Brian (and BTW, nice to see you at Fredericksburg on Saturday) and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I've written pretty extensively on this forum and others about the inevitable demographic challenges we face in reenacting and I've always argued for tolerance. Even the average "campaigner" is, from my observation and the limited data I've collected, about 2 inches taller, 20 years older, and 30-40 pounds heavier than the average original soldier. So, like Harry and unlike many others, I can accept a woman portraying a man if she's as close to the original as I am. We also know that women did pass as men.

What I object to are vivandiers, ice angels, Mexican military observers, kilted bagpipers, and others on battlefields when they weren't there. I don't even like to see the wrong corps badges, zouaves, Garibaldisti, or even sharp shooters where they weren't. Same with female nurses. If you can document it, great. But the documentation I've seen presented for vivandiers, for example, is pretty slim and anecdotal.

And sources written during the actual war tend to carry more weight with me than works written long after. Regimental histories written in the 80s and 90s can trend towards the fanciful. Awards of pensions could be influenced by politics. If I see something unusual in a post-war history, I try to check it out with a source closer to the actual war. In some cases the post-war account turns out to be demonstrably false.

Interestingly, some of the best post-war descriptions of the army, such as Si Klegg and Hardtack and Coffee (both of which check out pretty well with contemporary accounts), make absolutely no mention of women as frontline nurses or vivandiers. Even laundresses got pretty scarce pretty early, though G. A. Sala and others mention their presence in winter encampments.

Going a little further, if General Orders forbade women accompanying the regiments in the field, then such an impression had better be pretty well documented if the person portraying such wishes other living historians to take them seriously.

I hope this is clearer. As others have stated, there are some great roles for women as women in reenacting without having to invent more.



Agreed(BTW Fredericksburg was fun got to do some loading and firing in the prone position that I usually don't get to do.) I thank you for highlighting what I pointed out. I myself am in that field as too heavy. Though as a surgeon I am about right for age.

On the women in the ranks. Though not a fan of it since most women don't pass well I have to remind myself we are looking through 21st Century eyes. I often point to a photo of my Grand Father from the First World War. His buddy in the picture could easily pass today as a flat chested teenage girl. And that was less then 100 years ago. Men were a bit more feminine looking then.

Ross L. Lamoreaux
12-15-2008, 06:55 PM
Ross,
I find your posts on this forum both interesting, and knowledgeable. Also, you almost always seem to cite your research. I am assuming that Harry is a friend of yours, since you seem to have come to his aid. I respect that, and would do the same for any of my friends. I hope you also see that I have a point here as well.
On the contrary, I've never met Harry before. I backed him up though due to his prior posts and knowledge as demonstrated in the past. I can also appreciate that he tried to use the Personal Message format to communicate an issue rather than continue to drone on in public. I utilize that quite frequently to some on this forum when there seems to be a personal calling-out or issue, and it has worked quite well in some cases. Some people view this as cowardice, but I view it as civil. I can also appreciate that you have a valid point in this issue (and I can also say that I've appreciated many of your past postings on a variety of issues as well), but what I am attempting to point out is that you can find a handful of documented cases for almost any portrayal or impression you want to do, but it doesn't make it any more acceptable as a common impression.

MD_Independent26
12-15-2008, 07:34 PM
So you are between the age of 18-35 and are around 5'8"? I mean if we only want to represent the common accuracy that was what a soldier should be in physical demensions. None of my posts indicate I want women on the line or in the field. My statement about Ice angels were out of site either back at camp or well away from the battlefield and was in response to someone's statement. I am referring to the Field Hospitals mainly after the battle.


I am 26 years old. 150 lbs. 6'2" tall. With a mouth full of rotten teeth. I am by trade a sawyer at a mill that is about 50 years behind in technology. Grew up on a little farm where we were still using an old draft horse for plowing until I was about ten or so. I put a good bit of effort into my impression, and driving sixteen+ hours to a quality events takes a lot out of a guy. I will travel half way across the country( and have) to an event that features impressions based on history, not tiny threads of contradictory evidence. I will settle for a white haired private in the ranks, if he can do what is required of us. I will settle for a heavier private if he is a serious living historian with a good attitude. I will settle for a female nurse, or actually, more than that, I would be happy to see a female nurse at an event when it is well-documented for the scenario. I do not have to settle for the lowest common denominator of a half-baked impression based on conjuncture, the need to 'do something', and imagination.

Tell you what. If you put on an event that will portray a scenario that occurs several days after a battle or even a hospital far from the front, I will gladly portray a wounded man for the duration. That would be a superb experience, I believe. It would give all the 'nurses' and 'doctors' in our hobby an opportunity to have an event based on their own impressions without the need to work around an active combat scenario. It would also be a very educational experience for myself. I've often wondered what a well-staffed
19th century hospital would truly be like. And it would give me a reason to stay in bed for an entire weekend.

Billy Birney

celtfiddler
12-15-2008, 08:41 PM
Monsieur 2RIV,
You've made a good point; however, Mr. and Mrs. Shwatka have provided us with a short list of names and little else. It is much easier to provide exceptions to a rule than it is to defend a rule from these exceptions. I hope that the Shwatka's will provide further information. Unit affiliations would be nice. When and where these women were at a particular time, especially when relevant to a specific scenario being portrayed, would be absolutely superb.


Billy Birney

Funny how a woman who's done 10+ years of research on a subject is required to post a detailed bibliography to men who don't want to admit that hard and fast generalizations they take as gospel don't have to be backed up with a similiarly detailed biography.

For your information the first section of names came from Congressional Records of private pension bills filed before the Nurses Pension and Relief bill was passed by Congress. Since you are in obvious need of spoon-feeding of where to find that information on HeritageQuest Online's Search US Serial Set feature (here's a clue--check your local library for access)

Since you seem to require further details--I access that and Ancestry.com's databases where I have also located information on pension records via Navy Knowledge Online.

I don't have time to post a complete detailed bibliography--nor will I submit to the blatantly sexist requirement that I spoon-feed it either. I just returned from a trip to the Army's Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks PA where I have registered research privileges and need to get ready for my day job in the am that pays the bills for research trips where I get to see either copies of primary documents or documents themselves.

If you want actual information about some of the women who served as nurses, I highly suggest starting with Google books. It's amazing some of the journals, diaries, and compilations such as the book Our Army Nurses that you'll find (assuming that you have the will to actually do research beyond reading regulations).

Pvt Schnapps
12-16-2008, 09:04 AM
Funny how a woman who's done 10+ years of research on a subject is required to post a detailed bibliography to men who don't want to admit that hard and fast generalizations they take as gospel don't have to be backed up with a similiarly detailed biography.

For your information the first section of names came from Congressional Records of private pension bills filed before the Nurses Pension and Relief bill was passed by Congress. Since you are in obvious need of spoon-feeding of where to find that information on HeritageQuest Online's Search US Serial Set feature (here's a clue--check your local library for access)

Since you seem to require further details--I access that and Ancestry.com's databases where I have also located information on pension records via Navy Knowledge Online.

I don't have time to post a complete detailed bibliography--nor will I submit to the blatantly sexist requirement that I spoon-feed it either. I just returned from a trip to the Army's Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks PA where I have registered research privileges and need to get ready for my day job in the am that pays the bills for research trips where I get to see either copies of primary documents or documents themselves.

If you want actual information about some of the women who served as nurses, I highly suggest starting with Google books. It's amazing some of the journals, diaries, and compilations such as the book Our Army Nurses that you'll find (assuming that you have the will to actually do research beyond reading regulations).

I keep thinking of the line in "Cool Hand Luke" about "failure to communicate" :) In this case we can all share some of the responsibility.

Reading back over your first post, I think most of us would agree with at least 90% of it, depending on how one defines "field hospital." I think everyone can agree with the idea that individual women appeared on battlefields from time to time, particularly if they were civilians in the area. But the original post and the title of this thread mentioned "field nurse" and I think most of us agree that the army did not have, in the 1860s, female medical staff who were supposed to be in the field.

We agree that young ladies ought not to portray such -- you, primarily because of Miss Dix's criteria (which were really relevant to the original poster), and some of us guys because we see it as another case where a person may be basing their history on their desired impression rather than their impression on documented history.

There is a lot of received wisdom and sexism in the hobby. In this case, though, I think the reaction to the original post was to the prospect of another poorly documented impression rather than from baser motives. But like a lot that happens online, the miracle of modern technology has led several of us to hear things that differ from what some thought they said, and shout at each other over disagreements that we may not actually have.

I hope to see both you and Brian at C. F. Smith in January. I'm sure if we get a chance to talk about the medical impression face-to-face we'll find we have much more in common than otherwise.

FloridaConfederate
12-16-2008, 09:18 AM
Might as well post till I get the official ban hammer from Pritchard 8-)

Firper accounts of women on the march, under fire and providing water to troops on the battlefield:


Chapter II and III (pp. 29-54) 1864: Nurse and Spy in the Union Army: The Adventures and Experiences of a Woman in Hospitals, Camps, and Battle-Fields Sarah Emma Edmonds


Fatigues of the March

Early the next morning the reveille beat, the whole camp was soon in motion, and after a slight breakfast from our haversacks the march was resumed. The day was very hot, and we found great difficulty in obtaining water, the want of which caused the troops much suffering. Many of the men were sun‑struck, and others began to drop out of the ranks from exhaustion. All such as were not able to march were put into ambulances and sent back to Washington. Toward noon, the tedium of the march began to be enlivened by sharp volleys of musketry, in the direction of the advance guard; but those alarms were only occasioned by our skirmishers, pouring a volley into everything which looked as if it might contain a masked battery, or a band of the enemy's sharpshooters.

Considerable excitement prevailed throughout the day, as we were every hour in expectation of meeting the enemy. Carefully feeling its way, however, the army moved steadily on, investigating every field, building, and ravine, for miles in front and to the right and left, until it reached Centerville -- where we halted for the night.

The troops now began to feel the effects of the march, and there was evidently a lack of that pic‑nic hilarity which had characterized them the day before. Several regiments had been supplied with new shoes the day before leaving camp, and they found by sad experience, that they were not the most comfortable things to march in, as their poor blistered feet testified; in many cases their feet were literally raw, the thick woolen stockings having chafed the skin off. Mrs. B. and I, having provided ourselves before leaving camp, with a quantity of linen, bandages, lint, ointment, etc. found it very convenient now, even before a shot had been fired by the enemy.

My Place On the Field

Mrs. B. and myself took our position on the field, according to orders, in connection with Gen. Heintzelman's division, having delivered our horses to Jack for safe keeping, with strict orders to remain where he was, for we might require them at any moment. I imagine now, I see Mrs. B., as she stood there, looking as brave as possible, with her narrow brimmed leghorn hat, black cloth riding habit, shortened to walking length by the use of a page, a silver‑mounted seven‑shooter in her belt, a canteen of water swung over one shoulder and a flask of brandy over the other, and a haversack with provision, lint, bandages, adhesive plaster, etc. hanging by her side. She was. tall and slender, with dark brown hair, pale face, and blue eyes.

Chaplain B. sat upon his horse looking as solemn as if standing face to face with the angel of death. The first man I saw killed was a gunner belonging to Col. R.'s command. A shell had burst in the midst of the battery, killing one and wounding three men and two horses. Mr. B. jumped from his horse, hitched it to a tree, and ran forward to the battery; Mrs. B. and I following his example as fast as we could. I stooped over one of the wounded, who lay upon his face weltering in his blood; I raised his head, and who should it be but Willie L. He was mortally wounded in the breast, and the tide of life was fast ebbing away; the stretchers were soon brought, and he was carried from the field.

Water for the Wounded

I WAS hurried off to Centerville, a distance of seven miles, for a fresh supply of brandy, lint, etc. When I returned, the field was literally strewn with wounded, dead and dying. Mrs. B. was nowhere to be found. Had she been killed or wounded? A few moments of torturing suspense and then I saw her coming toward me, running her horse with all possible speed, with about fifty canteens hanging from the pommel of her saddle. To all my inquiries there was but one answer: "Don't stay to care for the wounded now; the troops are famishing with thirst and are beginning to fall back." Mr. B. then rode up with the same order, and we three started for a spring a mile distant, having gathered up the empty canteens which lay strewn on the field. This was the nearest spring; the enemy knew it, and consequently had posted sharpshooters within rifle range to prevent the troops being supplied with water. Notwithstanding this, we filled our canteens, while the Minnie balls fell thick and fast around us, and returned in safety to distribute the fruits of our labor among the exhausted men.

We spent three hours in this manner, while the tide of battle rolled on more fiercely than before, until the enemy made a desperate charge on our troops driving them back and taking full possession of the spring. Chaplain B.'s horse was shot through the neck and bled to death in a few moments. Then Mrs. B. and I dismounted and went to work again among the wounded.


Chris Rideout
Say Hello to the Bad Guy Mess

Pvt Schnapps
12-16-2008, 09:50 AM
Might as well post till I get the official ban hammer from Pritchard 8-)

Firper accounts of women on the march, under fire and providing water to troops on the battlefield:




Chris Rideout
Say Hello to the Bad Guy Mess

Hey, Bad Guy! :)

Sarah Edmonds, Mary Tepe, and other exceptional women present us with an interesting question: were there enough women like them on which to base a general impression, or should they serve only as a basis for individual impressionists, like the General Lees and Longstreets one encounters from time to time.

It's a matter on which reasonable people can differ. At September Storm I sided with the decision to disallow any individual impression that wasn't documented to the battles portrayed, which cost us the services of a battalion that would attend with vivandiers or not at all.

We also required women portraying men to get advance clearance, which was a higher standard than applied to the men, but seemed a reasonable compromise given the number of men who didn't want to see any women in the ranks at all.

Sarah Edmonds would make a great subject for an individual presentation at a Second Manassas living history, but I wouldn't want to see more than one at a time, or any at a battle she wasn't at.

But that would apply only to battles in which Sarah was a "she." I think during the period covered by your citation she was still passing as a man, in which case you could portray her yourself, at least as well as most of us portray the boys in the ranks.

FloridaConfederate
12-16-2008, 10:14 AM
Notwithstanding your finely honed ability to explain (w/ a bunch of fancy werds) why anything which you don't agree is either made up to elicit Southern sympathy, is a rare one time occurrence or some other mitigating and disproving theory, she had been discovered by then and thus why she was in a non-combat capacity.... and......... how do you account for Mrs. B ?

Here you have a firper account of two women (one armed) along the FLOB engaged in nursing services, under direct fire (also whist providing water). For me this proof that it did occur and is sufficient for a lady to enjoy civil war themed mainstream festivals with her family.

Of course at the top tier, history heavy events the likes of which folks are all over Schnappie to attend.....different story.

Chris Rideout
Put Down the Blue Specklewear Cup and Let Her Do Her Thing Mess

Pvt Schnapps
12-16-2008, 10:35 AM
For me this proof that it did occur and is sufficient for a lady to enjoy civil war themed mainstream festivals with her family.



I'm not sure how you'll take this, but I totally agree with you there.

southern_belle1861
12-16-2008, 11:31 AM
I have not read this entire thread, and I may be flamed for this, but...


My 18 year old daughter wants to do more than just sit with the spectators. Here in Northwest Georgia we have not been able to find anything in writing about nurses at reenactments (dressed as women), but she was "told by someone" that she could not participate until she turned 24. If she wanted to dress as a man, she could have been on the field last year. Any suggestions?
Thank you,
Bill H.

Based on what I've read about nurses on the "field,” it seems as though they were:
A) lower class women who could not afford to remove themselves from the area prior to a battle
B) women who traveled with their respective regiments throughout a portion of the war.
(these are of course wide generalizations: you'll have to research each individual reenactment and the unit you are portraying to be able to pull it off properly)

From my research of the lower classes, they were not held in very high esteem by the higher classes of Victorian Era society. This enabled the women to be able to nurse male patients *after* the battle. It was generally considered very improper (especially for a young, unmarried woman) to be around such carnage and nudity. I have not found many instances where civilian women who were unattached to any one regiment went to the front lines during the battle to help. It was more of a necessity of the aftermath off the battle. These women were not usually used to administer medication, but there to wash clothing, read, write letters, and do other menial tasks which the doctors were too busy to do themselves.

As for the women who traveled with a regiment? I consider these too rare to even begin to consider portraying them without specific documentation (Mary X was at ________ battle, attached to ______ regiment). This narrows your perspective portrayals to very few reenactments. I would not consider doing this impression as her "staple" impression.

I understand your daughter's wish to do more than "sit around with the spectators". I myself could not stand to sit around in pretty clothing all day, while the boys went out and played war games (my words, not her's). I have learned that at the more mainstream reenactments, civilians have to *make* things to do for themselves. Reenactments that are centered around a more military "theme" tend to center their focus on just that- The Military. (This is not their fault, or the fault of anyone group of people, really). This leaves the civilians to "fend for themselves" so to speak. Perhaps she should consider portraying a local farm girl who has brought food to sell to the troops. If the scenario permits, perhaps a refugee (although, like the "traveling nurses", this is hard to pull off unless properly documented). There are several other ways to more accurately portray women of the period than the typical female soldier or field nurse.

If your daughter would like some help crafting an appropriate impression, I'd be more than happy to help her out. I know of a civilian group down in GA that is just starting up, if she'd be interested in that sort of thing. If she's interested in either of the above, I can be reached at: homespundress (at) yahoo . com

Hope this helps! :)

Regular DOC
12-16-2008, 03:05 PM
Hey, Bad Guy! :)

Sarah Edmonds, Mary Tepe, and other exceptional women present us with an interesting question: were there enough women like them on which to base a general impression, or should they serve only as a basis for individual impressionists, like the General Lees and Longstreets one encounters from time to time.

It's a matter on which reasonable people can differ. At September Storm I sided with the decision to disallow any individual impression that wasn't documented to the battles portrayed, which cost us the services of a battalion that would attend with vivandiers or not at all.

We also required women portraying men to get advance clearance, which was a higher standard than applied to the men, but seemed a reasonable compromise given the number of men who didn't want to see any women in the ranks at all.

Sarah Edmonds would make a great subject for an individual presentation at a Second Manassas living history, but I wouldn't want to see more than one at a time, or any at a battle she wasn't at.

But that would apply only to battles in which Sarah was a "she." I think during the period covered by your citation she was still passing as a man, in which case you could portray her yourself, at least as well as most of us portray the boys in the ranks.

Hey you think any guys could pass for a civilian woman?:p

Pvt Schnapps
12-16-2008, 03:24 PM
Hey you think any guys could pass for a civilian woman?:p

Ideally we would never know. :)

southern_belle1861
12-16-2008, 05:20 PM
Hey you think any guys could pass for a civilian woman?:p

Based on some of the period pics I've seen... yes ;)

Elaine Kessinger
12-16-2008, 07:46 PM
An anecdote: Mr. Gruber of N&T, before last year's GAC event, got a phone call from a male person in Sweden asking if he could wear his ballgown to the re-enactment. With but a little hesitation, Mr. Gruber replied, "sure, if it's made of Kevlar"

Regular DOC
12-16-2008, 10:04 PM
An anecdote: Mr. Gruber of N&T, before last year's GAC event, got a phone call from a male person in Sweden asking if he could wear his ballgown to the re-enactment. With but a little hesitation, Mr. Gruber replied, "sure, if it's made of Kevlar"


Well I do have this lovely taffetta two piece gown but no lace gloves to go with it.:p

Pvt Schnapps
12-16-2008, 10:18 PM
I really like the fact that we've moved on from slamming each other to having fun with this. Hopefully the young lady referred to in the original post will take all the leads and suggestions that have been offered, do a little research, and decide what's best for her right now.

Chessa, I think you may have provided the best comments so far in #41. Thanks.

Spinster
12-17-2008, 10:57 AM
I am 26 years old. 150 lbs. 6'2" tall. ............I will settle for a female nurse, or actually, more than that, I would be happy to see a female nurse at an event when it is well-documented for the scenario. ................
Tell you what. If you put on an event that will portray a scenario that occurs several days after a battle or even a hospital far from the front, I will gladly portray a wounded man for the duration. That would be a superb experience, I believe. ......... I've often wondered what a well-staffed 19th century hospital would truly be like. And it would give me a reason to stay in bed for an entire weekend.

Billy Birney


You mean that wagon STILL has not gotten to that nice hospital in Richmond after 5 months? And here I left y'all just north of the city, got on the cars, and have been safe down on the Dog River for 4 months (well, sorta, and things will get worse)

:p :p :p It sure would beat the heck out of grumpy Mrs. Crittenden's barn, even if she did put one of her feather bed pillows under your head. Event planning would have to watch out for the one factor we had not thought about--the effects of a man laying about with a 'broken leg' for 24 hours

plankmaker
12-17-2008, 01:53 PM
From my reading, being a hospital nurse back then was not a career path chosen by the faint of heart. Maybe this will provide some info on the heartships that members of the USSC and USCC faced at the hospitals at City Point during the seige of Petersburg:

http://www.geocities.com/plankmaker_1999/PerformingMyPlainDuty.html

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

Pvt Schnapps
12-17-2008, 05:22 PM
From my reading, being a hospital nurse back then was not a career path chosen by the faint of heart. Maybe this will provide some info on the heartships that members of the USSC and USCC faced at the hospitals at City Point during the seige of Petersburg:

http://www.geocities.com/plankmaker_1999/PerformingMyPlainDuty.html

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

Great source, Mark -- thanks!

Regular DOC
12-17-2008, 08:22 PM
Great source, Mark -- thanks!

Off topic note to all. If you have not visited City Point or Pamplin Park it is a must see. I have been privledged to do living histories at both locations.

Pvt_Idaho
12-17-2008, 10:27 PM
Is Pamplin Park still open? I heard a few weeks ago that they were to close the museum to general visitors due to budget issues, but will still will have group visits and events there.

catspjamas
12-18-2008, 01:04 AM
I'm coming late to this discussion, but it's a topic I find very interesting, as I portray a nurse attached to a field hospital. No, I do not go out on the field as an "ice angel", nor to help the wounded during the actual battle. My impression is based on Phoebe Yates Pember, Kate Cumming, Mrs. Ella Newsom (who had a General Hospital named after her, because of her work), and others that were matrons at General Hospitals. These women were not cooks, seamstress, nor laundresses, they over saw the cooking, sewing and laundry. Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to find a re-enactment that includes a General Hospital, which is why I'm at the field hospital. By field hospital, I mean the Division Hospitals that were near the battle-field, usually at a local farm. Kate Cumming writes of visiting a field hospital after the battle of Chickamauga. She visited Manigault's Brigade Hospital (which was a part of Hindman's Division Hospital) at the Hunt farm and visited with Miss Hunt, who was serving in the field hospital. This was a week after the battle. I can only assume that Miss Hunt was there, during the battle, and when her father's farm was taken over for a hospital. There still isn't much for me to do at a re-enactment, because there aren't any wounded brought from the battle to the field hospital. The few that our ambulance corp brings off the field, get attended to at the edge of the battle-field, and either return to the battle, or after the battle no longer need medical attention. No one ever seems to want to portray sick or wounded soldiers at the field hospital. So, if any of you brave soldiers want to portray a sick or wounded soldier, I have my arrowroot and mustard plaster all ready and waiting.

While it is true that many during the war felt it wasn't proper for "decent" women to serve in the hospitals, the "decent" women that did go to work in the hospitals felt it was their Christian duty, and that if the men were willing to sacrifice their life, the women should do no less than bind up their wounds.

Joni Everhart

Ross L. Lamoreaux
12-18-2008, 02:31 AM
Is Pamplin Park still open? I heard a few weeks ago that they were to close the museum to general visitors due to budget issues, but will still will have group visits and events there.
They will be open for groups, events, and by reservation only for individuals, but at least they're trying to stay open. That place is a gem.

hanktrent
12-18-2008, 07:55 AM
There still isn't much for me to do at a re-enactment, because there aren't any wounded brought from the battle to the field hospital. The few that our ambulance corp brings off the field, get attended to at the edge of the battle-field, and either return to the battle, or after the battle no longer need medical attention.

Yep, that about sums it up. It's why I've about given up on medical reenacting. Not only is the lack of something to do frustrating, the sight of medical personnel sitting around relaxing and goofing off right after reenacting the Battle of Gettysburg, or whatever, just seems an insult to the incredible hard work and long hours the real folks put in, not to mention the high price so many soldiers paid. Not that it's the fault of the medical personnel--if there's nothing to do, there's nothing to do. But I just can't deal with it anymore at battle reenactments.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Regular DOC
12-18-2008, 09:05 AM
They will be open for groups, events, and by reservation only for individuals, but at least they're trying to stay open. That place is a gem.


I had heard they will reopen to general admission during "peak" season.

Longbranch 1
12-18-2008, 12:12 PM
Regards all;

Ran across this website at the University of Texas Tyler.

http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/topical_files.htm

Among other topics, some rather interesting period accounts of women's roles in the War.

Catholic Sisters During the War * Most illuminating
Girls and Guns
Women Soldiers

While I don't have a dog in this fight, Properly scripted, a civilian woman trying to carry contraband through the lines ( *A New Use For Hoops ), would work in any Theatre, if not all scenarios ;)

Warmest Holiday Wishes,
Kevin Ellis,
26th NC

plankmaker
12-18-2008, 12:27 PM
There were the hospital transports during several campaigns. However, that one may be hard to reproduce depending on one's available resources.

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

From: Woman's Work in the Civil War, by L.P. Brockett & Mrs. Mary C. Vaughan, Philadelphia 1867, pp. 279-283

Mrs. Almira Fales

Mrs. Fales it is believed, was the first woman in America who performed any work directly tending to the aid and comfort of the soldiers of the nation in the late war. In truth, her labors commenced before any overt sets of hostility had taken place, even so long before as December, 1860. Hostility enough there undoubtedly was in feeling, but the fires of secession as yet only smouldered, not bursting into the lurid flames of war until the following spring.

Yet Mrs. Fales, from her home in Washington, was keen observer of the "signs of the times," and read aright the portents of rebellion. In her position, unobserved herself, she saw and heard much, which probably would have remained unseen and unheard by loyal eyes and ears, had the haughty conspirators against the nation's life dreamed of any danger arising from the knowledge of their projects, obtained by this humble woman.

So keen was the presence founded on these things that, as has been said, she, as early as December, 1860, scarcely a month after the election of Abraham Lincoln, gave a pretext for secession which the leaders were eager to avail themselves of, "began to prepare lint and hospital stores for the soldiers of the Union, not one of whom had been called to take up arms."

Of course, she was derided for this set. Inured to peace, seemingly more eager for the opening of new territory, the spread of commerce, the gain of wealth and power than even for the highest national honor, the North would not believe in the possibility of war until the boom of the guns of Sumter, reverberating from the waves of the broad Atlantic, and waking the echoes all along its shores, burst upon their ears to tell in awful tones that it had indeed commenced.

But there was one -- a woman in humble life, yet of wonderful benevolence, of indomiitable energy, unflagging perseverance, and unwavering purpose, who foresaw its inevitable coming and was prepared for it.

Almira Fales was no longer young. She had spent life in doing good, and was ready to commence another. Her husband had employment under the government in some department of the civil service, her sons entered the army, and she, too -- a soldier, in one sense, as truly as they -- since she helped and cheered on the fight.

From that December day that commenced the work, until long after the war closed, she gave herself to it, heart and soul -- mind and body. No one, perhaps, can tell her story of work and hardship in detail, not even herself, for she acts rather than talks or writes. "Such women, always doing, never think of pausing to tell their own stories, which, indeed, can never be told; yet the hint of them can be given, to stir in the hearts of other women a purer emulation, and to prove to them that the surest way to happiness is to serve others and forget yourself."

In detail we have only this brief record of what she has done, yet what volumes it contains, what a history of labor and self-sacrifice!

"After a life spent in benevolence, it was December, 1860, that Almira Fales began to prepare lint and hospital stores for the soldiers of the Union, not one of whom had been called to take up arms. People laughed, of course; thought it a 'freak;' said that none of these things would ever be needed. Just as the venerable Dr. Mott said, at the women's meeting in Cooper Institute, after Sumter had been fired: 'Go on, ladies! Get your lint ready, if it will do your dear hearts any good, though I don't believe myself that it will ever be needed.' Since that December Mrs. Fales has emptied over seven thousand boxes of hospital stores, and distributed with her own hands over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of comforts to sick and wounded soldiers. Besides, she supplied personally between sixty and seventy forts with reading matter. She was months at sea -- the only woman on hospital ships nursing the wounded and dying men. She was at Corinth, and at Pittsburg Landing, serving our men in storm and darkness. She was at Fair Oaks. She was under fire through the seven days' fight on the Peninsula, with almost breaking heart ministering on those bloody fields to 'the saddest creatures that she ever saw.'

"Through all those years, every day, she gave her life, her strength, her nursing, her mother-love to our soldiers. For her to be a soldier's nurse meant something very different from wearing a white apron, a white cap, sitting by a moaning soldier's bed, looking pretty. It meant days and nights of untiring toil; it meant the lowliest office, the most menial service; it meant the renouncing of all personal comfort, the sharing of her last possession with the soldier of her country; it meant patience, and watching, and unalterable love. A mother, every boy who fought for his country was her boy; and if she had nursed him in infancy, she would not have cared for him with tenderer care. Journey after journey this woman has performed to every part of the land, carrying with her some wounded, convalescing soldier, bearing him to some strange cottage that she never saw before, to the pale, weeping woman within, saying to her with smiling face, 'I have brought back your boy. Wipe your eyes, and take care of him.' then, with a fantastic motion, tripping away as if she were not tired at all, and had done nothing more than run across the street. Thousands of heroes on earth and in heaven gratefully remember the woman's loving care to them in the extremity of anguish. The war ended, her work does not cease. Every day you may find her, with heavy-laden basket, in hovels of white and black, which dainty and delicate ladies would not dare to enter. No wounds are so loathsome, no disease so contagious, no human being so abject, that she shrinks from contact; if she can minister to their necessity."

During the Peninsular campaign Mrs. Fales was engaged on board the Hospital Transports, during most of the trying season of 1862. She was at Harrison's Landing in care of the wounded and wearied men worn down by the incessant battles and hard marches which attended the "change of base" from the Chickahominy to the James. She spent a considerable time in the hospitals at Fortress Monroe; and was active in her ministrations upon the fields in the battles of Centreville, Chantilly, and the second battle of Bull Run, indeed most of those of Pope's campaign in Virginia in the autumn of 1862.

At the battle of Chancellorsville, or rather at the assault upon Mayre's Heights, in that fierce assault of Sedgewick's gallant Sixth Corps on the works which had on the preceding December defiled the repeated charges of Burnside's best troops, Mrs. Fales lost a son. About one-third of the attacking force were killed or badly wounded in the assault, and among the rest the son of this devoted mother, who at that very hour might have been ministering to the wounded and dying son of some other mother. This loss was to her but a stimulus to further efforts and sacrifices. She mourned as deeply as any mother, but not as selfishly, as some might have done. In this, as in all her ways of life, she but carried out its ruling principle which was self-devotion, and deed not words.

Mrs. Fales may not, perhaps, be held up as an example of harmonious development, but she has surely shown herself great in self-forgetfulness and heroic devotion to the cause of her country. In person she is tall, plain in dress, and with few of the fashionable and stereotyped graces of manner. No longer young, her face still bears ample traces of former beauty, and her large blue eyes still beam with clear brightness of youth. But her hands tell the story of hardship and sacrifice.

"Poor hands! darkened and hardened by work, they never shirked any task, never turned from any drudgery, that could lighten the load of another. Dear hands! how many bloodstained faces they have washed, how many wounds they have bound up, how many eyes they have closed in dying, how many bodies they have sadly yielded to the darkness of death!"

She is full of a quaint humor, and in all her visits to hospitals her aim seemed to be to awake smiles, and arouse the cheerfulness of the patients; and she was generally successful in this, being everywhere a great favorite. One more quotation from the written testimony of a lady who knew her well and we have done.

"An electric temperament, a nervous organization, with a brain crowded with a variety of memories and incidents that could only come up to one in a million -- all combine to give her a pleasant abruptness of motion and of speech, which I have heard some very fine ladies term insanity. 'Now don't you think she is crazy, to spend all her time in such ways?' said one. When we remember how rare a thing utter unselfishness and self-forgetfulness is, we must conclude that she is crazy. If the listless and idle lives which we live ourselves are perfectly sane, then Almira Fales must be the maddest of mortals. But would it not be better for the world, and for us all, if we were each of us a little crazier in the same direction?"

KarinTimour
12-18-2008, 11:56 PM
When I started reenacting, I initially thought I'd like to portray a nurse. Had already read alot about Mother Bickerdyke, Kate Cummings, Phoebe Pember, Clara Barton. But I noted, as Hank has, that there never seemed to be any patients to speak of at reenactments.

It's hard for me to just sit and do nothing at home. The idea of driving for several hours (or in some cases across several states) to spend a weekend just sitting -- didn't do much for me.

Which is why I started looking into what the majority of women were doing during the war years. Connecting up with the other civilians who were interested in really doing what civilians did during the war, I've run a post office, hidden runaway slaves, been a smuggler (several times), been the town gossip, headed up a soldiers' aid society (several times), been a bar maid, made food to hand to our gallant defenders when they came through town (and then lined up with everyone else to distribute it to them), helped hide our supplies when the Yankees surrounded the church that our soldiers' aid society was meeting in (they made us leave one at a time and searched us all, while the rest of us hid large amounts of food, clothing, medicines, bandages throughout a very small church), helped other civilians recapture a Yankee POW who was in the process of escaping, refugeed (several times), dug holes to hide the spoons before the Yankees came through, huddled with about 25 other female refugees in a cabin all night when 250 Yankee soldiers surrounded it, and the officers took our front room and only bed, flirted with Yankee pickets assigned to close our bar in an attempt to ruin unit morale, defied Yankee occupiers by wearing the Confederate colors and helping to spread them throughout an occupied town, mislead Yankee guards so that others in our refugee party could attempt to sneak off in the other direction and get to Confederate lines, taught school, worked as a laundress (both civilian and for the Union army on occassion), was one of a family who had to decide what to do when three men who were clearly Confederate deserts asked to stay in our corncrib for a night, and promised the next morning to return to the Army, been a military cook for Union officers, heaped abuse on a man who deserted and in the process directly endangered the lives of my brother and cousin, turned in a stranger who turned up in our town and had no good excuse for why he wasn't in the army. The army came through and a couple of us just hustled him right over to them -- the sgt. took him right in hand. Had to try and pry lunch and as many valuables as possible out of theaving Yankee hands when our town was overrun during the Red River campaign. Fed 40 Confederate POWs soup that had been raw chicken and potatoes five hours earlier, herded chickens and hid them in the woods when the Yankees knew we had them and came looking for them. Was a stranded traveller at a fully functional period Inn with taproom, two meals a day and all the intrigue that haunted Kentucky during the war.

In the process I've learned a lot about cooking in a wood stove and over an open fire, learned how to erect a shelter when what you've got is a couple of floorcloths, got a lot of skills about sleeping without shelter, sleeping outside when it's right at freezing, learned how to make floor cloths, slat bonnets, "bosum companions," how to use my apron to carry up to eight sizable pieces of kindling, how to make a fire in just about any condition, how to maximize the landscape when you've got to figure out where to sleep and be as comfortable as possible (and it's getting dark fast), how to conduct myself in a period manner when approached by one soldier alone, a group of three, a squad or an army. And how to clearly and non-verbally express my loathing for occupying forces when forced to share a town with them.

With the help of Hank Trent and about 20 other people, we did organize and run an 18 hour hospital in a church that was used as a hospital after the battle of Burkittsville. We had horse drawn wagons bringing the wounded off the field, they were triaged by medical stewards in the front door yard of the church, the ladies of the town (as had happened in 1862) pitched in to feed, water and help as we could. We had two operating tables set up, with surgeons working through the afternoon and evening, and had all the army paperwork being filled out by a clerk to requisition food and supplies for the troops in our care. We pulled the rations, had a volunteer cook who cooked them (thank you, Anita!), then fed the men. Probably 45-50 were treated through the evening, and 20 chose to stay that night in the hospital. We provided hot coffee at dawn and then they all returned to their units. We cleaned up the church that morning and then a minister appeared and lead us through an impromptu service of Thanksgiving. Organizing that hospital was a lot of fun. But we could not have done it without the aid and cooperation of many military reenactors who helped negotiate the whole thing with the event coordinators. It was a rare opportunity and frankly, I'd be very surprised to ever have the opportunity again.

These are only my adventures -- Mrs. Lawson has had at least twice my experiences, and Silvana Siddali, Anna Allen and a whole group of civilians west of the mountains have done way more than I have. And I've only been able to read the AARs of all the wonderful things that happened in Westville, Georgia this summer.

There's lots for civilians to do just portraying what civilians did. If what I've written sounds like it's the type of thing your daughter would like to be involved in, she should take Chessa up on her kind offer a few posts back, drop Mrs. Lawson a line (they're always looking for a few good women in the Winston Free State), come check out the website for the unit I belong to (the Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society www.agsas.org) or go scope out the civilian adventures and advice at Elizabeth Stewart Clark's website: wwww.elizabethstewartclark.com. Look up "The Academy at Home" once you get there, and I guarantee anyone satisfaction and a lot of fun to those interested in improving their civilian impression (male or female) or finding out when the next great civilian opportunity is on the horizon.

Hope that's helpful,

Sincerely,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

Ross L. Lamoreaux
12-19-2008, 12:13 AM
Ms. Timour, thats the most helpful post in this whole thread.

Spinster
12-19-2008, 01:01 AM
And as Ms. Timour knows full and well, a fine and High Adventure each time, with something new around in the bend at every moment--much like our lives today, portraying a period civilian in all facets of life is a Never -Ending Story.

GaWildcat
12-19-2008, 06:43 AM
Sent ya a PM

GaWildcat
12-21-2008, 07:10 AM
Sent ya an email now too!

HancockBuilder
12-21-2008, 12:08 PM
Wow, as the original poster, I had no idea that I would cause such a "cyber battle". One of the most recent posters pointed out a mistake that I made. I used the term "field nurse". I was actually asking for comments and suggestions along the lines of a couple of the latter poster about civilians "in the area".
While I understand the desire for correctness, the tone of much of this "debate" was embarrassing for my daughter as she read over my shoulder. Some of the postings were useful and I will help her persue those, while others left me reeling and wondering if she really needs to associate with people who feel that way about her.
Again to those of you who corrected my initial error and suggested the civilian personas, thank you.
Respectfully,
Hancock

Ross L. Lamoreaux
12-21-2008, 02:40 PM
Wow, as the original poster, I had no idea that I would cause such a "cyber battle". One of the most recent posters pointed out a mistake that I made. I used the term "field nurse". I was actually asking for comments and suggestions along the lines of a couple of the latter poster about civilians "in the area".
While I understand the desire for correctness, the tone of much of this "debate" was embarrassing for my daughter as she read over my shoulder. Some of the postings were useful and I will help her persue those, while others left me reeling and wondering if she really needs to associate with people who feel that way about her.
Again to those of you who corrected my initial error and suggested the civilian personas, thank you.
Respectfully,
Hancock
One man's firestorm is another man's historical debate. I'm sorry you feel that it was directed at you and your daughter, but in reality it is only directed toward education. I don't believe anyone was making it a personal battle or were belittling you or your daughter. I applaud you for taking the time to direct your questions and statements to the at-large collective, but you also should be prepared for answers when you do. When the answers aren't what you want to hear, there may be a historical reason for that. The answers that you feel were mean or dirogatory were in reality meant to educate you and anyone else reading this, which is why this forum is in place to begin with.