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Thread: Field nurse

  1. #11
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    Dec 2007
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    85

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    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."

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Cecil County, Maryland
    Posts
    126

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    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

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regular DOC
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by celtfiddler
    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

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    85

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    Quote Originally Posted by MD_Independent26
    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.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    224

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    Quote Originally Posted by MD_Independent26
    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.
    Last edited by Regular DOC; 12-15-2008 at 10:27 AM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    224

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanktrent



    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.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,425

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    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.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    85

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    Now that is cited examples. I wouldn't argue with the citations listed at all.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    318

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    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

    Surgeon C.S.A.

    1st Assistant Surgeon 108th Regt. Ills. Vols.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    318

    Default Sanitary Commission

    You may Contact My Wife Sarah if you would like to know more about the
    Sanitary Commission.
    David Meister

    Surgeon C.S.A.

    1st Assistant Surgeon 108th Regt. Ills. Vols.

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