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Thread: Catholic Sister at Gettysburg

  1. #1
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    Default Catholic Sister at Gettysburg

    Does anybody know who was portraying the Catholic Sister (Nun) at the BGA Gettysburg last weekend? She looked incredible, and portrayed a very important, but nowadays never seen, person from the period. Just wanted to compliment her.

  2. #2
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    Unfortunately didnt see them myself, but would like to have. Ive seen them before at other events in the past portraying the Sisters of Charity order. Whom provided medical services on both sides of the conflict. One of the few civilian based organizations that actually had formal medical training, and were quite good at it too. In Richmond during the war they ran the St.Francis Hospital, which is one of them that immediately comes to mind.
    Lieut Frederick Sineth
    14th Virginia Infantry Regt Co.I
    - 106th Penna Vol Co.F

    - Pegrams Va Artillery
    - 150th Sailors Creek

  3. #3
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    I believe it was from this order that the nurses assigned to the USS Red Rover and the Naval Hospital at Mound City were from also. The Red Rover was the Navy's first hospital ship assigned the the Mississippi Squadron.

    Geo. Dailey
    USNLP (western waters)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Catholic Sister nurses

    Quote Originally Posted by navygunner View Post
    I believe it was from this order that the nurses assigned to the USS Red Rover and the Naval Hospital at Mound City were from also. The Red Rover was the Navy's first hospital ship assigned the the Mississippi Squadron.
    The Sisters of the Holy Cross were the first Navy nurses on the USS Red Rover. The headquarters for the Sisters of the Holy Cross is at St Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN.
    Kimberly Schwatka

  5. #5
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    Default Thanks Kimberly


    I was too lazy to check my bookmarks. They were also at the Naval Hospital.

    Geo. Dailey
    USNLP (western Waters)

  6. #6
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    Slow foot

    Are you looking for the lady who portrayed the Daughters of Charity out of Emmitsburg ? Blue habits, 'flying nun' wimple and headpiece?

    If so, I'll have to pull my notes, as this was a participant in the 'Town of Gettysburg' area who did a quick change of impression on Day Three of the Battle.

    While the Sisters were the first help on the ground after local residents, no real outside help arrived until after Day Three
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  7. #7
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    Exactly. I was very impressed by the headgear, or whatever you call it, standing out like it did, which I understand is hard to maintain for the actual nuns who used to wear it.

    Given what I've read of the various orders and their incredible effort, (as opposed to Dix's demanding and meddlesome nurses), it's an impression I'd really like to see more of.

  8. #8
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    Would sisters of the period have worn the wimple when working? I was always under the impression that was dispensed with during labor.

  9. #9

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    Let's start with... only 6% of nurses were appointed by Miss Dix and about 2% were catholic sisters of various orders... which takes care of only 8% of the total women who were female nurses in the war.

    Women in military nursing were a new concept and BOTH SIDES of that equation were finding their way. The military medical department NEEDED those "demanding and meddlesome" women, but were too stubborn and narrow-minded to realize it. Without those women getting "demanding and meddlesome", many of the great strides in how wounded and ill soldiers were cared for would not have been made.

    Let's please stop making inflammatory statements that belittle the contributions of heroes and heroines of this era. Military Medicine made great strides because of the organizers, surgeons (and assistants), stewards, ambulance corp, commissions, nursing staff (men, women, black men, black women), laundresses and seamstresses, cooks (military, black and immigrant men, women of various sorts), and even the local populace who lived and worked in the battle's way.
    -Elaine Kessinger

  10. #10
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    The 'flying nun' headpiece and wimple were part of the aughter's of Charity habit and were worn by that order for decades. Religious habits were/are very symbolic and were not altered when physical labor was required. Kathleen "Katie" Carroll from Gettysburg has done extensive research on the order, and the chapter in Emmitsburg. She does an excellent first person impression wearing a meticulously researched and duplicated habit.
    Carolann Schmitt
    cschmitt@genteelarts.com
    www.genteelarts.com
    Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference, March 6-9, 2014

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