Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America

Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America

by Jane E. Schultz
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Overview

Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America by Jane E. Schultz

As many as 20,000 women worked in Union and Confederate hospitals during America's bloodiest war. Black and white, and from various social classes, these women served as nurses, administrators, matrons, seamstresses, cooks, laundresses, and custodial workers. Jane E. Schultz provides the first full history of these female relief workers, showing how the domestic and military arenas merged in Civil War America, blurring the line between homefront and battlefront.Schultz uses government records, private manuscripts, and published sources by and about women hospital workers, some of whom are familiar—such as Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Louisa May Alcott, and Sojourner Truth—but most of whom are not well-known. Examining the lives and legacies of these women, Schultz considers who they were, how they became involved in wartime hospital work, how they adjusted to it, and how they challenged it. She demonstrates that class, race, and gender roles linked female workers with soldiers, both black and white, but became sites of conflict between the women and doctors and even among themselves.Schultz also explores the women's postwar lives—their professional and domestic choices, their pursuit of pensions, and their memorials to the war in published narratives. Surprisingly few parlayed their war experience into postwar medical work, and their extremely varied postwar experiences, Schultz argues, defy any simple narrative of pre-professionalism, triumphalism, or conciliation.As many as 20,000 women worked in Union and Confederate hospitals during America's bloodiest war. Black and white, and from various social classes, these women served as nurses, administrators, matrons, seamstresses, cooks, laundresses, and custodial workers. Jane Schultz provides the first full history of these female relief workers, showing how the domestic and military arenas merged in Civil War America, blurring the line between homefront and battlefront. Examining the lives and legacies of Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Susie King Taylor, and others, Schultz demonstrates that class, race, and gender roles linked female workers with soldiers, both black and white. These same factors also stoked conflict between the hospital women and doctors and even among the women themselves. —>

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807864159
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 12/15/2005
Series: Civil War America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 376
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Jane E. Schultz is professor of English, American studies, and women's studies at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.

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Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this remarkable book Jane Schultz has done nothing less than remapping the literary and cultural history of the American Civil War. Her interdisciplinary methods and rigor set a new standard.