Civil War Nurses

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The American Civil War marked a defining period in the United States history. The war forced women into public life in ways people may not be able to imagine in a generation. Thousands of women became involved in the war as Civil War nurses. Many women disguised themselves as men during the war so they can fight. This was the first time in many years that the women played a significant role in war. Even though women were now the highest in the household, all attention was turned to outside of their home. Civil War nurses cleaned and bandaged wounds, fed soldiers, gave out medication and assisted surgeons during operations and medical procedures like amputations. Nurses were considered “The Angels of the Battlefield”. The Civil War started in 1861 and ended in 1865. Over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed and much, much more were badly injured. Nurses were mostly volunteers and were not getting paid for their work. This is the main reason for the idea of volunteerism which is a big part of the society today. From small cuts to amputations and more, women underwent the most gruesome constants of war first hand. If surgery was necessary, it consisted of two nurses holding down the soldier and the surgeon working on him with no pain medicine. They witnessed many horrific things from a personal viewpoint influencing these nurses and their diaries & journals.After the war, the field of nursing was changed. Nursing became the profession for mostly all women. The war made society view women as willing to give themselves up to others. During the Civil War, all nurses wore either a black or brown dress. Bows, jewelry, hoopskirts and curls were prohibited. On their head, they wore either a kerchief or a full white hood. Nurses were not permitted to bear arms on the battlefront. These women had no education, yet they were still endlessly
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