Women on opposite sides

Civil War Day – How did nurses saving lives view the opposition?

Kate Cumming, Confederate nurse writes: May 30, 1864 —We have had a great deal of excitement lately. Word was brought in by someone that five thousand Federal cavalry were twelve miles distant. We were ordered to pack, and the men were all sent to the woods. After preparing for the reception of the enemy we were told that it was some of our own cavalry who had been the cause of all this excitement… If the present administration cannot guide our affairs, why no one else can, and it is the duty of every man to give it his hearty support. “My country right, my country wrong, but still my country.” … Federals and all, mutilated in every imaginable way, lying on the floor, just as they were taken from the battlefield; so close together that it was almost impossible to walk without stepping on them. I could not command my feelings enough to speak, but thoughts crowded upon me. O, if the authors of this cruel and unnatural war could but see what I saw there, they would try and put a stop to it! To think, that it is a man who is working all this woe upon his fellow-man. What can be in the minds of our enemies, who are now arrayed against us, who have never harmed them in any way, but simply claim our own, and nothing more! May God forgive them, for surely they know not what they do.”

Cumming, Kate. Kate: The Journal Of A Confederate Nurse .
Golden Springs Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Emily Elizabeth Parsons, Union Nurse writes: March, 1863 “We may be detained at Helena, or fired into going down; one of the hospital boats which has just come in says the rebels opened a battery upon her though she had the yellow flag flying. But mother need not be frightened. I like this kind of life, and I hope I shall keep on for a while. At any rate, the rebel shots are no more dangerous than diseases in the hospitals, tell mother. And, then, I am in the army. Can you imagine taking a sail, and keeping a lookout for the enemy’s batteries the while; it is quite interesting. Hospital boats do not carry gnus, they being non-combatants; but if the rebels came on board I would find something, if it was only the poker.”

Parsons, Emily Elizabeth. Fearless Purpose: A Blind Nurse in the Civil War (Abridged, Annotated) (p. 42). BIG BYTE BOOKS. Kindle Edition.

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