Smoketown Tented Hospital

Dr. Jonathan Letterman, a surgeon and medical director for the Army of the Potomac, established for the first time during the Civil War a system of tented field hospitals. One such city of white tents was erected at Smoketown, one mile north of the Antietam battlefield.


Civil War Nurses - Union

Susie King Taylor, Civil War Nurse

Born into Slavery, taught to read and write  she cared for the wounded and taught other freedmen to read and write.

Excerpts from Her Memoirs

Reminiscences of My Life in Camp

published in 1903.

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

Civil War Medicine - Dr. Letterman and the Battle of Antietam

Dr. Hammond, Surgeon-General Union Dept of Medicine ,

field Demonstration to Staff

Civil War

 Nurses, Doctors and Hospitals

Civil War Nurses - Confederate

Dr. Blackwell organized the Women's Central Association of Relief, and worked with Dorothea Dix to train nurses for service in the war 

Hospital Ship: USS Red Rover

Impact of War

Approximately two thousand women, North and South, served as volunteer nurses in military hospitals during the American Civil War. In the antebellum north and south women had “a duty to care”   and were expected to nurse ill members of their families and neighbors .

The American edition of Florence Nightingale’s book Notes On Nursing was published in 1860 and Godey’s Lady’s Book (2) wrote of her experiences in the Crimean War.   When war was declared and their men went off to war, women on both sides of the conflict went to their respective army  hospitals to offer their services some as volunteers, some as paid nurses.  Revenby credits the Civil War for bringing the attention of the American public, as the fighting in the Crimea had for the British, the dangers of a disorganized hospital and sanitary services.

(1)Reverby, Susan, 1987, Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing 1850 to 1945, pp 11 -12

(2) [1] Godey’s Lady’s Book was  a  popular women's magazine that was published in Philadelphia from 1830–1878. It was the most widely circulated magazine in the period before the Civil War.

Hospitals , Physicians and Surgeons

Role of Catholic Nursing Sisters in the Civil War

“The Daughters of Charity at their provincial house in Emmitsburg, Md., could hear the cannons of Pickett's Charge 10 miles off. They helped their chaplain pack a wagon with medical supplies and, when the cannons were silenced, a dozen sisters rode with him to tend to the wounded."  Source: Rogers, June 30, 2013 of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ;Union's top military nurses were nuns.

Read more: (PDF)  

Word Document

Dr. S. P. Morse, Surgeon General Confederate Medical Department

Civil War Medicine

Role African Americans.

Read more...(PDF)

Word Document

Medical Advances During the Civil War