Our Army Nurses, 1897

Item Description

“As I went around with the doctor to see the patients I noticed his arm, which was unbound. The loosely hanging flesh looked very dark, and the bone could be seen. I thought it was gangrene, and asked the doctor if they would not have to amputate again in order to save his life; but received no answer. I showed that I was green by speaking to a doctor in that manner. He was a young cadet, put there for practice…and it was very hard for them to submit to being treated by one who did not know his business. The same wash-basin and sponges were used for all and as a result gangrene got into the wounds, and that with the colds made quick work of most of them.”

Elizabeth Wheeler, in Our Army Nurses, a collection of memoirs of Civil War nurses, compiled by Mary Holland in 1897.