Aug201809 - PhiladelphiaTimes
SUNDAY MOIWETO. THE PHILADELPHIA TIMES. AUGUST 20, 1899. 19 VETERANS WHO WILL BE' AT THE G. A. R. CELEBRATION OWE THEIR LIVES TO THE HEROIC SELF-M SACRIFICE OF THESE WOMEN NURSES MANY veterans who will attend the Grand Army Encampment owe their lives to the heroic services of the nurses who served In the civil war. The histories of wars are records of the achlvements of men for the most part. The women's portion was to suffer in silence at home and to mourn the dead. It was theirs to hear of suffering - which they could not alleviate, to grieve or rejoice over results to which they could only contribute sympathy and prayers. Not so in our. conflict for the .Union. Other wars furnished here and ther,e a woman's . name which became the pride of the nation, . of some woman who had broken , through the rigidity of custom and been conspicuous either among armed men, like the maid of Saragossa, or in the hospitals, like o the heroine of Scutari. The civil war has furnished hundreds of intrepid women who contributed time, labor and money to the comfort of the soldiers who always will be known to them as "the boys." It is true that almost In every town there was organized societies of relief; that women sewed and knit, made delicacies for the sick and gathered stores. Even little girls scarcly old enough to know what the charitable labor meant went from house to house collecting small sums of money with the result that the store houses and the treasury of the Sanitary Commission were kept full, but the most heroic work of self-sacrifice was done by the women in he field. They had In them the fine adventurous spirit and the glowing pride .of patriotism. They followed the men Into. the field of battle and even into the rebel prisons. They rescued the wounded, cheered and comforted the dying, labored In field and city hospitals and even on the dreadful hospital boats which are to-day remembered with a shudder. , These noble women were from the everyday ranks of life. They exhibited a like persistence, endurance and faith. Hundreds there are of them alive lo-day whose shining deeds have honored their country, and demanded for them an equal place in the honors of the brave. i ... The achievements of the women are for the most part untold. They do not figure in the official reports. They are not gazetted for deeds of bravery as gallant as ever were done. The names of them are unknown beyond the neighborhood where they live or the hospitals where they loved to labor. . In 18(il several women In Philadelphia organized themselves Into a society for charitable work. They called themselves ihe Keystone Daughters. This organization was composed1 almost entirely of professional nurses. When the city heard of the fall of Fort Sumter, the Keystone Daughters at once, tendered their services 'to Governor Curtin for work in the field and In the hospitals. George H. Stewart, founder of the Philadelphia Christian charity committee, suggested to the Governor that their services be accepted. This the Governor did. From that time the society was known as Philadelphia Nurse Corps, No. 1. Week'y meetings were held. On May 23, 18(51, the request for active service was granted, and the handful of devoted women bade good bye to their friends, and left for the seat of war. Old Phlladelphians will recall the day of the nurses' departure. In the morning they held their last meeting; . In the afternoon they marched proudly to Broad and Prime streets and boarded the train for Washington. Miss Dix, general superintendent of t'nlted States nurses, met the party on their arrival there. She examined the young women as to their qualifications as nurses for army service. She had only one objection to offer, and that was that the majority were too good looking. This objection was the only one of Its kind entered on the army records during the war. Mrs." Emily E. Woodley, who organized the corps and Is the only survivor of It, prepared nurses who volunteered their services during the recent Spanish war for their work. Mrs. Woodley was born In this city In 1833. She Is a granddaughter of John R. Reed, of Germantown, who fought In the Continental army. Her nephew is In Otis' army in the Philippines. During the civil war "Mother" Woodley the title given her by General "Phil" Kearneyserved In thirty-three battles. It is safe to say that when the veterans are "gathered here next month she will receive as much attention as Independence Hall. When this patriotic woman entered her country's service it was with no idea of remuneration, but after the second battle of Bull Run her name was placed on the army pay roll. At the close of the war. she was grnnted a life pension. The most prized of Mrs. Woodley's collection of medals, badges and souvenirs Is a medal given her by Secretary Stanton at the close of the war. It hangs from a metal bar on which Is the Inscription: "Here I Am." On the obverse side of the medal are the words: "Emily E. Woodley, Last Survivor of the Philadelphia Women's Nurse Association." On the reverse side are the words: "Presented for Faithful Services Rendered Sick and Wounded Soldiers from 1881 to 1865." Secretary Stanton was opposed to medals and decorations, but he made a notable exception In Mrs. Woodley'ji case. Her best relics are kept In a child's coffin. She was'entrusted with the keeping of many documents and articles of value while the war was being waged. Her' trunk was repeatedly broken open and robbed. Finally a soldier whom she had nursed to convalescence said he would make her a box for her valuables thnt would never tet disturbed. A child's coffin, studded with silver-plated nails, was the end of his labor, and bis judgment was cor rect 4 The coffin was not molested. It Is now the owner's receptacle for valuables. Mrs. Woodley held the office of national president of the Natlona Army Nurses' Association for three years. At present she is councillor of that body and has donated a plot of ground for the tablet which will be erected in Fernwood Cemetery and dedicated during the encampment to the Philadelphia women who served their country as nurses during the civil war. Shortly after the close of the war the nurses all over the country banded together in an association to commemorate their service upon the field, ''to see that none of their number shall ever be In want and to bring as much happiness Into their lives as possible." Their official title was the National Army Nurses' Association. No one but an actual nurse during the war was allowed to join. They number their membership from almost every State In the Union. The officers of the present term are: President, Elizabeth W. Ewlng, of Phoenlx-vllle; secretary, Kate M. Scott. Brookville; senior vice president, Elizabeth Chapman, St. Louis; junior vice president, Delia A. Fay, Upper Jay, N. Y.; chaplain, Jeannette M. Morrill, Santon, Mich. ; treasurer, Lydia L. Whlteman, Philadelphia; press correspondent, Susanna Kripps, Philadelphia; councillor, Emily F. Woodley, Philadelphia; financial secretary, Mary Aston, Philadel phia; Installing officer, Fannie Hazen, Cambridge, Mass.; guard, Julia Magill, Florence, N. J., all of whom will be present at the encampment. On that ocaslon they and the "privates" will be the guests of the Philadelphia army nurses, who are bound together under the name of the Andrew G. Curtin Association of Army Nurses aa a representative local branch of the national organization. ' The personnel of the association Includes In Its lists the names of Emily L. White-man, Cornelia Hancock, Anna McCahan, M. E. Humphries, C. J. Lampas, E. E. Wood-ley, M. A. Lescure, Mary A. Aston, Rebecca A. Donnelly. A. J. Poynton, R. Rice, C. J. 7 A J I a i I o 1p Dye, Rebecca E. Frlck, Julia Magill. Sara A. Lane, Helen A. Mlllman, Mrs. Tuttle, honorary member, Ohio; Mary Jane Brown, Minerva Reynolds. Mary J. Fox, Mary E. Peck and Mrs. Agnes Korndoffer, an auxiliary member. The president is S. Kripps, and the secretary Cornelia Hancock. All these and many others will meet together on September 4 to 9 and talk over the hard days of " '61" when escape from death was often brought about by a miracle. Many will be the stories that they will tell. A very pretty little, story is told abont Mrs. Mary A. Aston. In her nursing she did not go into the field, but attended to the equally trying duties of a hospital. She was In the Citizens' Volunteer Hospital, located at Broad and Prime streets. Among her many patients was a young soldier by the name of Charles Charlton. He was wounded in the field and sent to the home hospital. Good nursing alone saved him and he recovered. Naturally he thought a great deal of his nurse. He expresses his appreciation by greeting her every time he sees her with a great bug and a kiss. Both are now well on in life's pathway. He Is a sergeant In the Twenty-fifth district sub station at Taylor street and Passyunk avenue. Among those who will be present Is one nurse whose experiences would fill a book. In fact, they do till a book, for she has written one. Her name is Fannie Gorden Kelley. Besides being a nurse in the civil war and undergoing hardships In the field, she was captured by the Sioux .Indians after the war and suffered five months in their tents before she was rescued by the officers and men of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry. The present president of the national association became a nurse through following her husband. He was captured and confined In a prison house In Richmond. Mrs. Ewlng forced her way Into the rebel lines to nurse her husband. She was treated with marked respect by the officers and men of the Confederacy, who fully appreciated the heroic action of the noble, self-sacrificing woman, and did nil In their power to help her on her way. After her husband was exchanged and went to the front again she came North and continued In the work of nursing. The oldest living army nurse In the association is "Mother" Ransom. She was the central figure In one of the most pathetic Incidents of the war the sinking of the North America. The North America was a hospital ship. She was commanded by Captain Mnrsbman, of Philadelphia. On December 20, 1864, as she was bringing home tonie 200 enlisted soldiers who had been wounded In battle near Dallas, Hermitage, Manning and Baton Rouge, she sprang aleak. She was off the coast of Florida at the time. The Mary E. Libhy, from Cuba, saw her signals of distress and came to her assistance. Owing to the darkness and the high sea the two boats collided, and it only became a question of time which' would sink first. The North America was the most badly damaged. In a little while the lower decks were under water and the poor, suffering soldiers were drowned In their beds. The officers kept order, however, and lowered the boats. Many of them were capsized and all aboard lost but the one in which the soldiers had placed Mother Ransom reached shore In safety. It was the most thrilling experience that fell to the lot of any nurse In the service of her country. Mother Ransom never tells the story without a shudder, and she says the memory of that night will be vividly with her until she dies. She would not care to go through a like experience again. Mother Byckerdyke, from Illinois, will be there. All those who remained by the armies who fought their way down the Mississippi will remember her.. In August, 1S61, she was sent from Galesburg to Cairo to ascertain the needs of the troops stationed there. They remember her, too, at the bottle of Belmont, at the bloody field of Donelson, at Pittsburg Landing. They will recall the time when at the main hospital at Corinth a brigade was marched through the hospital grounds after a long journey. And how "Mother Byckerdyke" had prepared barrels of cold water for the boys as they passed through. She asked the commanding officer to halt the men long enough for them to drink, which he refused to do. "Halt!" ordered Mrs. Byckerdyke In clear tones, disregarding the look of the commanding officer. Her order was obeyed and the "Tin Bucket Brigade" worked energetically for a few moments. But her victories were not always so bloodless. After the battles of Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain she remained in the field thirty days, till the last of the wounded were removed to Northern hospitals, working with ail her energy with one end in view, that the soldiers be well cared for. Mrs. Nash, who engineered the reunion In Buffalo In 1897, and who has always been the standard-bearer of the organization, will be present at this year's convention, as will also Hannah Palmer, who was secretary of the national association for three years. Every year the nurses meet the fact that death has been busy among them Is sorrowfully recorded. Year by year their membership grows less and less. They are all aware that some day the National Association of Army Nurses will be no more. In view of this fact, and in order to preserve some record of themselves to posterity, the association has placed a movement on foot to organize a Daughters of Army Nurses Society. So far the progress made has beeu rapid and a favorable consummation Is hoped for In the near future. The new organization haB the advontage of being a perpetual one, because the grandchildren and the children's. children will be eligible. ft. 1 N 7 3 CttrXvArMV FREAK IDEAS IN ARCHITECTURE mm Nisi. AN INTERESTING controversy has arisen in Ohio. It was the Intention of the committee having In charge the coming celebration of the centenary of the State to erect n huge exhibition building In the shnpe of a fish. The open mouth was to be the entrance hall, terlng the visitor shrinks back In fear that the building will collnpse. But "Architect's Freak" Is ns safe as any building in Penzance, and has been used as a shop for ninny years. Formerly it was used as a museum. The people of the little village of Hordle, 1 A FORTUNE IN FANS AND LACES RARE OLD LACES and fans, relics of bygone days, are to be revived next winter and worn and carried at all tbe leading functions. At least this Is what Paris dictates. New York Is preparing to follow the behest and Rothschild owns the most wonderful, while Ex-Queen Isabella of Spain had a remarkable collection. Including over eight hundred, of all styles and periods. The handBomest feather fan on record Is that owned by the Countess of Lonsdale.