“Nuns of the Battlefield” was written by Dr Ellen Ryan Jolly, LL.D and published in 1927.
This rare, FIRST EDITION is inscribed on its flyleaf by the original owner ~ St Justin’s Convent.
It tells the story of the contributions made by Catholic nuns during our Civil War.
Dr. Ellen Ryan Jolly was instrumental in the passage of a resolution asking Congress to set aside a site in Washington, DC on which to erect a monument to the hundreds of Catholic Sisters who nursed the sick and wounded during the Civil War.
She spent a year collecting the necessary evidence required by Congress to justify the monument.
She succeeded in persuading Congress to grant her request and, in September 1924, the NUNS OF THE BATTLEFIELD monument was unveiled.
The unveiling was followed by the publication of Dr. Jolly's, “Nuns of the Battlefield”, which contained the results of her extensive research.
Many hundreds of Sister-War-Nurses from twelve religious congregations, including twenty distinct communities, had served with distinction during the War Between the States.
They served upon land and floating hospitals, in prisons, and in the death-swept pest houses from the beginning to the close of the Civil War.
During the warm, President Lincoln had upon many occasions expressed ‘high regard for the Sister-nurses in the long and gigantic struggle.’”
Since there were no army nurses ~ nor nurses of any kind ~ yet in the United States, it was the Sisters, in every part of the country, who after a battle, pinned up their long habits, gathered basic medical supplies, and went onto the battlefields to tend the wounded and dying, often bringing them to their convents for nursing care.
In Kentucky, for example, the Sisters sent their boarding students home, and after the battle of Perryville (which was fought practically on their doorstep) they brought the injured soldiers by cart to the students’ dormitory which became an early intensive care units.
This 336-page hard bound book is divided into 21 chapters.
Each chapter is dedicated to an individual community of nuns and details its unique participation during the Civil War.
The communities mentioned are:
Sisters of Charity, Nazareth, Kentucky;
Sisters of Charity, New York City;
Sisters of Charity, Cincinnati;
Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul;
Sisters of Saint Dominic, Springfield, Kentucky;
Sisters of Saint Dominic, Nashville;
Sisters of Saint Dominic, Springfield, Ohio;
Sisters of the Poor of Saint Francis, Cincinnati;
Sisters of the Holy Cross;
Sisters of Saint Joseph, Philadelphia;
Sisters of Saint Joseph, Wheeling, West Virginia;
Sisters of Mercy, Pittsburgh;
Sisters of Mercy, New York City;
Sisters of Mercy, Chicago;
Sisters of Mercy, Baltimore;
Sisters of Mercy, Vicksburg, Mississippi;
Sisters of Mercy, Cincinnati;
Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Charleston, South Carolina;
Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, New Orleans;
Sisters of Providence;
Sisters of Saint Ursula, Galveston.
Each chapter concludes with the name and place of birth of EVERY Nun who had served.
This history is presented in anecdotal form ~ the story is told through the actual experiences of the Sisters involved.
This technique allows the history to come alive because it is not simply a recitation of dates and facts.
The impact on the reader is tremendous. These were REAL women who acted in extraordinary ways with no thought of any recompense for their service.
These Nursing Nuns have been credited with ending the vehement anti-Catholic sentiments which were rampant in the United States prior to the Civil War.
Non-Catholics were treated along side Catholics. No distinctions were ever made ~ North, South, Catholic, Non-Catholic. The Sisters served them all.
“Nuns of the Battlefield” has recently been re-published in paperback form.
This auction features the original 1927 FIRST EDITION ~~ VERY RARE and HARD TO FIND.
Although its pages have yellowed, do not hesitate to add it to your collection/library! This classic is a MUST for every serious historian and nunophile!