This Birth Place of Souls: The Civil War Nursing Diary of Harriet Eaton

Paperback | May 31, 2012

EditorJane E. Schultz

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After the battle of Antietam in 1862, Harriet Eaton traveled to Virginia from her home in Portland, Maine, to care for soldiers in the Army of the Potomac. Portland's Free Street Baptist Church, with liberal ties to abolition, established the Maine Camp Hospital Association and made thewidowed Eaton its relief agent in the field. Doing the work of nurse and provisioner, Eaton tended wounded men and those with smallpox and diphtheria during two tours of duty. Eaton found the politics of daily toil challenging. Conflict between Eaton and coworker Isabella Fogg erupted almost immediately over issues of propriety. Though Eaton praised some of the surgeons with whom she worked, she labeled others charlatans whose neglect had deadly implications for the rankand file. If she saw villainy, she also saw opportunities to convert soldiers and developed an intense spiritual connection with a private, which appears to have led to a postwar liaison.Published here for the first time, the uncensored nursing diary is a rarity among medical accounts of the war, showing Eaton to be an astute observer of human nature and less straight-laced than we might have thought. This edition includes an extensive introduction by the editor, transcriptions ofrelevant letters and newspaper articles, and a biographical dictionary of the most prominent people mentioned in the diary.

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After the battle of Antietam in 1862, Harriet Eaton traveled to Virginia from her home in Portland, Maine, to care for soldiers in the Army of the Potomac. Portland's Free Street Baptist Church, with liberal ties to abolition, established the Maine Camp Hospital Association and made thewidowed Eaton its relief agent in the field. Doing...

Jane E. Schultz is Professor of English and Director of Literature at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis where she teaches courses in nineteenth-century literature and culture and in the medical humanities. Her book Women at the Front: Female Hospital Workers in Civil War America received Honorable Mention for the 2005 L...

other books by Jane E. Schultz

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Kobo ebook|Dec 15 2005

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:May 31, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199899541

ISBN - 13:9780199899548

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Table of Contents

IntroductionThe Diary1862: 6 October to 31 December1863: 1 January to 12 May1864: 12 October to 24 DecemberNotesAppendixesTranscriptions of Letters and Newspaper ItemsBiographical DictionaryBibliographyIndex