tv The Civil War Hospital Workers in Civil War America CSPAN March 24, 2018 6:00pm-7:05pm EDT
historian jane schultz talks about lives of women healthcare workers during the conflict. she's the author of "women at the front: hospital workers in america." symposium was co-hosted. >> i'd like to take a moment to next speaker, dr. jane e. schultz. jane is a professor of english at indiana university, purdue university indianapolis where since 1988 and where she received the trustee's award in 2016 and the distinguished faculty award in 2015. we believe this is really the first time that the museum and the symposium have included a professor of english on the program but there's a reason for that. as you'll see from the printed
isgram, dr. schultz essentially an honorary heldrian and she has adjunct appointments in her university's department of history and also the department of medical humanities and health studies,american women's studies and philanthropic studies. published works, public programs and media appearances have been at the intersection of disciplines of history, medicine, and literature. ae has also served as visiting professor in the school of nursing and college of theral arts and sciences at university of connecticut, the university of sydney, australia, and cambridge university, england. she is best known in the civil author ofity as the "women at the front: hospital workers in civil war america," published in 2004, which was a finalist for the lincoln prize. her program today is entitled,
for -- gender,ed power and hospital toil, 1861-1865." ladies and gentlemen, dr. jane schultz. [applause] jane: i just think of myself as historian. i want to thank john koskie for inviting me to this event and to christy and wade rawls at the staff for all of their for.work and arrangements this i know it takes an amazing amount of forethought and to pull this off, and, of course, thanks to who has endured their entire saturday with us. we're grateful you're here and continue the conversation with you for many
years. one of the advantages of being venue like this is that it allows us to meet scholars whose work we've read about for a while but might not ever have had the chance to meet. so i'm pleased to meet amy taylor for the first time today yesterday, bud robertson, i've also never met. i've known his work for many years. also glad to see my old friend pete carmichael again years. few also happy to make the acquaintance of lauren lee. i'm going to talk about the medical war this afternoon in context of three fairly ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times before returning to ordinary but changed lives after the war. thatrea of the civil war has been classically beenstudied has healthcare, until the last
decade or so, decade, 15 years. war, of course, the union sergeant general's medicalnd the army department published a number of books and pamphlets, many of which are up at the national library of medicine in and their work six-volumein the behemoth collection, the medical and surgical history of the war the rebellion. perhaps some of you have seen it. it was published between 1875 1888. and during the war, confederate medicalas union journals offered information andt new procedures medicines to surgeons who had inclination to read them but of course the largest was out there in the rear of battles and military hospitals where people learned by doing, which, of course, has always been one of the watch
words of medical training. you do one, you teach one, and i think that's often what happened during the war, as well. absolutely. ok. appearance of doctors in blue, by adams, and in gray by cunningham in 1958, and several contribution histories about workers in the united states sanitary commission, there really were not very many recently sources until it. archives,at primary or archives of primary materials of have been beckoning us, however. the national archives which i is my second home, state and local archives as well as
andreds of published unpublished accounts by medical workers, some of which are obviously in the new material bud robertson was talking about this morning, and, indeed, of the patients that these hospital workers and surgeons took care of, all of these were waiting, waiting patiently for a new generation of scholars to investigate in of assembling a greater fabric of a very complex that was the medical war. happen in the to first decade of the 21st century asup for interpretation, but medical matters have played an increasing role in american and american consciousness, in this new surprising it's not that war studies have reflected this emphasis and really begun
more to turn in this direction. we've seen books and articles on surgery, on the on variousrps, diseases, on trauma -- already talked about this morning. aboutay a little bit more it. on hospitals, both confederate and union, and relief work. these have been written by like margaret humphries, shawna devine,t, rootkou andira there are many others who have invested in this work. i now have a doctoral student in pittsburgh working on such a topic so i'm very happy. although i'm in indiana, she's pittsburgh, she's working on this. this sort of work, i think, has carefullynking more about how the health of fighting thees was integral to prosecution of the war and in
interactions of military and civilian medical also gainedve insight into the politics that assigned medicine a more powerful status in the united thats after the war than of other professional groups like nurses, for example. those interaction and medical cultures growing prominence in revealed to century us a lot about how such individuals negotiate ed with one their gender, racial and class identities. my own scholarship has centered pre-professional history of nursing and relief work and that work, i have attempted to of theut some assignment of job among primarily women who worked
hospitals and i've done this in a number of books, "womenwo at the front," out there on the table in front, which was published in 2004, as you just heard. "this birthplace of souls" which is fairly fromsive, annotated diary this woman, hariot eaton, who in boston area and moved to hartford, connecticut, most of her adult life in lots of, maine, and had interesting things to say about her various power struggles with even though she tried to do it very politely. the first conclusion of this nursing history was for 21,000ote that more than women were hired by union alone to provide all
manner of relief services during the war. women were cooking. they were doing washing. and helpingeding bathe patients. they were delivering medicines. they were reading to patients. they were writing letters, some armory in places like square hospital where there was a piano available. some of them could play the piano and were singing with their patients, having their patients sing with them. so they really helped people day in addition to providing these various services.nd custodial for more than a century after who were trying to assess the work of such women actuallyistorians were interested in doing this, as it turns out, they spoke of around 3,000 nurses who had been hired given the rank of nurse, by the army nursing superintendent, dorothea dix,
whose name many of you will as one of the primary activists for the reform of mental health in the united states. thesethe problem was that historians were only looking at ofery small cross-section those who had been appointed as indeed, who had been given their rank because of elite social status and high of literacy skills, on the whole. look atfact, when we records in the national archives, it becomes clear that 21,000 women who provided relief services and these are the women who are listed on payroll musters, that ofking-class women and women color had not been called nurses when they entered the service, but, instead, they had been matron,ok, laundress or
despite their often performing many of the same tasks that nurses did. in the confederacy, we also have women hospital workers with a third to a half, slaves.ve, being the difficulty for us in plotting out the confederate is that many medical records were destroyed in 1865 of richmond.ing so we don't really have an accurate sense of this, although remains in a number of places are confederate hospital morning reports and from this we can estimate about how many we think there were and of them --percentage of such women were slaves or possibly freed people. the issue of how we categorized hospital workers led significant finding or i suppose problem and that was the pensioning of army nurses through congressional
legislation 30 years after the happened in 1892, finally that a nurse's pension passed. and this act stipulated that been calledho had nurse and who had served a minimum of six months in hospitals and who could prove that they had served that long, thatgranted pensions and pension was a $12 monthly pension. so you see the problem here. of those cooks and laundresses and matrons who arguably needed a $12 monthly than many of the more well heeled women who had now called nurse, were ineligible to apply for pensions. one of the people i'm going to talk about this afternoon is filed fore who pensions but had not been called is mariah bexar
tolliver. and i'll talk about her in a little bit. let me pause for a moment and provide an outline of where headed. the three people i'm going to talk about all had connection to the medical service, but all came to it as outsiders. to the eliteside corps of physicians who made up the union army medical department and later the surgeon general's office, both sections. they were outsiders to the army s super intending office theoutsiders to many of ladies aid societies that made sanitary commission and other similar confederate groups. all i want to suggest about three of these people is that significant difference in each individual's prospects, work and so forth -- they all shared
neophyte status. they were all tender feet that and vulnerablee to the whims of handlers who sometimes knew less than they did about the conditions of men or indeed men, and yes, women, in hospital cost. o cots. they had an area of expertise that was perhaps not as values it might have been and i see the work that scholars of healthcare and medicine are usng in the war to bring back to understand how important this work was. additionally, i think their hard won experience during the war gave them the sense that they had a claim to national they might not have had that so much before the war but they have this claim fact that one of them was a confederate in
the war andr another was a domestic further rest of her working life, that is, as long as she was able to work. the first person i'm going to about is union assistant surgeon morgan baldwin who was from indiana, from a small town, ofut 20 miles north indianapolis, and this assistant miraculouslyuite attached to the 32nd massachusetts infantry, a regiment whose chief surgeon was zabdeal boylston adams of boston. i'll talk about baldwin's experience at gettysburg, in particular. is a woman who escaped slavery and went to work union hospital at camp barker outside of washington as and a general
emanuel, mariah bexar tolliver. know of mariah because she applied for pension in 1885, was 56 years old. the record of women like tolliver is rare given the of documentation and the alludedion that often people -- eluded people like her during the war. third person i'll talk about is kate cummings. nurse fromonfederate mobile, alabama, who i have been thinking about for the last 30 us, in mywho left valuable, most eloquent diary about nursing between thear states. it's remarkable for its details soldiers, their
afflictions, their medical treatment, the politics of slowtal space and the death of confederate medicine confederate will as medical supplies and other kinds of supplies dwindled. well, at the start of the war, i'm going to start with morgan baldwin and want to point out that at the start of the war the service wasl certainly under prepared and i theine the same goes for confederate medical service, as well. you can see that in 1861 there was a surgeon general, 30 surgeons,alled u.s.a. 84 assistant surgeons and 100 hospital beds. not very many hospital beds. years later, after there had been far greater that thisto the fact war was not going to last for three months. it was going to last much longer that, we still had one
now we had anl, assistant surgeon general, we medical inspector general and six medical inspectors, on70 surgeons, 547 surgeons volunteers, 2,109 regimental 3,882 assistant surgeons, 5,532 acting assistant surgeons and 100,000 hospital beds. i guess i'm glad it's not today everybody would be complaining about how much money we spent on it. anthis is quite extraordinary development and again, i don't have -- i'm theid i don't have quite same data on the confederacy and i apologize for that but this still give you know idea of what the challenges were. even as administrative heads of
the surgeon general's office began to shell medical officers circulars, itd was not easy for them to manage surgeons at the regimental you see how many there were from this list. been reading the last couple of days before i came down to richmond, at the library congress, every time i'm in the area, i try to go somewhere read a manuscript or two and reallybeen working on reminiscent or autobiography by surgeon who actually was all over the eastern and western theater and ultimately became a u.s.a. volunteer surgeon, a man mcdonaldlliam ogden who advanced rather quickly, really, over the course of a from a veryars, inexperienced assistant surgeon finally a chief surgeon of a
regiment and just kind of under-surgeon to an army corps. so he did this because -- and he was very tactical about it. he got recommendations when he people tom and got speak well of him. he was definitely a promotion seeker. know that the surgical service was extremely hierarchical. it commanded a certain form of obedience and tact and diction, i would say, also, from the wanted to get promoted and he was very successful in making his way ranks because as an assistant surgeon he really didn't want to be associated with regiments where some of the physicians didn't have particularly good medical training and many of the men were not fit for service. he was always upset about fact that too many raw recruits been turned away at the door because really after
just one winter in camp it was would never recover, they didn't have the constitution really to be good soldiers. was, inrgan baldwin fact, one of these regimental surgeons but he was thrilled to a bostonated with regiment, coming from the hoosier state. i'm afraid i don't have a photograph of him, either. so i'm very sorry about that. but baldwin's background was a smalld grown up in town in the midwest where he was apprenticed as a young teenager to the town doctor who as it no formal medical training but had learned through being a country doctor that there were certain things he well, like pull teeth. he was able, from his medical and so forthscribe and gave these medical books to baldwinaldwin and became particularly interested his masterg that could not teach him, which was
surgery. he was really fascinated by this. say that by the late master helped him get to the medical college of in cincinnati, which was relatively close to where he lived. took two five-month courses in medical training and degree.e him a medical he goes back to indiana at this point. he apprentices for another couple of years with the new knowledge that he's gained in surgery. and he begins to see advertisements, announcements coming out of the surgeon general's office, some of which are advertised in local newspapers, about the union army's need for more surgeons, the regimental level. so he sends out an application. want to talk to him. he goes to washington for
because at least in the first half of the war, people were very careful to make doctors knew what they were talking about in matters of terria medica and all of the learningas of medical that they wanted for people care of soldiers in regiments to have. and he learns that he has been appointed an assistant surgeon to a boston regiment, again, the which hadchusetts, recently lost its own assistant surgeon. right aroundening may, june, 1863. well, baldwin was thrilled to be ofng eastern surgeons, many whom had had elite training in medical schools like the university of pennsylvania. and he was assigned to do things like take sick call every didn't, soldiers who feel well would come in and talk
about their complaints and he would either prescribe something them, give them something -- but he did this. and he started to learn about what would happen when there was a battle. and if you know from that date and here he was in the eastern theater, that as the armies near gettysburg and chambersburg in late june, close by and we have his first medical experience is at gettysburg. trial by fire. this is actually not a photograph, as you'll see. graphic that i think conveys something of what this was like. there are a few photographs out there you can see them in maryland, at the civil war medical museum. they have several good ones. they're not always willing
to share their images which i'm aboutth, about, otherwise i would show one to you now. known forn adams was keeping dressing stations where soldiers would come or be were wounded in battle. he kept them very close to the -- rear of battle lines and within range of the firing and this made morgan to say thete anxious least. he was at gettysburg all three days and here's what he told us day, july 2. he tells us that the medical the regiment that day to move three times because shots kept getting closer and closer and they were really concerned that some of medical staff would be wounded and this happened fairly regularly during the war. move their ahead and
dressing stations three times the lastat day and at of these three stations, a man intestines starts to scream for baldwin's help. clear that he is mortally wounded. and at the same time that baldwin is attempting to help surgeon adams goes by and screams at baldwin saying, you can't be helping a dead man, somebodygot to go on who can be saved. well, you know, this is the form that people are dealing with. night, as surgeon baldwin is returning to the farm house where adams and other surgeons are performing amputations, he comes upon a hogs who aree
bodies on deceased outside. this was not a good day. not a good day. unders this first day fire -- actually, officially the wasnd day -- i think it probably his worst day in the service and it happened right at of his trueg service. say about this is i think it made him a veteran very quickly because it instructed him in truth is that officers and soldiers had to make an exigency. they were always making such choices. like soldiers, they would wait around and wait around, the surgeons did the same thing until there was a battle and that was unimaginable brutality. staying up all around the clock,
being extremely exhausted, and hardly able to focus area after the war, surgeon baldwin is around for quite a bit longer but i think he is released before the end of the war. he returns to indiana and he practices medicine, taking over for the man to whom he was up contest. that she was apprenticed. -- the man that he was apprenticed to. though he never again and the medical emergencies he witnessed during the war. when he wrote about this medical work in the war years later, he noted ironically that the war itself had been his best mentor and he knew that having witnessed so much loss of life, so much human sacrifice, that he would dedicate himself to keeping his community from harm in any way that he could. sacrifice, that he would dedicate himself to keeping his community from harm in any way that he could. he practices medicine in his little community until a ripe old age.
to maria tolliver. the lack of medical records make it very hard to find the marias of the war. until i located an obscure microfilm at the national archives. i want to say this is also about 25 years ago, which listed pension application numbers and names of women who had filed for , or had beenr 1892 awarded pensions by special act of congress after the war. women who had been fugitive slaves and had gone to work in military hospitals were invisible to me and everyone else, or should i say, i knew they existed from the oblique references to them in the
personal accounts of the literate, and i did not know how their waridence of experience, particularly in their own voices. once i got that microfilm list, i began looking at all the pension applicants and i found those who had been slaves or free people in reading through around 2400 pension applications. occasionally i got a handout beause after the name would colored. here is a person of color, i will reproduce this quickly so i can take it home and digest everything that is there. ist we know about maria this, she was born on a plantation in williamsburg, virginia around 1840 and she was
sold into king william's county as a young teenager. we have no image of her, either. she escaped to washington in 1862 as a slightly older teenager, making her contraband and after several months she found work with dr. james pettijohn to work at a hospital in camp barker which was a was a brand -- which contraband hospital, a place that looked like this. this is not the exact hospital, this is one in nashville, tennessee. this was also known as friedman's hospital -- as freedman's hospital in washington dc. you can find references to it in other wartime accounts. -- hired under the category insistsress, tolliver
in her pension that both she and her husband henry were nurses at the hospital and they would wait on patients, give them medicine, and had full control of the patients. this is what she writes in her pension deposition. and henry contracted small parks while they were serving and they were sent to the small parks -- to the smallpox ward of the hospital. this is where they were sent to theyerate and at the time were able to be more notes thatt, maria they nursed both black and white patients. she makes a particular point of testifying that she did not cook , she did not wash close, she took care of other sick people, both black and white. names other workers
who could cooperate the pension claims. one was a woman called louisa who notes that she did the nursed, but that maria the smallpox patients. fraser testified she had gettingy seen maria medicine at the dispensary and she came to the kitchen to pick up food and deliver it to her patients. another witness somebody else mentioned in maria's application was betsy lawson. it was betsy lawson who was tolliver's nurse when she fell ill with smallpox. betsy lawson notes that as tolliver recovered she did all manner of work but especially nursing. we know these things because application to the pension bureau in 1895 and
was busy finding witnesses to testify on her behalf, naming names not only of the people she worked with but the surgeons who sponsored her work and so forth for two or three years it took her to put all this information. service recordhe of hospital attendants from the american civil war, and i did this about 20 years ago, we learn that among those 21,000 union female hospital workers, about 11% of them were african-americans. that is that we can identify from those index cards. my guess is there was probably a higher percentage, a higher number and percentage of african-american women, especially in the eastern theater. women,that many black especially fugitives who do not want to be discovered, were simply not counted. this is where we get into fuzzy math.
died, really it was more like 750, the same we can meet -- the same can be said for people who provided more service. says evidence i have found we have undercounted the representation of black women. were appointed to these low prestige jobs, this particular frame is of a woman in the sea islands who is a laundress. it seems like such a bleak photo to me but it is also such an important photo because even though the woman in it is a small portion of this very large photo of buildings and so forth, it really does tell us that this is the kind of work that many slave and contraband women were assigned to do.
these kinds of jobs did not necessarily put them in close contact with surgeons or soldiers, although there were exceptions. thatow from photographs there was at least one black nurse who served on the union ship red rover, some of you may know about this case. sometimes black women were hired such as white nurses matilda cleaver john who was a well-educated black woman in washington who cared for the wii is a may alcott and the abolition -- who cared for louisa may alcott when she fell end ofgeorgetown at the 1862. here's a picture of that hospital. people have ugly things to say about this hospital which had been retrofitted from a hotel and they talk about things like
the latrines in the hospital being contiguous with the kitchen and so forth. we know that germs abounded there before anyone knew what germs were. quite a lot of surgeons who begin to understand the principles of antisepsis, even before pastor was widely eurraced -- even before past was widely embraced by the medical community. the workses directed of many of the black relief workers and this gave many of to worke women alongside black women for the first time in their lives. women like susie taylor who had inaped from the sea islands
1862 with her uncle, she became a regimental laundress for the 33rd u.s. colored troops and continued to move north. who haded patients diphtheria, she took care of shoot a guncould and knew how to clean guns and so forth. she did every possible kind of work, including nursing but was still known by the government as a laundress. the fact that we can hear maria's voice through her pension record is evidence that she wanted recognition for her war work and she was finally granted her pension. she was able to make the case and they accepted it when she was no longer able to work herself in her she considered herself a citizen with rights, despite the jim crow world in which she was living at the time. she was lucky because not all fugitiveser position,
who went to work in hospitals ,ere paid regularly, if at all could prove that they, too, did the work of nursing. 1890's,kers died by the such women were generally not grant pensions. many women who were deserving of this were not able to get their monthly stipend for their war work. i shall move on to kate cummings. is her portrait still hanging in the museum? can anybody tell me? no one knows? it's not there. ok. i have to locate it again. it may be down in alabama at this point. that's working cummings was from. that's as a confederate nurse, kate cummings was a more likely
hospital nurse than we might have first imagined. testimony of people like wilson, aevans hel-received not novelist, testifies that white women concerned about reputation took a rather dim view of hospital work. she is quite worried of a single solely herwill reputation -- as a single woman that will sully her reputation. it became clear that by 1862 that women did not take up this burden in the confederacy regardless of their marital status.
chestnut shrank from the prospect of doing such work, unlike her friend, alisa mccourt. i always wondered why is that chestnut demurred when it came to doing much work in the hospital. she occasionally brought food, but she is not what i would consider a nurse like cummings. perhaps because chestnut did not have any children of her own. .his hit her in a place kate cummings was a spin stress who perhaps have than widowed women who had to go to work. we have a picture of phoebe yates, one of my favorite women from the era.
she had been widowed just before the war insert in this city's hospital, which i'm sure all of you know about. she took a practical view of the work that she was doing. r, but she poo wanted to be independent of her family. this job gave her that opportunity. she simply pooh-poohed the idea that this would harm her socially in any way. addition -- edition of her reminiscence of the hospital in the 1860's. she falls into a similar category -- she is left a relative fortune when her husband dies. she uses that fortune to fit out hospitals in alabama and tennessee. she used all the money she had
at her disposal to make hospitals move into those areas. cumming, she was born in scotland sometime around 1830, we think. i looked for her on ancestry.com. i haven't quite found her. she immigrated with her parents and many siblings, one of 10 children, to montreal in the 1840's. sometime in the early 1850's, the family went down to mobile. her father was a grocer and a banker and a smalltime businessman and the family ended up at the gulf of mexico in mobile. her mother and one of her sisters helped florence nightingale in crimea. kate notinctly asked to volunteer for nursing for the confederacy, which i find interesting.
1862, just after the battle of shiloh, kate got her chance when a group from her church was deputized to help the wounded around florence, mississippi. she talks about her travel over to corinth from mobile. she tells us that, for the first nine days in attendance on soldiers when she arrived, that she was unable to wash herself or anyone else, she was unable to undress, she was unable to sleep on anything but the floor, and that is for maybe a couple of hours a day. once, she slept on a box. her skirts were tipped with blood and other effluvia. quite an initiation for her. time, one ofover
the stalwarts of surgeon samuel stout in the medical corps of the army of tennessee, which pioneered the flying hospital system, a mash unit. cumming spends the next 3.5 years watching confederate troops and government support disintegrate. i think of her as a cheap witness to the destruction of the confederate body. because shenusual was quite frank in criticizing confederate troops in her diary for what she saw as a lack of physical and psychological fortitude. of course, the diary was a private form, so she was more candid in it then maybe writing but she was anxious to
publisher diary after the war. she felt it would make a good source of income for her in that assumption, i'm afraid she was terribly wrong. when her papers at the alabama department of archives and -- its in montgomery letter after letter talking about the difficulty she had selling her diary. that is to louisville publishers -- she finally got john morton of louisville to publish it in 1866. 1890's, she publishes another version of the diary. it is quite interesting to read it. while we see her critical of the confederacy, she's equally disgusted with yankee depredations that she witnessed.
really, i think she left all of her non-conciliatory references to soldiers and to president lincoln in the published texts. those are there for anyone to see. they are quite striking. what i want to zero in on with regard to cumming is that her realistic depiction of medical trauma deteriorates over time. it's not so much her ability to chronicle what she sees as it is the sense that language no longer has the power to represent what is with the civil. initially, she gives is highly descriptive catalogues of suffering. here's one of them. maybe withly, again, in a month or so after she joins the forces in 1862. first mang the war, to write is mr. robbins, about 50 years of age, the doctors say he's one of the worst wounded.
there is very little hope of his recovery. mr. mcveigh is an irishman, much i emaciated. the bonus protruding about an inch. to the left is mr. gruber, wounded in both knees. while marching, a cannonball took off one and part of another . the very sight of his base is distressing. the effluvia from his wounds is sickening. there are a dozen or so badly wounded. one without a leg, one without an arm, and one with ones that are awful to look at. there's an irish man with his arm in a sling. opposite him is mr. horton, another great supper. -- sufferer. sparks,e of him is mr. whose leg wound makes him grown day and night. mr. robinson is about 17.
half of his leg is a solid sore. he wails most dolefully. we find it impossible to assuage his pain. it's like this all over the first part of the diary. cumming is careful in the first months. she provides the names and regiments of the men she nurses. she goes home with the deposition of the property so relatives can come claim it. by the second year for service, she has scaled back her effort. men die nameless in amputation wars. men brought in at night are dead by morning. the stretcher bearers have not the least idea of the names. you see this terrible pall
fall over hospital work. 1864, she goes for six weeks without drafting a single entry like she had previously been doing every couple of days. in the last dismal months of the war, she writes only sporadically, abandoning mosttive for a practice closely resembling medical charting. when a soldier of the third florida infantry dies unexpected leak, she knows he's one of five brothers have died in service. when a record in these few words. she simply alludes to language she cannot create. she is fatigued beyond language at this point. 1865, sometime after appomattox, she travels home 400 miles. she's 400 miles from mobile at that time.
when she canagon get a ride. otherwise, she walks. she can get one very short boat ride. she spends much of the rest of her life trying turn money for herself and for other women left penniless by the war. she becomes a sunday school teacher. this is the ordinariness she returns to. we can say about kate cumming that she clearly suffered from the burnout that other medical workers also experienced. we can surely say this about morgan baldwin and maria oriah tolliver. pensions were not considered a handout, but fair payment for federal service. it with hered support of the washington, d.c.
hospital. what we come to understand is that the trauma associated with battlefield events did not affect only soldiers but, as lauren put it so eloquently this morning, and visited many families and children and indeed those who had laid hands in healing on sick and wounded men. these try must did not dissipate because the war ended in 18 to five. after people even returned to ordinary lives, bubbling up unpredictably throughout their lifetimes. usis incumbent upon all of to remember that we only get fragments of stories. there's always more that we do not see under the surface of the
visible. when lucy buck says we shall never any of us be the same as we have been, she's in joining us to think and imagine what is visible because it is finally are only way to encounter the fullest mysteries of the past. thank you. [applause] >> questions. comments. kathleen? louisa may kept hospital sketches. >> its virtues and limitations y gosh.ae
i haven't talked it for a while. budvirtues are perhaps what was talking about first thing this morning. she is very successful in exacting feeling through this narrative, particularly of olcott's narrative of john, who she calls a virginia blacksmith, but we've learned in recent years that he's actually from pennsylvania. gets closer than just about any narration or narrative of relief worker -patient interaction to telling us what is really important about the war. and makes visible the work that women did, putting their hands on a patient's body to let them know that someone was there with them, holding them and helping them through what was often great pain, fear of death, and a
number of other things. is what ist marvelously wonderful. commentst to which he on racial issues -- she is very clear about racist behaviors among hospital staff. she is a person who comes from a butly abolitionist family, she is not herself trying to escape that category, either, as a white person. she is fair-minded about what happens when white women, white men who hadn't lived in communities with people of color before met and interacted with them andnteracted with certain racial assumptions muddied those interactions.
kate calls them out. the hospital sketches -- paradoxicalay in way be the humor of that text. -- in a paradoxical way be the humor of that text. partly the lighthearted prose style that all caps has -- all caught has -- a sensible readers will always get that some of that comedy is covering the tragedy. that is off the top of my head. >> thank you. i think your point about burr bound struck me. it was part of her
career as a writer. do you think burnout was more prevalent? after the war, they found it difficult. there isn't a sense that this was a period in which they rights that would be used in a struggle for women's rights. there was a break after the war of deep and period painful adjustment to the conditions of peace. fullyon't think i heard your question. about burnout. >> i'm sorry. i didn't get that. it did take people a long time to recover from this. as i wanted to suggest i don't think they ever really did fully recover from it. as we know from the work of eric about later wars and part of the
civil war, soldiers certainly suffered from repeated episodes of trauma and i'm sure that these hospital workers did as well. some of them actually write about it. not many, but some talk about having fearful dreams after the war. she herselfbecause is being treated for mercury poisoning. she's being treated in a way that subjects are to that after the war. delirium ise interio being created by that -- it's fairly common that people would return to the war in this particular way and the trauma would resurface. once people see images like that, they are very hard to erase.
it takes a long time to arrest them altogether. i was thinking about this this morning with lauren's collection of images. these images are so strikingly powerful, it's both hard to look at them and each time i intended to look away, i was drawn back to them. i think there's a kind of compulsion about this that is probably fairly true for those who witnessed hysterical scenes during the war with a measure of consciousness and receptivity. you happy how mercy street turned out? what was missing from it? >> i was always teasing -- have you seen mercy street, people in the audience? good. i was really -- i had a great time working on this program, in part because i was able to
comment on all of the scripts. the same guy who did the scripts zabel, he wasid the presiding man for the screenplays for mercy street. he was in doubt a draft of a new episode -- send out a draft for a new episode. whether i was teaching or grading papers, i would drop everything to read it. i would spend the whole day reading the script and commenting on it. it was quite fun. a lot of what i would do aside from trying to correct what i thought would be blocking mistakes -- they wouldn't have done it this way, they would have done it that way. a lot of what i did was to comment on language that was too 21st century. that's not how they would have said it. they would have said it this
way. i won some of those battles and lost some of those battles. in general, they were very receptive to it. if i have a criticism about the way these 12 episodes turned out, it's that they tried to load every unusual circumstance that happened in any military hospital anywhere in the union or confederacy into each episode. sometimes, it seemed like too much. the pace of time in hospitals was very slow that our current mode of cinematic display to give you rough jump cuts edited very quickly so the audience doesn't get bored some people would have conveyed the idea of what was going on in civil war hospitals a bit better. [applause] >> thank you.
on 1968,: this sunday america and turmoil, the presidential election began with a presidential candidates. by the end, the sitting president bowed out, robert kennedy was assassinated. television coverage was dominated by violent clashes between chicago police and protesters at the democratic national convention and richard nixon won a decisive victory. us, former candidate pat buchanan who served under nixon and reagan and also the author of the greatest comeback, how richard nixon rose from defeat to create the new majority. and barbara perry, codirector of the presidential oral history row graham at the university of virginia. watch 1968, america and turmoil come alive sunday at 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span's washington journal and american history tv
on c-span3. announcer: c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. saturday morning, we will talk about the march for our lives rally and teenagers engaging in political activism with eugene daniels. then former residential candidate patrick buchanan and barbara perry, presidential studies director at the miller center, will discuss the 1968 ofsidential campaign as part c-span's 1968: america in turmoil series. be sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern sunday morning. join the discussion. announcer: california democrat nancy pelosi became the first woman speaker of the u.s. house of representatives in 2007. american history tv in a ceremony at the smithsonian's