Wonderful War Date Letter from the Union Armies Head Nurse Dorothea L. Dix – “None are accepted under 35 nor above 50. Hair must be plain. Grey, Brown or Black. No ornaments of any sort. Small amount of baggage. Transportation given to & from service. Compensation 40 cents per day and subsistence.” – And note what she says about “Irish women”…
This 2-page letter in ink is all in the hand of Dix. It is “Official” and has a wax seal at the bottom of the 2nd page. After the battle of Bull Run the Union army was in desperate need of someone to head up the dire need of nurses to minister to the wounded in Northern hospitals… Dorothea Dix was chosen to meet that need. Here is the content:
- Washington, July 12th, 1862. My dear Delenor, Mr. Doremus gave me the rather startling information that you could “furnish” me 175 good women nurses for the Military Hospitals.
- I shall (owe) you a debt all my life, if you send me 20 middle-aged American women of good education from the respectable clan of society, of good habits, loyal, competent & enduring, free from chronic disease, not liable to sudden illness and willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the cause they profess to serve.
- None are accepted under 35 nor above 50. Hair must be plain. Grey, Brown or Black. No ornaments of any sort. Small amount of baggage. Transportation given to & from service. Compensation 40 cents per day and subsistence. I do not wish you to say you will not engage Irish women, but I cannot have any more. The proportion must be observed if possible. I have as many as can be useful.
- Send six immediately if you can. Others will be daily called for. I want these six to go on the transport ships. They must be zealous & courageous.
- Telegraph if you send. Go to the Quarter Master in Boston. Capt. W. W. Dickeson who is instructed to furnish transportation on sight of my signature & seal.
- I do not know names for certificates. We are in need. In haste. Your friend, D. L. Dix. On reverse: I am almost too tired to hold pen or pencil.
A wonderful, historic letter from a true American hero.
#L7-12-62 – Price $795