SITE IS PROTECTED BY

PAYMENT OPTIONS

Forthcoming titles

(Book titles are subject to change)

Artillery at War with Napoleon

Woman of the Revolution

Third Leonaur Book of Ghost and Horror Stories

John Hawkwood

Sikhs, Russians & Sepoys

Hew Ross of the Chestnut Troop

Sir Howard Douglas

Supernatural Theo Gift

Supernatural James Platt

Australians in Action: New Guinea

British Hussar on the Western Front

Campaign of a French Infantry Officer (WW1)

Experiences of a French Dragoon (WW1)

Billy the Kid

Battle of Jutland

Congreves Rockets

Hew Dalrymple

Marshal Ney's Military Studies

Harriet Tubman

A Flying Soldier

The Novik

The Orphan Brigade 

and many others

Fannie Beers’ Civil War

enlarge Click on image to enlarge
enlarge Mouse over the image to zoom in
Fannie Beers’ Civil War
Qty:     - OR -   Add to Wish List

Also available at:

Amazon Depository Wordery

Author(s): Fannie A. Beers
Date Published: 2009/07
Page Count: 312
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-753-0
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-754-7

A dauntless and humane woman of the South

Young Fannie Beers, a Connecticut girl, married southerner A. P. Beers when he was a student at Yale. Naturally, she accompanied him to his home and there she formed an abiding affection for the land and its people. When the Civil War broke out her husband enlisted in the Confederate Army becoming a sergeant in Fenner's Louisiana Light Artillery. Fannie, with one small child and pregnant with a second, moved back to the security of her Northern family. Her support for the Southern cause and her refusal to renounce it soon made her position in the north untenable, so she returned to her husband's side. She thereafter worked with great commitment as a nurse with Confederate forces in Virginia, Georgia and Alabama, finally becoming a matron at a field hospital. So high was the regard in which she held that she earned the appellation, 'The Florence Nightingale of the South'. This is a remarkable story in Fannie’s own words and was originally published under the title of Memories.

I had hardly begun when some of the men declared they “heard guns.” I could not then detect the sound, but soon it grew louder and more sustained, and then we—knew—a battle was in progress. For hours the fight went on. We awaited the result in painful suspense. At last the ambulances came in, bringing some of the surgeons and some wounded men, returning immediately for others. At the same time the hospital steward with his attendants and several of our nurses arrived, also the linen-master, the chief cook, and the baker. With them came orders to prepare wards for a large number of wounded, both Confederate—and Federal—. Presently a cloud of dust appeared up the road, and a detail of Confederate cavalry rode into town, bringing eight hundred Federal prisoners, who were consigned to a large cotton warehouse, situated almost midway between the hospital and the railroad depot.<br>
My terrible anxiety, suspense, and heavy responsibility was now at an end, but days and nights of nursing lay before all who were connected with either the Buckner or Bragg Hospitals. Additional buildings were at once seized and converted into wards for the reception of the wounded of both armies. The hospital attendants, though weary, hungry, and some of them terribly dirty from the combined effect of perspiration, dust, and gunpowder, at once resumed their duties. The quartermaster reopened his office, requisitions were made and filled, and the work of the different departments was once more put in regular operation.<br>
I was busy in one of the wards, when a messenger drove up, and a note was handed me from Dr. McAllister,—<br>
Some of our men too badly wounded to be moved right away. Come out at once. Bring cordials and brandy,—soup, if you have it,—also fill the enclosed requisition at the drugstore. Lose no time.<br>
The battle-field was not three miles away. I was soon tearing along the road at breakneck speed. At an improvised field-hospital I met the doctor, who vainly tried to prepare me for the horrid spectacle I was about to witness.<br>
From the hospital-tent distressing groans and screams came forth. The surgeons, both Confederate and Federal, were busy, with coats off, sleeves rolled up, shirt-fronts and hands bloody. But—our—work lay not here.<br>
Dr. McAllister silently handed me two canteens of water, which I threw over my shoulder, receiving also a bottle of peach brandy. We then turned into a ploughed field, thickly strewn with men and horses, many stone dead, some struggling in the agonies of death.<br>
The plaintive cries and awful struggles of the horses first impressed me. They were shot in every conceivable manner, showing shattered heads, broken and bleeding limbs, and protruding entrails. They would not yield quietly to death, but continually raised their heads or struggled half-way to their feet, uttering cries of pain, while their distorted eyes seemed to reveal their suffering and implore relief. I saw a soldier shoot one of these poor animals, and felt truly glad to know that his agony was at an end.<br>
The dead lay around us on every side, singly and in groups and—piles—; men and horses, in some cases, apparently inextricably mingled. Some lay as if peacefully sleeping; others, with open eyes, seemed to glare at any who bent above them. Two men lay as they had died, the “Blue” and the “Gray,” clasped in a fierce embrace. What had passed between them could never be known; but one was shot in the head, the throat of the other was partly torn away. It was awful to feel the conviction that unquenched hatred had embittered the last moments of each. They seemed mere youths, and I thought sadly of the mothers, whose hearts would throb with equal anguish in a Northern and a Southern home. In a corner of the field, supported by a pile of broken fence-rails, a soldier sat apparently beckoning to us. On approaching him we discovered that he was quite dead, although he sat upright, with open eyes and extended arm.<br>
Several badly wounded men had been laid under the shade of some bushes a little farther on; our mission lay here. The portion of the field we crossed to reach this spot was in many places slippery with blood. The edge of my dress was red, my feet were wet with it. As we drew near the suffering men, piteous glances met our own. “Water! water!” was the cry.<br>
Dr. McAllister had previously discovered in one of these the son of an old friend, and although he was apparently wounded unto death, he hoped, when the ambulances returned with the stretchers sent for, to move him into town to the hospital. He now proceeded with the aid of the instruments, bandages, lint, etc., I had brought to prepare him for removal.<br>
Meantime, taking from my pocket a small feeding-cup, which I always carried for use in the wards, I mixed some brandy and water, and, kneeling by one of the poor fellows who seemed worse than the others, tried to raise his head. But he was already dying. As soon as he was moved the blood ran in a little stream from his mouth. Wiping it off, I put the cup to his lips, but he could not swallow, and reluctantly I left him to die. He wore the blue uniform and stripes of a Federal sergeant of cavalry, and had a German face.<br>
The next seemed anxious for water, and drank eagerly. This one, a man of middle age, was later transferred to our wards, but died from blood-poisoning. He was badly wounded in the side. A third could only talk with his large, sad eyes, but made me clearly understand his desire for water. As I passed my arm under his head the red blood saturated my sleeve and spread in a moment over a part of my dress. So we went on, giving water, brandy, or soup; sometimes successful in reviving the patient, sometimes able only to whisper a few words of comfort to the dying. There were many more left, and Dr. McAllister never for a moment intermitted his efforts to save them. Later came more help, surgeons, and attendants with stretchers, etc. Soon all were moved who could bear it.<br>
Duty now recalled me to my patients at the hospital.<br>
My hands and dress and feet were bloody, and I felt sick with horror.<br>