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Civil War Female Nurse

Item MED-7638
Eleanor C. Ransom
Price: $345.00


Period cabinet card image of Civil War Female Nurse Eleanor C. Ransom. Image is dated December 18, 1899.

Civil War Nurse - Nicknamed "Mother" or "Aunty" due to her loving care and being old enough to be the age of most of the wounded boys' mothers, Ransom was a nurse during the Civil War. Her first assignment was in a Union hospital in Tennessee and then to New Orleans were she went aboard the Government Transport Ship NORTH AMERICA to nurse wounded and sick Union soldiers during their trek back to the North by sea. The ship sank in heavy seas during a storm of the Florida coast on December 22, 1864. Of the 203 Union enlisted soldiers, mostly from Illinois and New York regiments, 194 were lost in the sinking. Ransom witnessed many of her beloved patients drown during the sinking. Ransom was placed in a lifeboat and while it was nearly swamped by the waves of the storm, she was able to make it to the ship LIBBY and rescued. She was sent to a hospital in New York City to recover from her ordeal. While there, she received visits from relatives and friends of the soldiers who were lost on the NORTH AMERICA who beseeched her to tell them if she knew of their lost loved one and/or about the storm and sinking; something she never refused to do as she felt she should try and ease the families sorrow as best she could. On July 25, 1866, a grateful Congress authorized a payment of $400 to Ransom for her wartime services aboard the NORTH AMERICA.

She was one of the first recognized regular women army nurses employed in the Civil War and during those stormy times visited the army hospitals and field of battle, tending the wounded, sick and dying. For her valiant services she was pensioned.

Ransom was a member of the Women's Relief Corps and is mentioned in histories of that society as having been an Army nurse. Her obituary reported her philanthropic activities in the Los Angeles area.

Information from Wikipedia and Find a Grave.