Women of the Civil War

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Date: April 16, 2009

NEWS RELEASE u.s. department of the interior

National Park Service

For Immediate Release Frank Torres 425-8025


'Little Women of the North': The Woolsey Sisters as Nurses during the Civil War

The National Park Service and Fort Union National Monument announces its’ monthly "Glimpses of the Past" presentation. The program will be held at the Citizen’s Committee for Historic Preservation/Santa Fe Trail Interpretive Center, 116 Bridge St., in Las Vegas, Thursday April 16 at 7:00 p.m.

The talk will address the overall importance of women serving as nurses during the Civil War and the resistance many of them encountered as they tried to influence medical policy and oversee the care of sick and wounded soldiers. By focusing on the correspondence that passed between the Woolsey sisters as they transformed themselves from patriotic Northerners into seasoned hospital nurses, I will describe some of the points of tension that emerged as a result of their participation in the war and explore the unresolved questions that remain at the war's end. Having challenged the boundaries of gender and class, how would these dedicated women reposition themselves in the postwar world?

After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing in the mid 1970's, Dr. Kristie Ross worked in pediatrics for several years before returning to school to pursue her passion for history. Dr. Ross earned her doctorate in American history from Columbia University in 1993. She began teaching at Highlands in 1998 and is currently an Assistant Professor of History. Dr. Ross has recently completed a new annotated edition of the Woolsey Family Letters during the Civil War and is looking forward this summer to a two-week stay in a small house in Connecticut exploring the family's correspondence during the postwar years.

The "Glimpses of the Past" series of programs are presented to the public free of charge, in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation (CCHP). For more information, you may contact Fort Union National Monument at (505) 425-8025, or visit the park website at

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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