The best books on women nurses during the Civil War

Who am I?

Jocelyn Green is the bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen books as of 2021. Her historical fiction has been acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, the Historical Novel Society, and the Military Writers Society of America.


I wrote...

Wedded to War

By Jocelyn Green,

Book cover of Wedded to War

What is my book about?

Tending to the army's sick and wounded meant leading a life her mother does not understand and giving up a handsome and approved suitor. Yet Charlotte chooses a life of service over privilege, just as her childhood friend had done when he became a military doctor. She soon discovers that she's combatting more than just the rebellion by becoming a nurse.

The books I picked & why

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Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America

By Jane E. Schultz,

Book cover of Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America

Why this book?

This volume offers a survey of Civil War nurses in both the North and the South. Not only do readers meet individuals like Clara Barton, but readers get an overview of pioneering women in this field, with detailed statistics not found in memoirs.

Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America

By Jane E. Schultz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women at the Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As many as 20,000 women worked in Union and Confederate hospitals during America's bloodiest war. Black and white, and from various social classes, these women served as nurses, administrators, matrons, seamstresses, cooks, laundresses, and custodial workers. Jane Schultz provides the first full history of these female relief workers and shows how the domestic and military arenas merged in Civil War America, blurring the line between homefront and battle-front. Examining the lives and legacies of Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Susie King Taylor, and others, Schultz demonstrates that class, race, and gender roles linked female workers with soldiers, both black and white.…


Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of Hospital Sketches

Why this book?

Before she wrote novels, Louisa May Alcott served as a nurse for the Union. Though her time was cut short by typhoid fever, her vivid memories of those days offer a colorful glimpse into her personal experiences with wounded and sick soldiers.

Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Hospital Sketches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Complete and unabridged paperback edition.

Collection of short stories.

First published in 1863.


With Courage and Delicacy: Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission

By Nancy Scripture Garrison,

Book cover of With Courage and Delicacy: Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission

Why this book?

This book captures the work of the little-known U.S. Sanitary Commission, the pre-cursor to the Red Cross, and its influence during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. Women nurses were the lifeblood of the hospital transports that saved hundreds of lives.

With Courage and Delicacy: Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission

By Nancy Scripture Garrison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked With Courage and Delicacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The U.S. Sanitary Commission was a volunteer medical and relief organization during the Civil War, in which women played a significant role. The author draws on the letters of women serving in McClellan's Peninsula campaign of 1862 to integrate social, cultural and military history into a gripping narrative.


Kate Cumming's Civil War Journal

By Kate Cumming,

Book cover of Kate Cumming's Civil War Journal

Why this book?

This journal gives us a look into the experiences of Confederate nurse, Kate Cumming. She was educated and intelligent, but blind to the wrongs of slavery in her passion for the Southern cause. Her experience as a Civil War nurse offers a contrast to those of Union nurses.

Kate Cumming's Civil War Journal

By Kate Cumming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kate Cumming's Civil War Journal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Scottish-born, Alabama-bred Kate Cumming was one of the first women to offer her services for the care of the South's wounded soldiers. Her detailed journal, first published in 1866, provides a riveting look behind the lines of Civil War action in depicting civilian attitudes, army medical practices, and the administrative workings of the Confederate hospital system.


Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir

By Susie King Taylor,

Book cover of Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir

Why this book?

Many African American women served as nurses, especially in the South, as Susie King Taylor did. But their stories have largely gone unrecorded. This memoir adds an important perspective to any consideration of Civil War nurses.

Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir

By Susie King Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reminiscences of My Life in Camp as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Near the end of her classic wartime account, Susie King Taylor writes, ""There are many people who do not know what some of the colored women did during the war."" For her own part, Taylor spent four years - without pay or formal training - nursing sick and wounded members of a black regiment of Union soldiers. In addition, she worked as a camp cook, laundress, and even teacher. Written from a perspective unique in the literature of the Civil War, ""Reminiscences of My Life in Camp"" not only chronicles daily life on the battlefront but also records interactions between…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in hospitals, nursing, and World War 2?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about hospitals, nursing, and World War 2.

Hospitals Explore 16 books about hospitals
Nursing Explore 20 books about nursing
World War 2 Explore 1152 books about World War 2

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Louisa on the Front Lines, The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott, and Apostles of Disunion if you like this list.