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Some years before Little Women made her famous, Louisa May Alcott volunteered as a nurse at a makeshift Union hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1862. The Civil War was raging. Alcott’s Civil War journals describing her experiences, along with the letters she sent home, provided the basis for Hospital Sketches (1863).
Though the experience was frustratingly short for the fledgling author who wanted to experience all of life, good and bad, her writings provided richly drawn views of the terrible conditions in the hospital, commentary on women’s roles in the war effort, race issues in the armed forces, and more. Read more about Louisa May Alcott as Civil War Nurse. Read More→