The American Civil War was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America, a collection of eleven southern states that left the Union in 1860 and 1861. A long-standing disagreement over slavery sparked the conflict. After four bloody years of conflict, the United States defeated the Confederate States. In total, more than 2.4 million military members were killed. Millions more were injured, and the South was virtually destroyed.
The images from The Library of Congress give us a glimpse of the brave women of the nineteenth century who offered their medical skills and resources to help during wartime. As the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale is credited with caring for wounded and dying soldiers in the Crimean War, providing a model for the many women who served during the American Civil War.
She cared for wounded and dying soldiers at battles including Yorktown, Antietam, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Petersburg and advocated for a better hospital for African American soldiers and the creation the Colored Hospital Service, of which she became the head until the end of the war