Recruiting Nurses for the Civil War and Dorothea Dix

The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865. Like many wars, it was expected to be short. Sadly it was not. Dorothea Dix was charged with recruitinDorothea DIxg nurses when she was well into a career in which she had made incredible advances for people in mental hospitals and prisons. She began her crusade in 1841 and had established hospital in the United States and worked internationally with Queen Victoria and the Pope. She was amazing. But she was not ready for a full scale crusade to establish an Army nursing core when the war began. As a non-nurse, volunteer and patriot she took the job.

She clashed with many emerging leaders, among them Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who was a big supporter of early nursing education. I am sure a strong personality had to be part of her inherent personality to take on the entire bureaucracy of the mental health system as she had the 20 years before. Like Nightingale and many other nurse reformers she had strong ideas. Somewhere out of place at the end of her career. Take a look at this want ad.
The text of the want ad for nurses says:

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