Blog Post: Louisa May Alcott's Civil War

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Reference Materials
Date Posted: 7/9/2012

In this post, students will explore Louisa May Alcott's service as a nurse during the Civil War. While Alcott is perhaps best known as the author of the 19th-century classic Little Women, she also served as a Union nurse in Washington, D.C. at Georgetown’s Union Hotel Hospital from December 13, 1862 to January 21, 1863. Though Alcott’s term of service was cut short after she contracted typhoid pneumonia, she used her brief wartime experience as a basis for her second published book, Hospital Sketches. Yet unlike many Civil War nurses who waited until after the war to publish their memoirs, Alcott’s appeared in print in 1863 before the war’s end, allowing fellow nurses such as Amanda Akin to read passages from the book to their patients. Written by Kevin Konrad, an exhibition researcher, this post is published on the Museum's "O Say Can You See?" blog.

National Standards

Historical Thinking Standards (Grades K-4)

Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)

Standards in History (Grades K-4)

United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)

World History Standards (Grades 5-12)

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