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This Birth Place of Souls

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Table of Contents

Introduction ; The Diary ; 1862: 6 October to 31 December ; 1863: 1 January to 12 May ; 1864: 12 October to 24 December ; Notes ; Appendixes ; Transcriptions of Letters and Newspaper Items ; Biographical Dictionary ; Bibliography ; Index

About the Author

Jane E. Schultz is Professor of English and Director of Literature at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis where she teaches courses in nineteenth-century literature and culture and in the medical humanities. Her book Women at the Front: Female Hospital Workers in Civil War America received Honorable Mention for the 2005 Lincoln Prize.


A beautifully conceived book. * H-Net Reviews * Harriet Eaton's diary vividly brings to life the inner-workings of Civil War field and general hospitals, where army regulars, civilian relief workers, and freed slaves often came to blows about how best to care for the wounded. For eleven months and through two rigorous tours of duty Eaton made nightly journal entries that allow readers to experience the immediacy of triage work in the aftermath of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. In This Birth Place of Souls, Jane Schultz thoroughly and ably places Eaton in the context in which she lived and worked, offering us a fascinating snapshot of one nurse's experience and a group portrait of caregivers of all stripes * Judith Giesberg, Villanova University * Jane E. Schultz's meticulous editing of Harriet Eaton's diary and newspaper correspondence provides detailed insights into the backbreaking day-to-day hospital work of a 'roving' Civil War nurse. Eaton's 'sanitary labor' immersed the pious Christian into the world of rickety ambulance wagons and filthy field hospital tents as she cared for Maine's sick and wounded volunteers. Schultz's thorough introductory essay, annotations, and biographical appendix contextualize Eaton's humanitarian/missionary efforts within contemporary New England attitudes towards gender and race. Eaton's determination and diplomatic skills enabled her to navigate the male-dominated military-medical world of her day and minister to the physical and spiritual needs of innumerable suffering soldiers. A major documentary edition and a significant contribution to Civil War medical history * John David Smith, University of North Carolina at Charlotte * Jane Schultz is arguably the nation's leading expert on Civil War nursing, whose articles and book, Women at the Front, have had a profound effect on how scholars-including literary critics and historians-have viewed women's contributions to the American Civil War. First-person accounts of northern women nurses (and of northern women in general) during the Civil War remain rare-and so it is a pleasure to see that Schultz has produced this carefully edited and beautifully written volume documenting Harriet Eaton's nursing. This is a great discovery and a significant contribution to Civil War literature. * Alice Fahs, UC Irvine * Jane E. Schultz has found a treasure in Harriet Eaton s diary...This is an important source for understanding the role of women in wartime benevolent agencies. Schultz effectively highlights the tensions, challenges and excitement of state relief for the Civil War. Well constructed and argued, the book brings to the fore a fascinating source that displays the gendered relationship between women nurses and male doctors within the military medical organisation. It is a major contribution to Civil War history and an enjoyable read. * Social History of Medicine *

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