Mrs. Herman Canfield

The Civil War was the war that truly tarnished the glamour and desire to go to war. For a little more than four years, the United States of America was wrapped up in a brutal fight for slavery and state's rights. Even though the war ended in favor of preserving the Union, there was a lot of loss on both sides, especially the loss of soldiers. Those soldiers that had sacrificed their all were not just men, but brothers, sons, grandsons, and husbands. Many men were left to die on the battle field or hauled away to have a limb amputated if injured. Many of those men died from infection. What was needed were volunteers to sacrifice just a small portion of what those soldiers had sacrificed and take care of them. The discreet heroes of the American Civil War were the nurses. Many of the nurses were females who knew someone who was fighting or had died fighting in the war. There were thousands of female nurses, but very little record was kept of them and all of what they did. One such nurse that left an important impact was Mrs. Herman Canfield, wife of Lieutenant-Colonel Herman Canfield of the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. When Mr. Canfield was fataly injured during the Battle of Shiloh and died soon afterward, Mrs.Canfield dedicated her life to helping the soldiers. With her youngest son, Herman Jr. in tow, Mrs. Canfield set off for Memphis and Vicksburg to visit wounded soldiers in the military hospitals. She was also successful in gaining and maintaining medical supplies, more volunteers, and food to the Union bases in the South for the duration of the war. However, Mrs. Canfield is not the only notable Civil War Nurse. For example, Mary E. Walker was an ambitious and fearless leader in the Civil War. She was a surgeon for the Union at the beginning of the Civil War until she was captured by Confederate forces. Walker received a Medal of Honor for her service and is the only women to have ever receive such an honor. Whether women served through heroic actions, or the little actions, everything that women did had a tremendous impact on the Civil War.