Some Civil War nurses such as Clara Barton who later founded the American Red Cross and Dorothea Dix who prior to war had worked for improved treatment of the mentally ill, are well-known.

Barton worked independently, depending on donations to bring supplies and other volunteers where she saw fit.

Dix, one of the few nurses to actually be hired by the federal government, was the strict, no nonsense superintendent of army nurses.

The opportunity to nurse or to take leadership positions in the many volunteer organizations that collected supplies for the soldiers enhanced women’s views of their own capabilities and led some to join the women’s suffrage movement after the war.

The selfless service to the wounded of both sides and all faiths by hundreds of Catholic nuns lessened the anti-Catholic feeling that many white Protestants had held before the war.

Mother Angela (Eliza Maria Gillespie), a relative of General Sherman and the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, supervised sixty nuns who cared for men at the large Mound City Naval Hospital, in Illinois; wounded troops from both sides were brought to this hospital by ship and at one point Mother Angela protected a wounded Confederate officer from an angry crowd who wanted to lynch him.