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Civil War Hospital Sketches Paperback – February 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Civil War
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486449009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486449005
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Louisa May Alcott was both an abolitionist and a feminist. She is best known for Little Women (1868), a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood years with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. Alcott, unlike Jo, never married: "... because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man." She was an advocate of women's suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on June 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are dispatches home from Jo -- no doubt about who could have written these.

They are interesting in the sense of a young person's first impressions of illness, injury, death, and war. Not to mention, life in the south through the eyes of a Bostoner. Very few letters -- she didn't last long before a fever got her -- but very interesting. The gentlemanly behavior described, the ladylike behavior -- all of it in Jo's style of writing. Great!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Renee Lamb on March 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was short and gave some insight, but was a little disappointing since I had just finished reading Civil War Nurse: The Diary and Letters of Hannah Ropes. Both Louisa May Alcott and Hannah Ropes were assigned to the same hospital. Hannah Ropes' book is more in depth with the day-to-day details and her feelings than Hospital Sketches. Louisa May Alcott's book makes you think it was written specifically for a certain reading audience in mind and was found lacking in some respects.

(signed LAS)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane Greensmith on December 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As part of my Civil War reading, I am trying to mix it up between fiction (contemporary and historical), non-fiction, memoir, war and social issues. For my last book of 2012, I read Louisa May Alcott's collection of newspapers articles she wrote about her time as a Civil War nurse in Washington, D.C. in December 1862 and January 1863.

LMA only served as a nurse for three weeks, but this brief service changed her life profoundly. Of this time, she said that she was rarely ill before it and never truly well afterwards. She had contracted typhus at the hospital and was treated with a compound containing mercury, which wreaked havoc on her body and most probably shortened her life. On the other hand, her time as a nurse on her own in a city far from her Concord home during the war broadened her vision and deepened her perspective.

In typical Victorian lady fashion, LMA assumes the guise of Tribulation Periwinkle who then provides a first-person account of LMA's own experiences--deciding to join the nursing core, traveling alone by train to Washington, living in a boarding house, working in a hospital (she tended the wounded from the battle of Fredericksburg, Dec. 11-15, 1862). The latter encompasses so much--the men themselves, some old but most heart-breakingly young--she held their hands as they died, read them letters from home, and wrote their final goodbyes, comforted their loved ones--she dressed wounds, assisted surgeons, fed and cleaned and comforted, and then finally fell ill herself.

At first the persona of Trib grated a bit--basically Jo March on steroids.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Z Kohak on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a nurse and a lover of history, I can't recommend this highly enough. It is so interesting to read of nursing during the civil war. It is fascinating to meet a side of Ms Alcott than one encounters in her other books.As a gift, it also delighted my elderly father and a European friend who is studying American literature.
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