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Sisters of Charity and Philadelphia Civil War Hospital

by | Mar 30, 2011 | Daughters of Charity, Vincentian Family | 3 comments

As we begin to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, one example of this service that should be highlighted is the work of the Sisters of Charity at Satterlee Military Hospital. The sisters ministered to thousands of wounded and dying Civil War soldiers from 1862 until the hospital closed in 1865.

Initially, the hospital was fairly ill equipped, especially with regard to the accommodations for the sisters. Beverages were served in wash pitchers and the food in basins. The sisters ate their meals earlier than the officers, sharing just four eating utensils reserved for officers’ use. The chapel was so small that some sisters had to exit the room so others could enter and receive Holy Communion.

Initially, the hospital was fairly ill equipped, especially with regard to the accommodations for the sisters. Beverages were served in wash pitchers and the food in basins. The sisters ate their meals earlier than the officers, sharing just four eating utensils reserved for officers’ use. The chapel was so small that some sisters had to exit the room so others could enter and receive Holy Communion.

 

Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Record Center website

http://www.pahrc.net/index.php/tag/civil-war/

3 Comments

  1. Astor

    Sister of Cahrity wore the Daughters of Charity habits?

  2. jbf

    Daughters of Charity were sometimes called Sisters of Charity especially in their early days. http://www.dc-northeast.org/

  3. toma

    @Astor, after union between Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph (Emmitsburg) and Daughters of Charity of St. Vicnent de Paul (Paris) in 1851, Sisters of Charity received the name of daughters of Charity and accepted the religious dress of the French Community. Traditional habits of Sisters of Cahrity (black with black widow’s hat) remained official dress of those Sisters who did not accept union with Paris, e.g. Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
    During Civil War Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph were already Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and were dressed in the well recognized everywhere Cornets and dark navy blue dresses.

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