Anthony O'Connell

From Vincentian Encyclopedia
Anthony O'Connell, SC "Angel of the Battlefield" in the American Civil War

Anthony O'Connell, SC (15 August 1812 - 8 December 1897]], a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, served with distinction as a nurse on the front lines of the American Civil War. Her portrait hangs in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

Sister O'Connell was born Mary Ellen O'Connell in Limerick, Ireland. In 1821, she emigrated with her family to Boston.

On June 5, 1835 she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity at Emmitsburg and was professed in 1837. Soon after, she went to Cincinnati.

In June, 1861 Sister O'Connell was one of six Sisters of Charity who went to Camp Dennison, about 15 miles from Cincinnati. She became personally acquainted with Jefferson Davis and knew a number of generals on both sides of the conflict. Her medical skills allowed her to intervene to save soldiers' limbs from amputation.