Guide to the Libbie Ward Papers, 1828-1913 and undated
Ward served with the U.S. Christian Commission in hospitals in Louisville, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn., from 1864 to 1865, where she worked in the kitchens and as a general aide to the soldiers who spent brief periods there. Mainly letters between Libbie Ward and her family and friends.
- Collection Number
- Libbie Ward papers
- 1828-1913 and undated
- Ward, Libbie, 1838-1914
- 1.2 Linear Feet, 110 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
Mainly letters (106 items, 1828-1913) between Sarah Elisabeth "Libbie" Ward and her family and friends. There are letters from other hospital workers, United States Christian Commission administrators, and family members of soldiers Ward tended. The bulk of the letters date from Libbie's time working for the U.S. Christian Commission at Foundry Hospital. Topics include health and illness, religion, death, politics and the war, and family life. Ward refers to arguments with friends and co-workers about women's rights and race, and discusses her changing opinions of African-Americans due to her work with them in the South. She writes, "There are some very intelligent and fine-looking colored men here I tell you it makes one feel bad to see so many who can neither read or write, who have so unfairly been deprived of the privilege." Includes two diaries, one combined with an account book. The diary, which comprises regular entries from 21 Sept. 1864 to 1 Jan. 1865, describes her daily routines in the kitchen and on the wards at the Louisville hospital and contains her thoughts on her day-to-day struggles, often using religious language. She mentions the 1864 Battle of Franklin's aftermath several times and refers to seeing "the noted female soldier." There is an additional diary combined with an account book that includes financial details from 1865-1870, a poem, a Union election advertisement, a telegram, an essay on Intemperance, and what appears to be letter drafts. Some early letters to her father are included and letters she wrote and received in her later life (1913) to and from young relatives. (01-039).
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Libbie Ward Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Libbie Ward served with the U.S. Christian Commission in hospitals in Louisville, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn., from 1864 to 1865, where she worked in the kitchens and as a general aide to the soldiers who spent brief periods there. Ward was born in Massachusetts, but lived in Wisconsin most of her life. She never married.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Family -- United States -- History -- 19th century
- Feminism -- History -- 19th century
- Women and religion -- United States -- History
- Women's rights -- History -- 19th century
- Kentucky -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- United States -- Social conditions
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Nurses
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Hospitals
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
- United States -- Race relations
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Medical care
The Libbie Ward Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2001.
Processed by Kimberly Sims, May 2011
Encoded by Kimberly Sims, July 2011
Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2001-039