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Rebecca Usher on arrival at nursing station, 1862

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Rebecca Usher of Hollis was 41 years old in November of 1862 when she arrived at the U.S. General Hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania, to begin her work as a nurse.

In a letter to her sister Ellen Usher Bacon of Hollis, she wrote about her arrival at the hospital to begin work, "There are five wards, each ward containing three divisions, each division capable of holding 60 men."

Louisa Titcomb of Portland already was at the hospital when Usher arrived. Usher had not yet been assigned to a ward, so she was mending stockings, helping Titcomb, and altering shirts so wounded soldiers could wear them.

She discussed a Confederate soldier who died, who, before the war, had been in partnership with a Union man. The two had disagreed about politics. When the Confederate soldier was taken to the hospital in Chester, his former partner visited and comforted him.

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Other Information


  • Title: Rebecca Usher on arrival at nursing station, 1862
  • Creator: Usher, Rebecca R.
  • Creation Date: 1862-11-23
  • Subject Date: 1862
  • Town: Chester, Portland
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME, PA
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 20.5 cm x 12.7 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 9, Box 1/4
  • Collection: Rebecca Usher papers
  • Object Type: Text

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x219
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