Rebecca Usher to niece from Army hospital, 1863

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


In January 1863, Rebecca Usher of Hollis wrote to her niece, Ella Bacon, daughter of her sister Sarah (Ellen) Usher Bacon and Elbridge Bacon, about her work as a nurse at the U.S. Hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania. Usher had begun nursing there a few months earlier.

In the letter, Usher noted that it was difficult to find time to respond to all the letters she received. She commented on a box she had received with magazines and books, games, and other items and how much they were appreciated by the soldiers.

She wrote, "You can hardly imagine what an exquisite pleasure it is to open a box at a hospital."

She refers to "red tape" at the hospital and throughout the army. She said the clothing of new patients was sent to the wash house and they frequently did not get their own clothing back.

Her niece was about 20 years old at the time of the letter. Another of Usher's sisters, Martha Usher Osgood, had organized the Buxton-Hollis Soldiers' Aide Society. Ella Bacon may have been involved with that group as well.

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About This Item

  • Title: Rebecca Usher to niece from Army hospital, 1863
  • Creator: Usher, Rebecca R.
  • Creation Date: circa 1863
  • Subject Date: 1863
  • Town: Chester, Hollis
  • 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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