Rebecca Usher, Civil War Nurse

Text By Julie Wilcox

Images from the Maine Historical Society

During the American Civil War, Maine women made unique and invaluable contributions to the war effort. Determined to aid the Union cause, many women worked outside of the home, took over as heads of households, or became involved in aid societies.

Still others, like Rebecca Usher of Hollis, dedicated themselves to serving as volunteer nurses. Between 1862 and 1865 Rebecca served first at Chester, Pennsylvania, and later at City Point, Virginia.

In an era when female roles were largely defined by their work within the home, joining the Union army as a nurse defied convention of acceptable female behavior.

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Rebecca Usher diary and selected letters