Celebrated as a Cyclone in Calico by Nina Baker (1952), ""Mother"" Bickerdyke was one of the last of her breed, the...

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CIVIL WAR NURSE: Mary Ann Bickerdyke

Celebrated as a Cyclone in Calico by Nina Baker (1952), ""Mother"" Bickerdyke was one of the last of her breed, the freelance angel of mercy. Mary Ann Bickerdyke, a widow with two sons, was first sent by her Galesburg, Illinois church to deliver supplies to local boys at the front, and she stayed with the Union armies from then on -- beloved by ""her boys"" and a bane to army officers who resented her disregard for regulations not made by herself and to Dorothea Dix's Army Nurse Corps, whose existence she chose to ignore. DeLeeuw dotes on ""Mary Ann's"" pillow plumping services to her ""handsome lads,"" on her vigilance in keeping ""delicacies"" intended for the sick out of the officers' mess and to detailing every slice of bread and hard-boiled egg doled out by the time ""the war had wound itself up to a glorious conclusion."" Somewhere along the way a figure who might have been imposing becomes positively smothering.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Messner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973