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The feminine touch at the hospital

‘The touch of a woman's hands’ came to have a meaning all its own during the war. The rough kindness of a comrade was as nothing compared to the gentle ministrations of a thrice-blessed damosel. This particular young lady seems remarkably bashful for one who has come to offer her services at Brandy Station, where a considerable portion of the army lay in Camp in March, 1864. She can be seen again on the right of the photograph below, but her male escort has dwindled to only one or two, and she seems to have recovered her selfpossession. In our admiration of the ultimate efficiency of the medical department created in the Civil War, we must not overlook the fact that this was bought at the expense of such human agonies and sorrows as are, in the aggregate, beyond the estimate of the keenest imagination and sympathy. The Nation paid dearly, and in sackcloth and ashes, as it would pay in any future wars under similar conditions, for that policy of military unpreparedness, in which the medical service is necessarily made to share, which seems to form so fundamental and cherished a feature of our national policy of costly economy.

A woman in camp.

Field hospital of the second division, second army corps, at Brandy Station, Virginia


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