|Emily Elizabeth Parsons (1824-1880)|
Theophilus Parsons was a staunch Lincoln supporter. He initially opposed his 37- year- old daughter's desire to become a nurse. Emily Parsons' multiple handicaps (blind in one eye, partially deaf and unable to stand for prolonged periods of time) did not obstruct her resolve.
She enrolled in nursing school at Massachusetts General Hospital at the outbreak of the American Civil War.
Later, she was appointed head of nursing on a riverboat at Vicksburg during the siege of the city.
In 1863, after recovering from malaria, she became the nursing supervisor of a 2,500 bed field hospital in St. Louis, one of the most important posts given a woman during the Civil War.
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