The Dover Public Library website offers public access to a wide range of information, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain values, language or stereotypes that would now be deemed insensitive, inappropriate or factually inaccurate. However, these records reflect the shared attitudes and values of the community from which they were collected and thus constitute an important social record.

The materials contained in the collection do not represent the opinions of the City of Dover, or the Dover Public Library.

Sarah Low Civil War Nurse


Sarah Low.jpg
Photograph from Sarah Low: Dover's Civil War Nurse
by the Northam Colonist Historical Society.

Sarah Low was born February 2, 1830 in South Berwick but before 1833 her father, Dr. Nathaniel Low, and her mother, Mary Ann Hale moved to Dover. Sarah Low was one of seven children, three brothers and four sisters.

Sarah Low’s entire life was beautiful and unselfish, wholly spent in the care for others. And so it was not surprising that at the outbreak of the War Between the States Sarah Low was eager to be of service to the battle wounded men. Her family did not approve of her leaving Dover to undertake such a mission, but finally her strong desires prevailed. Sarah Low was very petite and seemed hardly capable of physically coping with the rigorous services which she was to perform.

On the morning of September 10, 1862 Sarah Low boarded a train for Philadelphia but before she left, a through train came in from Baltimore with a great many wounded soldiers on it. “It is said that there is much less excitement in Baltimore.”

Going south there was evidence of war, with forts and tents along the way and soldiers guarding bridges. The bridge in Baltimore was where the attack began on the Massachusetts 6th regiment. Union colors were flying from a great many buildings.

“I reached Washington before 6pm on the same day by lightening train.”  “I took tea at the National Hotel where Mr. Hale’s (Senator John P. Hale) letter found me a very nice room.” “Great numbers of soldiers were marching through Washington, but nobody knows were they came from or where they are going.”

The next morning (the 11th) “I arrived safely at the Union Hotel Hospital. I took off my bonnet in Miss Stevenson’s room and went with her to her ward where she still had the wounds of three young men to dress. One of them, of the New Hampshire 6th Regiment, was very anxious to hear what they were doing in New Hampshire.”

Ten days later she writes, “Part of the surgeons have gone to the battle field and will probably be back tonight or in a few days.” The wounded are brought in, for the most part, over corduroy roads. The suffering is indescribable. Often they are not able to keep to the direct road, but go first in one direction, then in another to escape the fire of guerillas.

“This is the first time I have been off duty, except at night, since I came. Miss Stevenson has sent me down to rest to be ready for work when the men are brought in from battle; they are brought here with their clothes all on just as they were shot down.”

We are up at six, dress by gas-light. Our rooms are at the end of the wards and often just a curtain for privacy. The air is very bad and the ventilation poor. One has little appetite for food. There is often no competent head in the wards. Good bad and indifferent nurses, surgeons and attendants complicate matters. Some of the doctors are splendid men, others absolutely incompetent. One she mentions as a ‘careless miserable quack.” The nurse in charge of the paid nurses “is insolent and arbitrary and has no consideration for the nurses comfort.”   “She wanted Miss Stevenson to send to Massachusetts for 100 nurses, but Miss Stevenson refused because she knew they would not be treated decently if they came.”

“Attending to the wounds is only one part of a nurses duty, but it is the pleasantest part. Seeing that the ward is kept neat and that the incompetent attendants do their duty is the wearing part, particularly here in an old hotel where the wards are divided into little rooms. It is as much work to take care of 25 here as it is of 100 in one large room. It keeps you on your feet all the time. It is like keeping house with a large family, always expecting company and having very poor help.” A nurse should bring sheets, blankets and towels for her own use. “It takes a month or two for a nurse to become perfectly accustomed to her duties. It is like a trade that must be learned.”

Hospitals and tents are overflowing, full of painful wounds, suffering and disease. It is indescribably gruesome.

On October 10, 1862 Sarah Low writes, “I should be not surprised if we should change hospitals when this set of patients leave. If we do we should be likely to go to Washington or nearer the battle field.” In her records she writes, “Went to Union Hotel Hospital, Georgetown, September 1862 and to Armory Square Hospital, October, 1862 and remained there until August 1865.”

By November 13, 1862 Sarah Low was well established at Amory Square. The hospital was located opposite the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. It was a great improvement in every way over the Union Hotel. “The ward at Armory is bright and cheerful looking compared to the dismal condition at the Union where the air was so bad. This is a new hospital and an excellent one. Amory is nearly always filled as it is near the boat landing. The surgeon, ward master and attendants of my ward are very kind and attentive to patients. The patient’s comforts depend so much on the surgeon.”

Dr. D. Willard Bliss, U.S. Volunteer, who had been surgeon in the 3rd Michigan Infantry, was the surgeon in charge of the Armory Square hospital and the doctors in the wards were most considerate. “Dr. Bliss insists his nurses go out into the fresh air and when we have very sick patients, he told us to go out for a walk every day.”

The Sanitary Commission supply all the hospitals. “Almost all supplies of linen etc are sent to the front, and every 3 or 4 days the hospital supply gives out. Tent wards are continually being added and the number of patients increases faster than the extra supplies arrive. The boxes we receive from the Soldier’s Aid Societies, families and friends supplement our needs and are a great help.”

A group of ladies in Dover formed a society to furnish soldiers from the State of New Hampshire with articles necessary to health and comfort. They operated throughout the war and sent large contributions to the Sanitary Commission. Mrs. J.P. Hale was president of this group.
An interesting list of articles sent to Miss Low for her ward by the Hartford Soldier’s Aid Association included the following. Box no. 417 (showing the number of boxes sent out) contained, 9 bottles blackberry brandy, 1 bottle wintergreen cordial, 1 can sweetmeats and sponges. Box no. 418 contained 12 boxes of lint, hospital napkins 144, 6 pieces of mosquito netting, 8 hop pillows, 3 everlasting pillows, dried currants, 10 pkg. old linen, 24 feather fans and 2 linen coats.

Sarah Low mentioned many associates in her letters, too many to record but the persons we become most acquainted with are Dr. Bliss and Dr. Coolidge of Boston, Miss Stevenson of Boston, Miss Anna Lowell whose brother  was Colonel James Lowell, and whose Uncle was James Russell Lowell, and Miss Mary Felton whose father was President of Harvard College. She writes about Miss Emily Howland “one of the New Bedford Howlands who evidently is a person of influence,” Mrs Ropes of Boston and Miss Kendall of Plymouth. Then there was Jane, a young colored girl, who was a constant and devoted helper.

“We are expecting to hear of a battle soon for the sick have been sent up from the front.

Nearly opposite my table lies a man who will die tonight. He was brought in 2 or 3 weeks ago wounded through the lungs. Farther down the ward is another surrounded by his friends. He cannot live many days. The man opposite I pity more than any man I have ever seen. He is as nervous as a very nervous woman. I have to go to him every few minutes. In the bed next to him is my rebel who groans a great deal with the skin in his stump. I am in the ward every minute.”

“There has been steady cannonading heard all morning. We don’t know whether it is merely practicing or on the battle field. We can feel the jar of the guns. I have just heard there is a great excitement on the avenue and that it is said there is fighting. Another person said he thought they were fighting at Fairfax Court house.”

We have had quite an excitement this afternoon, owing to the burning of too much powder among the waste swept out of the hospital. It made the greatest crash, everybody ran who had legs to run on Of course it was reported that the hospital was blown up. The shock was felt at the National Hotel and brought every one to their feet. There was a feeling at first that the rebels might be shelling the city. Very soon James Christie, Mr. F. Vittum and another young man came to see what had become of me. I was busily at work.”

“German Willie is talking to me while I write, he is very entertaining but they can hardly speak ten words without talking about McClellan. There are a number here who have been under McDowell and they tell great stories of the way he exposed his men. Billy an old soldier is talking now, he is very funny, has been wounded once in the English service. In these wars he got saber cuts and 2 balls through him. He is going home on furlough and says in a month he shall be ready to come back and go at it again.”

An excerpt from her June 12, 1864 letter says, “They brought in more dreadful wounds yesterday and brought a great many dead. Some of the wounds are in dreadful condition. One arm was so mortified that the flesh dropped off and as many as a pint of maggots were got out. It is impossible to keep maggots from some wounds for they multiply in less than a minute.”

The amputation cases are dying in all hospitals of just poison. Some think it is an epidemic. I can’t imagine a place without suffering men at this time. All knee joint wounds die unless the patient is strong enough to go through amputation.”

It is difficult for any one to get into the hospital now the guard is so strict. I am thankful it is so far it is bad for the patients. So many visitors are well meaning but many just curious. Of course, families come, some are very helpful and some nuisances.  To get an idea of the number of persons who try to get in, 1200 have tried this morning.”

There is great suffering among the men but they complain so seldom and are so grateful for tender care. “Last evening I sat down by a young boy who has been shot in the foot. H``is name was Charlie and he was suffering a good deal. I asked him if he did not like to read, he said with a mournful look, “I haven’t got much learning.” I was surprised to find he could not read he was such a sensible looking boy. I am going to give him a reading lesson and show him some pictures.”

Several days later she wrote “ I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed the time past in giving Charlie several lessons. I sat down by him one evening to show him pictures in an entertaining book and it was perfectly delightful to see the weary look pass away from his face. He reads in the primer, the lessons are very short. He has learned to spell a few short words and has begun to learn the multiplication table.”

On March 28, 1863 Sarah Lowe writes, “Our Richmond prisoners are to go to their homes very soon. I shall be sorry to part with them, they are most interesting and pleasant patients. They have the scurvy badly, one of them has to have his legs drest every day. He was a long time in a dungeon, As you may imagine they are strong Union sympathizers. One in Miss Lowell’s ward has been in prison 15 months. When he was taken they fired and hit his wife instead. They said no matter as she was a great a traitor as he was. He has never been able to find out whether she was killed or not.”

“Last Tuesday night we had a 1st Lieutenant brought into the ward, his left foot had been amputated and he was very weak and his stump was not looking well. I always had a dread of having an officer in the ward for fear he should be exacting and there might be some jealousy among the other patients, but this Lieutenant was a fine person. He took the soldiers fare and was perfectly satisfied with it and he gave delicacies that were brought to him to the young boy in the next bed. His mother and father came and were sensible and kind and it was pleasant to have them. Just as we all got very interested in out Lieutenant he was sent to a ward where the ventilation is better as he had symptoms of pneumonia.”

“This afternoon I was so tired that I went to my room to lie down for a half an hour. Just after we had gone to sleep last night there came a knock that waked 8 of us up. Dr. Bliss had sent an order for some beef tea for Governor Hicks and he wished the key to the special diet kitchen. Dr. Bliss has amputated Governor Hick’s leg today.”

“I hear there is a great battle going on today. Mrs. Wilcox, the wife of the General was here today and said 20,000 troops were sent to McClellan yesterday. Orders came today to prepare to receive 2000 patients in the District. Mrs. Ames, the wife of the painter, has come as a volunteer nurse and is to be matron at the Capitol. They have 1300 patients there and are in the greatest confusion. Miss Kendall and I accompanied Mrs. Ames to the Capitol. I wish you could have been with us, it was such a sight to see those numberless bedsteads with their white spreads in such a building. You can’t concern the state of things there. The nurses were women of the lowest type that Miss Dix employed. Mrs. Ames is going to the Surgeon General this evening to find how much power he will give her. She wants to send these women off. Miss Stevenson and I hope to go to the Capitol to spend a day dressing wounds”.

“I took a horse car to Washington Station intending to take the next car back. At the station I found that the 11th New Hampshire Regiment had just arrived on its way to join McClellan. I found Nat’s company but he was gone. I just missed him.” (Nat was Sarah Low’s brother, Captain Nathaniel Low.)

On April 3,1864 she wrote to her Aunt. “A week ago Wednesday evening we had an arrival of very sick and wounded patients, two of them died, one a very sick case of typhoid fever and the other a man with a wounded leg. I had the widows of these men to write to.” In going to another ward to check on a patient of mine who had been moved there “I found a patient with a wounded hand, sitting up in bed in great distress with his throat, he beckoned me to him”, and asked if I would not ask the Doctor to give him something to relieve him. By the time I could find a Doctor this patient was very bad. A Doctor finally came in and a moment after, Dr. Bliss happened to follow who recommended treatment. The patient began to hiccup and was dying. In a moment Dr. Bliss made an incision in the patient’s throat and inserted a tube. “Brooks, the patient, was restored to life breathing through a silver tube in his throat instead of through his mouth and nose.” The lady in charge of this ward is at home on a visit and if I had not come in Brooks would have died without ever seeing a surgeon. I have been giving him constant attention. Brooks disease is the same one General Washington died of. It has been said he died of quincy but he did not. We shall never cease to regret that Dr. Bliss had not been there to have performed this operation, for if he had General Washington might be alive today.”

“You can’t imagine the time we had today. So many patients are being returned to duty. (September 14, 1864) The men aren’t examined but if they can walk they are sent right off.

October 13, 1864 Sarah Low writes, “It is very warm, my hand is not dry enough to hold a pen comfortably. We should get through the nights nicely if it were not for mosquitos and bed-bugs, the last we have countless number of. Mice we do not mind, the rats I do not like they are so very large.”

On one occasion Sarah Low “visited Carver Barracks, one of the worst places for a soldier to get into. They said they needed women nurses there. I visited the beautiful Cororan place, On the grounds are hospital tents with 2000 sick and wounded in them”.

Colonel Lowell has been on a raid after Mosby. They had taken one of his men who promised to show them the way to Ashby Gap, they drest the men in Union clothes, put a man on each side of him and he knew that he was to be shot the moment they found he was leading them astray. Miss Lowell had a line tonight saying that they had returned. They went to Ashby Gap. Mosby had gone to Warrenton, so they took 20 rebels and came back/ Alexandra is surrounded with palings, a great many 20 feet high, to keep Mosby out.

“There is a cat in this ward all the time and gives it quite a domestic look, but a military life has a very demoralizing effect upon cats. You rarely see a cat in the service wash herself. I have seen our cat wash her face once and take some pains to have her kittens make a good appearance, but then she is a very superior cat and she does good service in helping drive away enormous rats that infest the hospital. A patient in the ward told me that one night when he was half asleep he thought he felt something soft and silky on his neck. Presently it occurred to him it might be one of those rats. He raised his hand to brush it away and an enormous rat jumped on the floor.”

There was little time to be away from the hospital but it was essential to have a change off and on to get away from hospital work.

Some of the trips Sarah Low recorded were of interest. One such was to Freedman’s villages in the area beyond Arlington House. The little houses were built into something like barracks and white washed. “I had a talk with a tall woman of a bright brown color and very handsome features, not the least like a negro. They were loud in their praise of Miss Emily (Howland) who kept  school there. One colored woman told me when she and her children were sick Miss Emily took just as much care of them and treated them just as if they had been white folks.” Jane, a colored girl amused me very much by saying that her grandmother used to be troubled by her palate dropping down and they prevented it by braiding a certain lock of hair on the top of her head very tight.                                   “You would be astonished to see how fast these colored men learn to drill. A few days ago some of them did not know the right foot from the left and now they make a very good appearance.”

On February 29, 1864 Sarah Low wrote, “Yesterday I visited the contraband quarters. We were so much interested in what we saw that we regretted not having been there before. The contrabands have a 2 story barrack and you would have been surprised to have seen how clean they kept it. Upstairs we found an old black woman who was very much excited to see us. She said

She saw Jackson kill Ellsworth, that she was mighty sorry for the Colonel, but was glad when Jackson was killed. She could not help shouting victory for she thought the Lord had come to deliver them. At that time she got away and was free and what she earned was her own. She said it was parting with their children and never knowing what became of them that broke their hearts. I asked her if her sons and daughters were with her and she said, “Oh no misses they are sold, sold, sold down south.” She said, “and there was Mister Lincoln, just to think what he had done for them.” She prayed for him every day and would as long as she lived and hoped in the next world she shall see him.” They are all very eager to learn and we mean to take time, 3 or 4 of us, in teaching them for an hour or half an hour after tea.”

Sarah Low was ill on 2 occasions, once in 1863 and once in 1864. First she contracted varioloid (mild case of small pox). “No case of small pox or varioloid would be allowed to remain in the ward a day after it was discovered, but a doctor who has lately been ordered here is very inefficient. He should have found out sooner but did not find it out at all. I discovered it myself and got 2 or 3 of the surgeons to look at it and they pronounced it varioloid and in 2 hours the man was carried out of the hospital. If discovered sooner I should not probably have got it.”

In 1864 Sarah Low was utterly worn out, it was complete exhaustion. She left the hospital to board for several weeks at Prospect Hill, Virginia “at the pleasant home of Mrs. Squires.” Prospect Hill was one half mile from Fort Albany on Bull Run Road.” “Jane came to stay with me until I could dress myself and walk straight.” She writes, “I am very glad that I am having an opportunity to see what it is like to have war brought to ones door. In the back of Arlington House, on our way here, we came upon men digging graves. There are a great many. They are to be used to bury soldiers in.” (Arlington Cemetery as we know it today.)
On April 20, 1864 Sarah Low writes, “We attended the President’s reception last evening. We thought it would be very nice to have Mr. Hale to point out any distinguished people to us. So we asked him to take Miss Lowell and me and 4 of the other ladies and 2 nice soldiers who have been here a great while. We thought we should all meet as soon as we got there and be together. I went with Mr. Hale. When we arrived there was a great crowd around the door and the getting in was dreadful. I was never in such a crowd before and never had any idea how small a space I could be made to occupy and come out alive. The guard stood before the door, one on each side of it flourishing their drawn sabers and calling the crowd to fall back. At last we got in. There was a great crowd inside. We went first to the reception room. Mr. Hale introduced me to the President who said, “how do you do marm.” The ladies say that the reason he said so was he thought I was Mr. Hale’s venerable mother. Then Mr. Hale introduced me to Mrs. Lincoln. She shook hands with me and asked Mr. Hale after his family.” “Miss Hill and I retired to the corner of the East Room, there was too great a crowd to see anybody. The most astonishing looking people were there. Men with boots over their pants who looked as if they had been digging in the streets. There was such a steady stream of people passing through the reception room that the President just bent over and shook hands with them without saying anything.”

Sarah Low wrote February 25, 1864, “On Monday morning at 9 o’clock Mr. Hall, (Daniel Hall, Clerk of the Senate Committee on Naval affairs, later Captain, Major and Colonel) Miss Lowell and I accompanied by a soldier, carrying a carpet bag and valise, left Armory Square Hospital and turned our steps toward the station.” “The cars marked military railroad-U.S. and the guard at each car made us realize where we were going.” It took some time to show our passes and get them approved to establish ourselves. We were to spend 2 nights near the front as guests at the Headquarters of the 2nd Corps. It may seem strange to those at a distance that they should wish to have a party when the time for a battle cannot be a great way off, but when we were there it seemed rather as if they had invited their friend for the sake of seeing them once more.”


Daniel Hall.jpg
Daniel Hall

It took about six hours to reach our destination by train. From Washington we went through Alexandria, Manassas, crossed Bull Run and on to Rappahanach station. Four miles further we stopped at Brandy, and rode by ambulance 4 miles further still over recently made roads to the 2nd Corps Head quarters, surrounded by officers and soldiers on horse back galloping in every direction. There were parties of soldiers who had come from neighboring camps to see the arrival of this large group. I wish you could have seen the party leave the station. It was the gayest scene of confusion I have ever seen.”

Along the route we saw the remains of long train that had been burnt, some by rebels and some by the union men. The ground near the train was burned black. We could see from the train the house where Beauregard had his head quarters. We passed miles of bent rails taken up by the rebel in Meade’s retreat last autumn. On we went through fenceless country that would have seemed an uninteresting plain if it had not been for the associations connected with it and the remembrances of the weary feet that passed over it. We saw an unburied horse lying on the ground and sometimes a half eaten one and multitudes of carrion (carcass) fed crows, We could see regiments encamped on every little hill.

On arriving at camp we were received by Captain (Andrew) Young and Colonel Batchelder. Their quarters were made available to us and other guests and a new tent was pitched for them. The landscape with rolling hills was beautiful. The whole encampment was extremely neat and attractive with fences and roads that were kept swept 3 times a day.

The house we stayed in was a queer one and probably the house of a negro overseer. Everything looked comfortable and pleasant. A bedstead had been made for us after our arrival, two bales of new blankets opened, straw was put on the bedstead, then blankets and blankets for pillows and covering.

We had dinner after looking after the mules and horses then went in to dress for the party that evening, Five of us dressed in one room.

The hall was decorated with regimental flags. Some of which were in shreds and some very brilliant new ones belonging to regiments just returned from furlough. The party was the greatest occasion and I had one of the best times I ever had. There are very few line officers here, they are most all generals with their staffs. General Meade, General Berry and Generals Sedgewick, Wright, Humphreys and Webb. We saw nearly all the Generals of the Army of the Potomac. General Kilpatrick is as ill looking a man as I ever saw. We watched a long conversation between Meade and Kilpatrick as they stood apart from all others. They were evidently describing movements.

The next day Miss Lowell, Lucy (Hale), Captain Young, Mr. Hall and I accompanied by the medical director of the corps went to visit the Corps hospital. They could take such good care of the men that they had not sent up those wounded at Mine Run 2 or 3 weeks ago.

We then drove off to the review which was held several miles distance, in Stevenburg. As we were riding to review a soldier rushed out from some quarters and caught hold of our ambulance. He proved to be an old patient of mine. He got up and rode some way with us.

We could see on the hills where the rebels were encamped. With a spy glass you could see their earth works and camps. They said that the rebels had undoubtedly seen the review that day. General Meade reviewed the corps. The Generals and ladies and gentlemen rode on horseback all along the line, in front then in the rear. Vice president Hamlin seemed to be taking a nap on his horse. We were very much entertained with his dancing the night before.

“When we returned (from the review) we soon had dinner, after which Miss Lowell, Lucy and I walked off to call on the 20th Regiment. Miss Lowell’s brother, Colonel James, belonged to this regiment. In the evening we had several callers and at a late hour went to bed wondering if there would not be a raid and thinking as the canvas of the tents flopped in the wind that perhaps rebels had come.”

The next morning Miss Lowell and I got up at 6.30 and took an ambulance to the train with Mr. Hall at 8 to return to Washington. Captain Young and Colonel Batchelder had done everything to make our visit pleasant.

Sarah Low was at home in Dover in April 1865, apparently on furlough. Among her papers was an urgent note from Dr. Bliss dated April 15, 1865 merely saying, “Your services are much needed, hope you will come at once.” Miss Felton added a foot note to this letter saying, “Words cannot describe the nightmare passed yesterday. A sentinel knocked at our door at 11 o’clock and said in a heavy voice, “Have you heard the terrible news. The President was assassinated at the theater and the villain has escaped.” The whole hospital was in an uproar,

Sarah Low was on her way back to Washington before the word from Dr. Bliss reached her for in her diary, dated April 15, 1865, Boston, she writes, “After breakfast as I was going out Mary (Hale) and her father stood by their door very much overcome saying they had bad news. President Lincoln had been assassinated.” Sarah Low left Boston for Washington that night arriving April 17th.

April 18 “We started for the White house to see President Lincoln’s remains, the crowd was great and beyond anything you can imagine though there was perfect order. We did not attempt to go in but mean to go again.

April 19 “We watched Lincoln’s funeral procession” to the Capitol at 2. It was very solemn and many persons were overcome. Saw the Diplomatic Corps in full dress and General Hancock. Had met Admiral Faragut in the street in the morning.”

April 20th, “Miss Lowell and I went to the Capitol to look at the President, we thought we might regret it if we did not.” “There was a long procession waiting to go in which moved a step or two and then stopped, and so on.” “It was a very impressive sight in the Rotunda, in the dim light as we entered we saw on one side a line of officers sitting in full and brilliant uniform. In the center was the coffin, an officer standing at the head and foot. The flowers on the coffin that had been beautiful the day before were faded and it seemed forlorn that they had not been replaced by fresh ones. Lincoln’s face looked very thin and shrunken, the face was dark and it seemed to me that he looked like a murdered man.”

Sarah Low was told at the hospital that “As soon as Lincoln’s murder was known the bells tolled, everybody was waked up. Here the men rushed to the store house for arms and ammunition and they did not know but there was a conspiracy to destroy the city. Now every once in a while you will see boys and carriages rushing in one direction and people say perhaps Booth is taken.”

April 27th “Last night Miss Hill tried to go to 14th street to buy some wine, but she found 12th Street so guarded that she was afraid to go by. They were hunting for Booth there. It is reported that Booth was brought up on a boat today, and it is really so.”

April 29th, “This morning the convalescents in the hospital were in a state of commotion owing to an order that appeared in the “Chronicle” that all men not requiring treatment should be discharged by the first of June, they are crazy with excitement.”

June 16th she wrote, “I had hoped to make plans to start for home but Dr. Bliss said that he had never needed his lady nurses so much as now especially the old experienced ladies. In the constant change of attendants they are the chief dependence.”

Sarah Low finally returned home in August 1865.

Governor Anson Morrill remarked of Sarah, “Think of it, a young Lady who you see at once is educated and refined, having position, friends, home and parlor which she adorned, coming here to look after, and take care of those poor fellows, of whom she knows nothing except they are sick and suffering.” With no feelings but such as angels have for us poor fallen mortals. Indeed, it is the most sublime exhibition I have ever seen, and if I ever go to heaven may I be in her ward.”

From Dover History by Robert Whitehouse, c. 1987.

This historical essay is provided free to all readers as an educational service. It may not be reproduced on any website, list, bulletin board, or in print without the permission of the Dover Public Library. Links to the Dover Public Library homepage or a specific article's URL are permissible.