Monday, June 9, 2003

Ohio Moments


'Mother Bickerdyke' was heroine of war

On June 9, 1861, Ohio native Mary Ann Bickerdyke, who would later be known as the mother of the Union Army, traveled by train from her home in Galesburg to Cairo, Ill., carrying supplies to treat sick soldiers. It was the beginning of a four-year career as a nurse for the Union Army.

The 44-year-old widow left her two young boys with neighbors and answered the call for nursing help. In doing so, she pioneered mobile front-line nursing.

Mary Ann Ball was born in Knox County, Ohio, in 1817. She attended Oberlin College and worked as a nurse in Cincinnati during a cholera epidemic in 1837.

She later married Robert Bickerdyke, had her two sons and moved to Galesburg, where her husband died in 1858.

When the Civil War began, Mary Ann heard about the poor conditions of the military camp at Cairo and volunteered to go there. She stayed on and followed the army for the duration of the war, treating the soldiers, scrubbing field hospitals, washing uniforms, and procuring whiskey and fruit. She walked the battlefields with a lantern at night, searching for wounded. She served as a nurse in more than 19 battles, gaining the respect of generals and privates alike.

"Mother Bickerdyke" died in Knox County in 1901.

- Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call 768-8361.




TODAY'S TOP STORIES
City helped tame DOJ's fierceness
Change now the word at Fernald
Teachers retrace Underground Railroad
Reforms planned for private care
Storm injures several at concert

CINCINNATI-HAMILTON COUNTY
Cincinnati State faces tuition hike

AROUND THE TRISTATE
Freedom subject of week-long talks
Tristate A.M. Report
Hometown Heroes: 'Quiet helper' aids multitude of causes
Obituary: Ronald Gratsch, musician, comedian
Good News: Toyota rewards service

OHIO
Ohio Moments: 'Mother Bickerdyke' was heroine of war
Troopers get new white cars
Re-created sculpture honors Wrights
Program promotes college for Appalachians

KENTUCKY
Center to clarify breastfeeding rule
Space woes plague library branch
CROWLEY: Ky. treasurer one of '100 Dems to watch'
Ky. opening up to alcohol sales
Pills might have saved explorer
Around the Commonwealth

INDIANA
Belterra will apply to go 24/7
Falling revenue could cut paving

SPECIAL SUNDAY REPORT: LOSING A GENERATION
Young adults leaving town
Online Poll: Tell us what you think
Who is Gen X?
Groups of and for young adults
Young majority on council shifting city's focus

SUNDAY'S TOP STORIES
Modern technology spreads church's message
Monuments to be removed
Blue Ash abuzz with Airport Days
Downtown shops show promise
Patents a moneymaker for UC
Judges battle over misconduct claims
Graduation puts prank in the past

SUNDAY'S COLUMNISTS
PULFER: Martha Stewart
RADEL: Ball park mustard
SMITH AMOS: Beyond bicycle theft
BRONSON: 'Aren't you Borgman?'
HOWARD: Some good news
CROWLEY: Ky. Politics

SATURDAY'S TOP STORIES
City's night life scrapes bottom
Reluctant juror wins day in appeals court
All-girls school graduating from tradition
Were sent back to death row
Loveland man's car now a movie star
Ruby: Easy to do business in Newport