Remembering the Angels of the Battlefield
By S. Georgia Kitt
“The members of St. Mark parish [in Richmond, Kentucky] and the various organizations honoring the Sisters of Charity Civil War nurses were proud to have a historical connection with the Sisters of Charity – and we were proud to have the connection with them!” remarked S. Mary Dolores Schneider. “It was a joyous, proud and exciting afternoon; we are descendants of the Angels of the Battlefield, both of us, Richmond and the Sisters.”
What S. Mary Dolores is referring to is the Aug. 6 unveiling and dedication of the interpretive marker honoring the work of the Sisters of Charity Civil War nurses who ministered to injured soldiers at the Battle of Richmond in 1862. Twenty SCs traveled to Richmond for the event.
“I felt very humble and grateful for those SC women, my Sisters in faith, as we remembered and honored them,” S. Marty Dermody stated.
During the afternoon program, complete with harmonica music, one man spoke of his wounded great-great-great grandfather being propped up against a stone by a fellow soldier, a sign that he was injured and needed medical care; he was cared for by the Sisters. This care not only affected him and his immediate family, but also all of the future generations that are/were part of his lineage. “We never know how far-reaching one act of kindness will go,” said S. Mary Fran Davisson.
S. Patmarie Bernard shared, “I am so grateful for the individuals and organizations in Richmond for their dedication in preserving the memory of our SC Angels of the Battlefield; they came to nurse the wounded from both the Union and Confederate sides after the battle. It was a memorial occasion and a new travel destination to visit.” The celebration took place at St. Mark Church, and included the Knights of Columbus, St. Mark’s choir, the posting of the colors and playing of taps; a reception followed where Sisters of Charity artifacts were on display.SC Archivist Veronica Buchanan shared, “I can say that the most inspiring moment from the ceremony was considering the depth of appreciation of a simple act of charity in its purest form. To think that the community of Richmond would make so much effort to honor the work of the Sisters over 150 years later is a true testament to the enduring legacy of the work of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.”