Mary Bickerdyke

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Mary Ann Bickerdyke



Mary Ann Bickerdyke
1817 – 1901

Born on July 19, 1817, in Knox county, Ohio, Mary Ann Ball grew up in the houses of various relatives. She attended Oberlin College and later studied nursing. In 1847 she married a widower, Robert Bickerdyke, who died in 1859.

Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War she volunteered to accompany and distribute a collection of supplies taken up for the relief of wounded soldiers at a makeshift army hospital in Cairo, Illinois. On her arrival there she found conditions to be extremely unsanitary, and she set to work immediately at cleaning, cooking, and nursing. She became matron when a general hospital was organized there in November 1861.

Having scavenged supplies and equipment and established mobile laundries and kitchens, Bickerdyke had generally endeared herself to the wounded and sick, among whom she became known as "Mother" Bickerdyke. To incompetent officers and physicians she was brutal, succeeding in having several dismissed, and she retained her position largely through the influence of Grant, Sherman, and others who recognized the value of her services.

In 1876 she removed to San Francisco, where she secured through Senator John A. Logan, another wartime patron, a position at the U.S. Mint. She also devoted considerable time to the Salvation Army and similar organizations. She worked tirelessly on behalf of veterans, making numerous trips to Washington to press pension claims, and was herself granted a pension of $25 a month by Congress in 1886.

She returned to Kansas in 1887 and died in Bunker Hill, Kansas, on November 8, 1901.

  • Bickerdyke, Mary Ann (Ball) 'Mother' - b. July 15, 1817  d. November 8, 1901. Following the war she returned to Galesburg, and was instrumental in obtaining pensions for veterans and for Civil War nurses. However, old age forced her to return to her childhood home near Mt Vernon, Ohio to be near her family where she died at the age of 84. Her remains were transported back to Galesburg, Illinois and she was interred next to her husband.

  • Mary Ann Ball Bickerdyke - Casualties & Medical Care Mary Ann Ball Bickerdyke "On The Authority Of God Almighty" July 19, 1817 - November 8, 1901.

  • MARY ANN BALL BICKERDYKE - William T. Sherman threw up his hands and exclaimed, "she outranks me, I can't do a thing in the world."

  • Mary Bickerdyke - Mary Ann Bickerdyke, who received a special pension from Congress in 1886, retired to Bunker Hill, Kansas, where she died on 8th November, 1901.

  • Mother Bickerdyke, 1817-1901 - Mary Ann Ball was born in Knox County, Ohio in 1817.

  • Mother of the Union Army - The story of Mary Ann Bickerdyke, who delivered supplies from her church to a medical camp in Illinois, and stayed to nurse the sick and wounded for four years and nineteen battles.

  • The Civil War . The War . Biographies of Key Figures . Bickerdyke - Mary Ann Bickerdyke.

Last Modified: Thursday May 20, 2010

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