|Birth: ||Nov. 5, 1833|
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jan. 27, 1906|
New Haven County
"Sometimes caring for the war wounded became a family undertaking. In New York, Jane Newton Woolsey, widow of a prominent industrialist, quickly rallied her six daughters to the cause. Georgeanna (‘Georgy'), Eliza and Jane became nurses, while the others made supplies. The Woolsey home near the Brevort House Hotel became a center for preparing supplies and distributing them to Union hospitals.
In 1861 Georgy Woolsey was among the first women to be accepted for nurse's training and assigned to duty by Dorothea Dix. By September of that year, Georgy and Eliza were serving in a makeshift hospital in an unfinished government building. Georgy described how they used rough wood scaffolding for beds, with as many as six men in each one. The beds were so high that long broom handles had to be used to support them. Very sick men were given individual beds on piles of marble slabs originally intended for building construction. Until further work was done on the building, pulleys raised food and water to the ersatz hospital's upper floors.
The three sisters served in numerous capacities, both in hospitals and on military hospital transport ships. Jane and Georgy were assistant superintendents of the U.S. Army hospital at Portsmouth Grove, R.I. The two also served at Hammond General Hospital. They were paid $12 a month and immediately returned the compensation to the surgeon-in-charge to purchase items for the patients. Eliza returned to private life when her husband, Colonel Joseph Howland, was wounded and mustered out of service.
Like Hannah Ropes, the three Woolsey women used their prominent social position to obtain prodigious amounts of supplies and other necessities for the wounded. At one point, Georgy personally delivered to the White House a letter she had written to President Lincoln, imploring him to send chaplains to the military hospitals. He promptly named seven new chaplains.
Georgy was noted for her cool demeanor, in times of emergency. Jane wrote of her: ‘There was never a critical case in the hospital on which Georgy's intelligence was not brought to bear in some shape.' Ever alert for ways to make patients more comfortable and their care more efficient, she kept her apron pockets filled with forks, spoons, corkscrews and other useful items. Both sisters carried notebooks in which they re-corded individual patient needs and wishes. Georgy carefully noted the names and addresses of the dying for later use in returning their possessions to their families.
Both Jane and Georgy Woolsey depicted wartime hospital life in sensitive and enduring writings. Jane's book, Hospital Days, published in 1868, enjoyed wide readership. In it she quotes an unnamed officer's view of the Civil War nurse: ‘She may be totally impervious to ideas of order; she may love ‘hugger-mugger' and hand-to-mouth ways of getting at direct objects; she may hopelessly muddle the ward returns, and interchange sentiment with the most obnoxious of the stewards, but she will cheerfully sacrifice time, ease, and health to the wants or whims of a wounded man.'
After the war, Georgy Woolsey assisted in establishing the Connecticut Training School for Nurses in New Haven. She also wrote a nursing handbook that was only the second of its kind to be published in the United States. Jane and another sister, Abby, played pioneer roles in developing enlightened methods of nursing in civilian hospitals."
Charles William Woolsey (1802 - 1840)
Jane Eliza Newton Woolsey (1801 - 1874)
Francis Bacon (1831 - 1912)
Abby Howland Woolsey (1828 - 1893)*
Jane Stuart Woolsey (1830 - 1891)*
Mary Elizabeth Watts Woolsey Howland (1832 - 1864)*
Georgeanna Muirson Woolsey Bacon (1833 - 1906)
Elizabeth Woolsey Howland (1835 - 1917)*
Harriet Roosevelt Woolsey Hodge (1837 - 1878)*
Charles William Woolsey (1840 - 1907)*
Wife of Francis Bacon; For forty years the crown of her felicity
Gladly diligent to serve God by wise and loving works for all in sorrow or adversity
Honored and well-beloved she entered into her reward in perfect peace.
Grove Street Cemetery
New Haven County
Plot: 52 Cedar Ave.
Created by: Nareen, et al
Record added: Jun 15, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8936786