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Margaret Elizabeth Breckinridge
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Birth: Mar. 24, 1832
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jul. 27, 1864
Niagara County
New York, USA

Margaret Elizabeth Breckinridge was the daughter of a minister and a granddaughter of John Breckinridge(1760-1806), a United States Senator (1801-05) and Attorney General of the United States (1805-06) in the Cabinet of President Thomas Jefferson. Prior to the Civil War, she was a Sunday-school teacher. In the second year of the Civil War (1862), she visited hospitals in Kentucky, then in and around Saint Louis, Missouri, and nursed wounded and ill soldiers on the steamer "City of Alton" and other hospital boats on the Mississippi River, and in hospitals on the Arkansas shore. As one author wrote, "with her slight form, her bright face, and her musical voice, she seemed a ministering angel to the sick and suffering soldiers, while her sweet womanly purity and her tender devotion to their wants made her almost an object of worship among them." She would make tea and toast, dress "ghastly wounds for the sufferers," and sing hymns and talk "of spiritual things with the sick and dying." Two years later, she returned to her native Philadelphia to better learn nursing for surgical cases. There, she practiced the washing and dressing of wounds, and on June 2, 1864, she was infected with erysipelas. The following day, her former brother-in-law, Colonel Peter Porter, was killed in action in Virginia, and she went to Baltimore, Maryland, to comfort family members. After a week there, she proceeded to Niagara, New York, exhausted. She was ill for the following five weeks, and finally passed away. Sources: Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience by L.P. Brockett and Mary C. Vaughan (Philadelphia, 1867), pp. 187-99, and Women of the War; Their Heroism and Self-Sacrifice by Frank Moore (Hartford, 1866), pp. 75-90.

Bio by Leon Basile

 
 
Burial:
Oakwood Cemetery
Niagara Falls
Niagara County
New York, USA
 
Created by: Phyllis Meyer
Record added: Jan 01, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63596098
Margaret Elizabeth Breckinridge
Added by: Leon Edmund Basile
 
Margaret Elizabeth Breckinridge
Added by: Phyllis Meyer
 
Margaret Elizabeth Breckinridge
Added by: Phyllis Meyer
 
 
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 Added: Jun. 23, 2014

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 Added: Oct. 12, 2013

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 Added: Nov. 27, 2011
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