Mary L <I>Smith</I> Bradley


Mary L Smith Bradley

Albany, Orleans County, Vermont, USA
Death 17 Aug 1910 (aged 78)
Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin, USA
Burial Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin, USA
Plot 2nd-9-33,3
Memorial ID 151330628 View Source
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Buried 19 Aug 1910; 80 years of age.

Was One of The Brave Band of Women Who Underwent All Sorts of Privations to Minister to Dying on Southern Battlefields.

(Special to the Morning Star.)
BELOIT, Wis., Aug. 17.-- Mrs. Mary Bradley, an old army nurse, who in her early life on the battlefield and in military hospitals closed (?) so many; a dying man's eyes and breathed a dying prayer for his soul's rest and comfort for the sorrowing ones at home, this morning answered death's long roll and was gathered to her fathers, where he name is enrolled with the American patriots and philanthropists who gave freely to alleviate suffering in the days of the war. All that a woman could do as nurse and patriot she did. In her removal from earth the last of the nurses of the civil war in this vicinity is taken so far as it is known to Beloit people. Her name was held dear by all members of the Grand Army and the Woman's Relief Corps.

Eighty-Two Years Old.
Mrs. Bradley passed away at 10 o'clock this morning at the Beloit hospital, where she was taken a few days ago. She had been very feeble and a great sufferer for a long time. She was 82 years of age. Until the past two years she had been favored with good health and fine vitality, a keen mind and a retentive memory. To the very last she continued her interest in the old soldiers of the civil war.

She was Mary Smith, born at Albany, in the Vermont hills, and her mother's life went out at her birth. She was reared by her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox, Spent her early days in Lowell, Mass., and toiled hard in a calico mill, but she managed to get a common school education and a high school course, and qualified as a school teacher. Her foster parents came to Wisconsin in 1854 and settled near Juneau, Dodge county, and she came with them. Her school was closed because of the war and when the Tenth Wisconsin infantry was organized she was urged to go as a nurse, but such a life was horrifying to her and she could not offer herself. Later she found that the governor, at the solicitation of friends, had named her as a field nurse and she accepted the post and went with the regiment into the far south and it was her lot many times to go onto fields literally strewn with the dead. She has told of coming from a battlefield with her skirts soaked with the blood of the soldiers among whose dead and mangled bodies she had passed.

Suffered Privations of War.

For two years this heroic and self-sacrificing woman gave her services for her country without pay or compensation save that which satisfied the heart. At the expiration of that period she declared that she must return home and work for the support of members of the family deprived of the assistance of the bread-winners who were in the army. Then she was persuaded to remain in the service and was paid as nurses of the times were paid.

Her four years of service was amid such scenes of suffering and sorrow that her nervous system gave way. In later life she would hear the moans and prayers of the dying-boys-on-the-battle-field and improvised hospitals. She would say, "boys" and remind friends that that is what they were--the youth of the land, the promise of the family.

It was in the battle before Nashville that her brother was shot and George B. Bradley, who became her husband, was wounded. Speaking of her today, Mr. Bradley said:

With Wounded Lover On Field.

"It was while she dressed the wounds on the battle field that I learned to love her." And a while ago Mrs. Bradley said of her old soldier husband, bent with the infirmities of age and wrecked by an awful wound: "When I first knew Mr. Bradley, he was one of the finest looking and brightest young cavalrymen in the army and every inch a patriot. He paid a fearful penalty for the war in his broken health." (Morning Star (Rockford, Illinois) 18 August 1910, Thursday, Page 3.) Credited to Justine and transcribed by Mary Jo.)
Oakwood listings for 2nd-9-33:
Bradley, George 2nd-9-33,2 5 /12/1914
Bradley, Mary 2nd-9-33,3 8 /19/1910 80
Conant, Shumway 2nd-9-33,4 10/24/1911
Conant, Sarah 2nd-9-33,5 6 /3 /1932 85

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  • Maintained by: SDB history
  • Originally Created by: Mary Jo
  • Added: 27 Aug 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 151330628
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary L Smith Bradley (9 Mar 1832–17 Aug 1910), Find a Grave Memorial ID 151330628, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by SDB history (contributor 50438450) .