Now Playing Tracks


Elida B. Rumsey Sang For Civil War Soldiers And Established A Free Library 

Seventeen-year-old Elida Rumsey went to Washington during the Civil War to become a nurse. A girl so young that Miss Dorothea Dix would not hire her. When told she was too young, Elida sang to soldiers in the wards.

In Nov. ’61, she began to visit the hospitals and sing to the soldiers, The soldiers planned what they wanted her to sing from week to week and the knowledge of how little the boys had to look forward to from day to day, while under such depressing influences, first inspired the thought of supplying them with pictures and books.  With the help of Mrs. Walter Baker, Elida organized a soldiers’ library. She eventually became the youngest member of the Massachusetts Army Nurses. After the war, Elida and her husband John Fowle moved to Upham’s Corner, where she raised two emancipated slave children and did local civic work.

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union