Harriet Eaton, Portland citizen and Civil War nurse, kept a daily journal of two tours of duty with Maine regiments in the Army of the Potomac. The journal reveals the mistrust that local aid organization workers had regarding the sweeping benevolent objectives of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The Maine Camp Hospital Association, a local aid society established in Portland in 1862, resisted absorption by the Maine State Relief Agency early in the war, but, in time, the two groups came to cooperate effectively with one another, despite Eaton’s continuing critique of the efficacy of federal benevolence. Jane E. Schultz is Professor of English and Medical Humanities at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis. She is the editor of This Birth Place of Souls: The Civil War Nursing Diary of Harriet Eaton (Oxford University Press, 2011). Her Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize in 2005.
Schultz, Jane E.. "Benevolent Chaos: Nurse Harriet Eaton’s Relief War for Maine." Maine History 48, 1 (2014): 56-85. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol48/iss1/4